Starfish for Faculty

FAQs

  • How do I use the early alert feature to support the success of my students?

    Early Alert helps instructors and advisors monitor the progress of students throughout the first ten weeks of the semester.  Students can be given advice, support, or recommendations to connect to academic support services across campus.  To close the loop and clear flags that are raised, please watch this short video for some key tips!

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  • What are progress surveys?

    Progress surveys are intentional pulse checks in the early alert system that are used at key times in the semester.   The allow instructor to highlight a concern (raise a flag), recommend support (a referral), or commend good work. Check out this quick video overview.

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  • What is a flag? A referral? A kudos?

    A flag denotes concern around attendance, academic performance, academic progress, and classroom participation.   Some flags require no action and are merely informational.   Others act in concert with referrals (recommending an action be taken for support – ie tutoring, success coaching, etc.).   Kudos are ways to celebrate positive progress and commend students for their work.

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  • What message do students receive when an instructor raises a flag or kudos?

    When an instructor raises a flag or kudos on a student, a Starfish-generated email is sent directly to the student using Starfish @ MU Student Email Templates.  Please click here (PDF) to see the summary of email templates.


    Within the templates, comments entered by the instructor are sent directly to the student through the email. The template makes note if the comments are required or optional for the flag raiser. If no comments are provided in the templates where it is optional, the message will simply move on to the next sentence.  Starfish @ MU emails are sent from the Starfish Success Team. In addition to emails from Starfish, students may also view this information, including comments, in the “Notifications” (for flags and referrals) or “Kudos” (for kudos) sections of their Starfish User Dashboard (which is their homepage).

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  • How do I verify my roster/attendance using progress surveys and flags in Starfish?

    You can confirm attendance per DOE regulation 34 CFR 668.21 by completing the progress surveys in Starfish by the end of week 2 and week 10 for a 15-week course.   At the designated times of the semester, Starfish @ MU will send you directions to complete the progress surveys.  Simply follow the instructions.  Students will receive an email from the Starfish Success Team regarding any attendance flags raised and the Registrar’s Office will follow up with next steps.

    While these dates mark official reporting periods, faculty can manually report a student through Starfish as  soon as they see that the student has stopped attending class by selecting the “Attendance – Stopped Attending” flag and providing the last date of attendance in the comments section.  Students will receive an email from the Starfish Success Team regarding this flag and the Registrar’s Office will follow up with next steps.

    Faculty with courses that meet for fewer than 15 weeks should still contact registrar@millersville.edu to obtain the relevant reporting dates. Those courses will not be included in the roster verification progress surveys and faculty should manually raise the appropriate attendance flag within Starfish.

    See the User Guide for Roster Verification/Attendance Progress Surveys and the Faculty and Staff User Guide (pages 5-8) for detailed information.*

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  • How should I prioritize the follow up on raised academic alerts from progress surveys or those raised individually? What is the recommended workflow?

    Academic alerts fall into three classifications – those that are urgent, those that recommend action, and those that are informational.  Urgent flags (Attendance No Shows, Attendance – Stopped Attending, and In Danger of Failing the Course) are time-sensitive and prompt follow up by the student.  The Registrar’s Office completes the follow up on attendance flags.  Advisors are tagged on these urgent alerts and can provide additional support (for example, if a student wants to drop a course).    Action flags denote an action to be taken – such as referrals to other offices – and follow up occurs with the offices who are tagged on the alert, meaning they will resolve the flag.   Informational alerts are “FYI’s” or lower-level concerns that alert students of missed work, lack of class preparation, class tardiness, etc.  These alerts don’t necessarily require a follow up or a formal closing of the loop;  students are encouraged to circle back with their instructor for questions.  If a pattern of behavior persists with these alerts, a referral to an academic support office may occur.  Kudos, such as “Keep up the Good Work”, are also informational and don’t require resolution. 

    Any flags that are not formally resolved, like these informational alerts, will be automatically cleared by Starfish at the end of each semester.   Advisors and students will still be able to see these alerts as “resolved” alerts in their tracking tabs.   Instructors will only be able to see alerts raised on a student for the duration of the course session.  Please see the full workflow here (xls) for current academic alerts.

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