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Starfish Faculty FAQs

Getting Started

What is Starfish?
Marymount University has partnered with Starfish as a  means to reach out and support students. Starfish is a company that specializes in student retention solutions.

What is the first thing that I should do that can help me learn more about Starfish?
It is recommended that you view the short video clips that are posted on the website. Then you may want to fill out your profile and appointment preferences.
 
How do I log into Starfish?
In order to access Starfish you need to sign into Blackboard or through the Marymount Portal by clicking on the Open My Blackboard link. Once you are signed into Blackboard, you can click on the Starfish tab on the top menu bar.

What is a faculty member's role and what should faculty expect from Starfish?
The faculty member's role is to set up their profile, office hours, and raise flags either manually or by completing the surveys. Faculty can expect that students may schedule an appointment to meet with them about their flags; however, this does not mean that every student will make an appointment.
 
If I have a question or concern about the Starfish system what should I do?
The first thing that you should do is click on the help button on the top right hand corner of the homepage in Blackboard. You will notice that there is another frequently asked questions page that may answer your question. If you do not find the specific answer to your question you can also email Starfish@marymount.edu

What information should I provide when I email Starfish@marymount.edu?
Please clearly describe the question or concern that you have. Also, remember to include the course(s) and sections that you are concerned about. If you are concerned about a student please indicate his/her first name, last name and his/her ID#.

About "Flagging"

Who can flag a student?
Every instructor at Marymount University can flag a student. The "Never Attended" flag survey will be sent out the second week of school and the "Early Alert" Survey will be sent out the fifth week of school. Instructors can also manually raise flags at any point throughout the semester.
 
When should instructors flag students?
Faculty should flag students in Starfish when they have an academic concern about a student. If the student appears to be in crisis, the concern should be immediately directed to the Dean of Students as opposed to being flagged in Starfish.
 
What happens when students are flagged?
When a student is flagged, his or she gets an automatic email sent from Starfish. This is an email specific to the course and flag that was raised. The email lets the student know that the instructor raised the flag because he or she cares about them and wants to ensure the student's success. The email outlines several campus resources that can help and directs students to a comprehensive list as well. Flags also appear in a student's Starfish tab in Blackboard.
 
Who will be able to see that I raised a flag about a particular student?
The student, student’s academic advisor, the Retention Coordinator (Carolyn Juba), and the outreach team will be able to see that you raised a flag about this student.

 Why is it important that I complete the surveys that are sent to me in a timely manner?
 It is very important that all instructors complete the survey in a timely manner. This information helps the Marymount community to be able to reach out and help our students. Therefore,  when you receive a second reminder email a list of names will be sent to the associate deans to inform them which faculty members have not submitted their surveys. If you do not submit your surveys after the second attempt you will receive a third email and the list of instructors who did not complete their surveys will be submitted to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.  

After I raise a "Never Attended" Survey flag what happens next?
If a student receives two "never attended" flags Carolyn Juba will email the student and will make a note in the Starfish system. If the student is an international student that office will reach out to the student. If the student starts attending the class, please remember to clear the flag.

After I raise a flag manually or complete the Early Alert Survey what happens next?
 If the student receives two flags their academic advisor should contact the student. If the student receives three flags someone from the Student Outreach Team will contact the student. If the student receives six or more flags the Retention Coordinator will contact the student.

Can students flag other students for non-academic reasons?
No, only instructors can raise flags.
 
Can faculty members clear a flag on a student?
Yes, they can. Review these guidelines for clearing flags.
 
How will I know when a flag has been resolved?
The member of the student outreach team will send you an email letting you know that they reached out to the student. Remember that every student receives an email with details about support services at Marymount University.

Need More Help?

My students are not displayed on the “MY Students” screen what should I do?
You should email Starfish@marymount.edu immediately. Describe the problem, and tell them your first name, last name and your ID#.

What should I do if one of my students has a question about Starfish and I am not sure how to help them?
You can refer them to look at the Starfish help screen. You can tell them that if they still have questions after reading the help screen that they can email Starfish@marymount.edu for help.   

How can I receive more training about Starfish?
You can view the short video clips and PowerPoint posted on Blackboard. You can also attend a Toolbox training. If you are interested in individual or group training sessions you can email Starfish@marymount.edu and state your name, department, and School to request a training session.

What should I do if one of my students tells me that he or she is unable to make an appointment with me?
Please encourage the student to email Starfish@marymount.edu about his/her concern. Please note that if the student is not enrolled in classes this semester he or she will not be able to see your calendar because everything in Starfish is built on relationships for a particular semester.

What can an academic advisor see in Starfish?
An academic advisor will be able to see all of their advisees in Starfish and will be able to see their flags and grades in their courses. Advisors can use the information in Starfish to help them prepare for appointments with advisees.
 
What is a faculty member's role and what should faculty expect from Starfish?
The faculty member's role is to set up their profile, office hours, and raise flags either manually or by completing the surveys. Faculty can expect that students may schedule an appointment to meet with them about their flags; however, this does not mean that every student will make an appointment.
 
How are FERPA and other student privacy concerns being addressed?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gives colleges a lot of flexibility in terms of designating campus officials that can be allowed to see portions of a student's education records. "A school may share education records, or information from education records, with anyone it has deemed a 'school official' and has determined to have a 'legitimate educational interest' in that information." Instructors can only see the flags they have raised on a student, not flags for other courses. Advisors and appropriate individuals who provide academic outreach will be able to see flags raised in all of the student's classes.  
 
How can I receive more training about Starfish?
You can view the short video clips and PowerPoint posted on Blackboard. You can also attend a Toolbox training. If you are interested in individual or group training sessions you can email Starfish@marymount.edu and state your name, department, and School to request a training session.
 
I am trying to use Starfish but it does not seem to be working. Who should I contact?
You can email your questions to starfish@marymount.edu and your questions will be addressed as soon as possible.
 
Adapted from the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s website