Starfish Mid-Semester Progress Reports are open until October 12

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Midterm progress reports begin in the seventh week of classes, with surveys opening Oct. 3 and ending Oct. 12 for the fall semester 2022. Progress surveys, whether instructors fill in through Starfish, provide critical feedback to undergraduate students on their performance in specific courses and, most importantly, alert the broader student network to the need for support.

Full-semester undergraduate course instructors receive emails inviting them to complete progress report surveys. The surveys are also accessible through Starfish by logging in and clicking on the “Outstanding Progress Surveys” link.

Progress reports show strong participation

Starfish data shows more instructors are using progress reports to provide student feedback, with a 43% completion rate University-wide in the first reporting period progress in the fall of 2022. A total of 20,012 flags and 115,356 congratulations were raised. Although the numbers weren’t as high as the record attendance in fall 2021, instructors provided significantly more feedback through kudos and flags than in spring 2022. Overall, reports on starfish progress has increased significantly since 2019.

“We know instructors have a lot on their plate and hope they see the benefits of progress reports for themselves and their students,” said David Smith, associate dean for the board and executive director of the Division of Studies at undergraduate, who oversees Starfish and advises Penn State. “Ultimately, this process aims to make life easier for instructors and improve student success by providing an easy way to both engage students in different behaviors and tap into broader support networks. to reinforce the need for change and celebrate accomplishments.”

Recent feedback from instructors at the Division of Undergraduate Studies suggests that students may be responding more favorably to flags than to email outreach. David J. Vandenbergh, professor of biobehavioral health at Penn State University Park, said, “I found that more students asked to meet to discuss better study mechanics when I asked through Starfish than when I sent a message. personalized email through Canvas.

When students don’t respond to other forms of outreach, progress reports can be a way to break through.

Mid-term progress reports come at a crucial time

The mid-semester progress report window comes at a crucial time to give students feedback on their performance, allowing them to plan courses in the future and, ideally, improve their performance in their current courses. The survey takes place at a critical time in the semester when many students are taking midterm exams. It also precedes the course registration window for spring 2023, which opens October 12 for undergraduates, and the November 11 late filing deadline.

The progress reporting schedule also enables seamless collaboration between instructors and advisors, a key benefit of progress reporting. Although they don’t normally work closely together, progress reports allow instructors and advisors to leverage each other’s expertise. Instructors benefit from Academic Advisors’ knowledge of broader academic requirements and their long-term relationships with students.

Unlike contacting a student or even their advisor via email or Canvas, raising a flag in Starfish helps activate a vast network of services, known as the Starfish Success Network. The Starfish Success Network includes academic resources such as the Morgan Academic Center, Multicultural Resource Center, and Penn State Learning. Collaboration within this network makes it easier for academic advisors, instructors, and other members of a student’s support team to address the root causes of a student’s difficulties.

Submitting a “kudo” for a student has similar benefits, not only letting the student know they are on the right track, but also identifying strengths that their support team can then leverage into the plan. academic of the student.

Technical resources for teachers and educational advisers

Instructors can find the answers to most questions in a Progress Reports FAQ section on the Starfish website.

When an instructor sends a report or kudos through Starfish, those comments generate a template message that is sent to the student’s email address. A flag will also generate a message to the student’s academic advisor and select members of a student’s personalized Starfish Success Network. See a video for instructors on how to complete a progress survey.

Academic advisors can find detailed instructions at how to manage flags in this knowledge base article. Academic advisors should also see the Flag removal FAQ section if they have any further questions.

Resources for students

Students can learn more about Starfish by watch a video tutorial on using the student dashboard and view their Starfish Success Network. Students can also watch a video tutorial on making an appointment feedback they receive through Starfish, as well as appointments for other services related to their Success Network.

The Division of Undergraduate Studies is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education.

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