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Spacer Online progress reports boost faculty-student connections

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Two new, Web-based tools available to faculty this semester provide an easy-to-use means for them to give their students progress reports, beginning as early as the third to fifth week of each semester.

Housed in the Faculty Center in MyBGSU, the Early Alert tool and the Midterm Grade Report encompass all students in all classes. “This move to reporting for all students allows us to connect with them throughout their college careers, which is critical to their progress toward graduation,” said Barbara Henry, associate vice provost for advising and academic success. “This is an advance for us.

“All the research tells us that early and consistent feedback is critical to student success because it allows students time to adjust their behavior,” Henry said. “These reports provide a snapshot in time of student performance and are one of many ways in which faculty communicate with students. Given the importance of feedback to retention, this is a high-impact practice.”

“We know that students who attend class regularly and get prompt feedback from instructors are more likely to succeed in their courses. This is true for all undergraduate students, not just students in their first year,” said Catherine Cardwell, interim vice provost for academic programs. “The implementation of the new Progress Report system is one strategy among many to improve student learning and student success.”

Students will view the alerts in the Student Center “View My Grades” window, where they can see the entries immediately once posted as well as whether faculty have completed the reports or have not reported.

The Early Alert, in weeks three-five, will enable faculty to notify students if their attendance or class performance is putting them at risk. The attendance alert is checked if the student has missed two or more classes as of the report date. The performance alert is checked if the student has earned a D or lower to date. While checking for alerts, faculty may also send a personal email to students by clicking on their email address, just as in the Class Roster, Henry added.

The system provides another way “for faculty to begin the dialogue in time for students to adjust their approach,” Henry said, pointing out that “if you’re a student with a D average in your class work, midterm is too late to really turn it around.”

The second tool, the Midterm Grade, is used if students are found to be falling behind in performance by weeks six-eight. It is another opportunity for advisors to connect them with campus resources such as the various academic success centers and explain to them the importance of talking with their faculty. “It’s a great tool for academic advisors to start conversations with students,” Henry said.

Two training sessions on Early Alert and Midterm Grade will be offered. The first is from 1:30-3 p.m. Sept. 2 in 107 Olscamp Hall and by teleconference in 1011 Cedar Point Center at BGSU Firelands. The second is from 4-5:30 p.m. Sept. 3 in 113 Olscamp and 1003/1004 Cedar Point Center. Online training tutorials will also be available shortly.


 
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August 24, 2009

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