‘Academic’ support: Relating to a student’s studies and work at the College (e.g. help with assignments, labs, missing classes, low grades, etc).

‘Pastoral’ (or ‘Wellbeing’) support: Relating to a student’s general well-being (e.g. help with health concerns, problems with stress, financial concerns, English language difficulties, etc).

Note: Pastoral concerns can lead to Academic concerns, and the opposite.

Action Plan: An accumulation of Tracking items (see below for the definition) but usually To-Dos. You can edit an Action plan and tailor the selection of items from the menu available.

Appointments and Group Sessions: In the ‘Appointments’ section you can setup individual Appointments as well as Group Sessions. Some advantages with these up via Starfish are that:

  • You can record the event and the ‘Outcomes’ of those meetings against the student’s folder
  • Group Sessions can be setup as recurring for a particular set of students
  • Group Sessions can be open for self-enrolment by students (also see ‘Office Hours’ below)

Course: A course in Starfish (and in Blackboard Learn) is what we call in Imperial a ‘Module’ e.g. ‘Year 1 Structural Mechanics’.

Flag: An Academic or Pastoral concern in Starfish – it requires action.

Note: Free text entry. A note can be deleted and does not require action – contrary to Flags, To-dos, and Referrals (also see best practices).

Office hours: In Starfish this is just a block of time which you define as available for your students to book appointments with you. Also see the How-to guides.

Sensitive student issue: This should be the first flag type in the list when raising a flag. As soon as it is raised, it will notify the Senior Tutor and their deputy. Most Pastoral issues are considered to be sensitive issues, and they require the highest level of privacy and confidentiality to the student.

Student folder: This is the student record in Starfish. This contains all notes, tracking items, programme details, courses being taken, student attributes, support network, support services and academic plans, and for continuing students, a transcript of studies.

‘Support Network’ and ‘Circle of Care’: ‘Support Network’ is the members of staff which are related to a student in Starfish. The ‘Circle of Care’ is the model by which we structure confidentiality and flow of information within that network (for more information see the relevant page).

Tracking item: In starfish this can be one of: Flag, To-do, Referral, Achievement – all of which can be added to a student’s folder. Tracking items cannot be deleted, only resolved or closed (flags should be eventually resolved).

Tracking tab (in the ‘Students’ area): This tab displays only the students who have a flag, or other tracking item. These can be filtered in various ways e.g. by type of flag, whether they are active or resolved etc.

Zoom In tab (in the ‘Students’ area): This tab allows you to see and filter student grades that come through Blackboard’s Gradebook.