Starfish is a tool that provides an efficient way to quickly offer coordinated feedback and support to all undergraduate students. Ultimately, this technology platform aims to do the following:

  1. Ensure students receive timely feedback regarding their academic performance in their courses
  2. Alert academic advisors and other UNCG support staff of students who may need additional support or intervention to be academically successful
  3. Build a robust data warehouse for assessing UNCG’s collective student success and retention efforts

There are two components of Starfish that we use here at UNCG:

  • Starfish EARLY ALERT
  • Starfish CONNECT

Starfish Early Alert enables faculty to alert students of their individual progress in their respective courses. While feedback is valuable throughout the semester, UNCG coordinates institution-wide feedback efforts via the completion of Academic Status Reports (ASR) at the following times each semester:

  • Starfish Early Alert: 3rd-week Academic Status Report – Early feedback, even a few weeks into the semester, helps students adapt their study strategies and develop their academic skills to maximize opportunities for improvement over the duration of the term.
  • Starfish End of Term: 11th-week Academic Status Report – While student academic performance is unlikely to change in the last few weeks of the semester, continued feedback helps students plan for their final grades, work with academic advisors to prepare necessary appeals, and make course schedule adjustments for the upcoming term.

NOTE: Faculty who teach minimester “part of term” courses following a more abbreviated semester will be prompted to complete a 3rd week ASR.

Through the Starfish Early Alert platform, there are three main tracking items that can be raised by faculty for students.

  • Flags – raised to make students aware of concerns their instructors have based on their current performance   
  • Kudos – used to send congratulatory messages to students for accomplishments in a course 
  • Referrals – intended to connect students to an academic support service or campus resource

Starfish EARLY ALERT: Workflow

Faculty often have questions about what occurs after they have raised flags, kudos, or referrals for their students. The information below shows the communication and outreach that is triggered once specific Starfish tracking items have been raised.

  • Faculty Feedback is provided in the form of a flag, kudos, or referral for a student. Faculty are able to raise flags, kudos, and referrals manually for a student or through completing an ASR.
  • Student Notifications are sent for all academic flags, kudos, and referrals via email to a student’s UNCG email, and contain the verbatim comments faculty have included. Please note students are not notified of Personal Concern, Distributive behavior or Academic Integrity Concern flags raised for them.
  • Advisor and Support Staff “Close the Loop” is the process academic advisors and support staff members use when they contact students in their caseloads who have Starfish flags. Advisors and support staff are able to “close the loop” within the Starfish platform by clearing a flag and/or adding a comment when they have valuable information to share with the original flag raiser. 

Starfish CONNECT is a communication tool that allows faculty, academic advisors, and support network members to add office hours and maintain meeting notes for student appointments.

Syncing capability between Starfish and iSpartan calendars ensures there is no double booking or overlap in commitments for UNCG faculty and staff, and allows students to easily view appointment availability and schedule meetings based on their schedule.

Many UNCG departments and advising centers currently use Starfish CONNECT department-wide. These include:

If your department or advising center would like to use Starfish CONNECT for managing student appointments and meeting notes, please reach out to Devonne Gaddy, Early Alert & Intervention Coordinator, at ([email protected]) to learn more about how Starfish CONNECT can benefit you and your work!

The resources below will assist you as a faculty member, advisor, or support staff member in navigating through the Starfish platform. Click on the relative topic to learn more about different Starfish components and to access helpful how-to guides.

Starfish Tracking Items 

Getting Started 

Creating and Managing Office Hours and Appointments

Viewing Student Information

Providing Feedback 

Visit our Starfish Support page for up-to-date Starfish news and features.