Starfish mid-semester progress reports open through Oct. 12

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Mid-term progress reporting begins in the seventh week of classes, with surveys opening October 3 and ending October 12 for the fall 2022 semester. Progress surveys, completed by educators through Starfish, provide important feedback to undergraduates about their performance On specific courses, and most importantly, alert the broader student network of the need for support.

Instructors of full-semester undergraduate courses receive emails asking them to complete progress report questionnaires. Surveys can also be accessed through Starfish by logging in and clicking the “Pending Progress Surveys” link.

Progress report shows strong engagement

Starfish data shows that more and more coaches are using progress reports to provide feedback to students, with a 43% completion rate university-wide during the Fall 2022 early progress reporting period. A total of 20,012 flags and 115,356 faculties were raised. Although the numbers weren’t as high as the record participation for Fall 2021, the coaches provided significantly more feedback through fame and flags than in Spring 2022. The overall Starfish progress reporting has increased dramatically since 2019.

said David Smith, associate dean of consulting and executive director of the Department of Undergraduate Studies, which oversees Starfish with counseling at Penn State. “Ultimately, this process aims to make teachers’ lives easier and students more successful by providing a simple way to motivate students for different behaviors and enlisting broader support networks for students in reinforcing the need for changes and celebrating achievements.”

Recent teacher comments to the Undergraduate Studies department suggest that students may respond better to media than to email communication. “I realized I was getting more students to ask to meet to discuss better study mechanics when I asked via Starfish rather than sending an individual email via Canvas,” said David J. Vandenbergh, professor of bio-behavioral health at Penn State University.

When students do not respond to other forms of outreach, reporting on progress can be a means to success.

Mid-term progress reports come at a critical time

The mid-term progress reporting window comes at a critical time to give students feedback on their performance, allowing them to plan courses for the future and ideally improve their performance in their current classes. The survey is conducted in an important part of the semester when many students are taking mid-term exams. It also precedes the Spring 2023 course registration window, which opens October 12 for undergraduates, and the late registration deadline November 11.

The timing of progress reports also allows for seamless collaboration between coaches and advisors, an essential feature of progress reports. Although they may not normally work closely together, progress reports allow coaches and counselors to benefit from each other’s expertise. Educators benefit from academic advisors’ knowledge of broader academic requirements and their long-term relationships with students.

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

Introducing KUDO to the student has similar benefits, not only informing the student that they are on the right track but also identifying strengths their support team can build upon in the student’s academic plan.

Technical resources for coaches and academic advisors

Teachers can find answers to most questions in the Progress Report FAQ section of the Starfish website.

When the teacher sends a mark or mention via Starfish, this feedback creates a message template that is sent to the student’s email. Science will also create a letter to the student’s academic advisor and select members from the Starfish Student Success Network. Watch a video for teachers on how to complete the progress survey.

Academic advisors can find detailed instructions on how to manage scores in this knowledge base article. Academic advisors should also check out the Frequently Asked Questions section about the Mark Survey if they have other questions.

Resources for students

Students can learn more about Starfish by watching a video tutorial on using the Student Dashboard and viewing their Starfish Success Network. Students can also watch a video tutorial on how to make an appointment about the feedback they receive through Starfish, as well as appointments for other services related to their Success Network.

The Department of Undergraduate Studies is part of undergraduate education at Penn State.