This fall, faculty members across the University are invited to communicate with their students about their course progress using a new web-based tool from Ellucian (formerly Sungard) called Course Signals.
This multi-platform application — one of the newest and most powerful technologies available for monitoring student academic achievement — combines information from Blackboard and Banner to assess a student’s likely outcome in a course.
The system delivers the assessment as green, yellow or red signals to which the instructor can attach suggestions and information on actions the students can take to improve their success. These messages are conveyed to students through both Blackboard and email from the instructor, and to student advisers through the Course Signals web interface.
Green signal messages let students know they are right on track academically. Yellow signal messages can remind students of learning objectives and suggest steps toward improvement. Red signal messages direct students toward sources for help by providing faculty office hours, for example, or highlighting the tutoring available at the Learning Enhancement Center. Students who receive red signals will be able to access additional support through a system, designed by UT Institutional Research, linking data from Course Signals and the tutoring center’s registration, so advisers and instructors will be informed of actions these students have taken to improve their standing.
An application of Course Signals that will be tested this fall centers on the collection of academic progress data on student-athletes. In a pilot program during spring semester involving 15 courses across the University, the Athletics Department verified the efficacy of Course Signals in providing timely information on the academic standing of athletes.
This fall, Course Signals will replace a paper-based method for collecting this data, with hopes that the ready availability of this information to advisers — both in Athletics and in colleges and departments — will improve the academic success of UT student-athletes.
Faculty had the chance to learn about the system during a pilot program run last year and during training sessions offered in late spring.
Three additional sessions will be offered Thursday, Aug. 16, Monday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 23. All classes will run from 1 to 2:30 pm in Carlson Library Room 1027. Reservations required; contact Debra Shephard at Debra.Shephard@utoledo.edu.
Future training sessions for both Main Campus and Health Science Campus will be announced soon.