Starfish for Instructors

What Starfish Means For You

We understand that between teaching, class administration, preparation, research, and writing, your time is highly valued. Helping students is clearly a priority, but what happens when your concern for a student is beyond what you are able to tackle yourself? Starfish provides a simple and convenient way for you to report your concerns to appropriate individuals on campus while keeping you engaged in the process. 

  • Course Rosters: View all of your course rosters in one convenient system complete with contact and general information to better know the students in your class.
  • Kudos: Faculty can create "Kudos" for students throughout the semester to acknowledge their success as a student. You can inform a student of "Outstanding Academic Performance" or that they are "Showing Improvement" in your class. This positive reinforcement goes far with student moral.
  • Flags: Faculty can raise a "flag" to alert students and relevant members of the student's Success Network that they are concerned. When a "flag" is raised students and their support network will be notified immediately about your concerns. This is an effort to increase communication among faculty, students and staff members across campus.



Starfish Materials for Intructors

The getting started guide will provide information on completing some basic Starfish tasks including:

  • Setup of your profile
  • Setup of your first Office Hours block
  • Responding to a Progress Survey for students in your course(s)
  • Raising flags on one of your students

Access the Faculty and Staff Getting Started Guide for more information.

Setting Up Your Profile: For additional information access the help content on Setting up Your Profile

Early Alert: For more information on instructor expectations and directions during  access the Early Alert Getting Started and Expectations Guide for Instructors.

Completing Progress Surveys: To view instructions on completing Progress Surveys access the help content Completing Progress Surveys.

Raising Flags Outside Progress Surveys: To view instructions on how to raise ad hoc flags access the help content Raising Ad-hoc Tracking Items.

Best Practices: To view UM's best practices (when and why) for raising Flags and Kudos access the Tracking Items Best Practice Guide.

Viewing and Managing Tracking Items: For additional information access the help content on Viewing and Managing Raised Tracking Items.

UM Tracking Item Expectations and Guidelines: For University of Montana's workflow expectations and guidelines on managing Starfish "tracking items" access UM Tacking Item Expectations and Guidelines.

UM Tracking Item Communication Templates: To view the email templates students receive when a "tracking item" is raised on them, access the UM Tracking Item Communication Templates Document

Email Students: For additional information access the help content on Emailing Students.

Taking Notes: For additional information access the help content on Taking Notes in Starfish.

Notes Best Practice: For more information on note taking best practices access the UM Notes Best Practices Guidelines.

Adding and Managing Office Hours: For additional information access the help content on Adding and Managing Office Hours.

Syncing Starfish with Outlook: To view directions on synching Starfish with your Outlook Calendar access the Sync Starfish with Outlook Guide.

Updating Email Notification Preferences: For additional information access the help content on Starfish Email Preferences.

Instructors are welcome to share information on Starfish and how it will be used in the classroom. Here is an example syllabus statement:

"Starfish is an early alert system used to inform you of specific concerns and support systems in place to help you succeed in this course. If you receive an email with {STARFISH} in the subject line regarding this course it is an indication that you should come meet with me to discuss the concerns. Starfish also provides extensive options for other academic support services."

"We Care About Your Success! This course utilizes the Starfish Student Success Network. It is designed to promote student success through coordination and communication between students, instructors, and support staff. Throughout the term, you may receive emails regarding your attendance, course grades or academic performance. To benefit, it is important that you check your umontana email regularly and take the recommended actions. You may also be contacted directly by an Advisor or Campus Support Professional."

FAQ: To view frequently asked questions please access the Starfish FAQ.
To report an issue with Starfish please complete this form.