If you are interested in a demo of Starfish then please raise a ticket through Imperial ASK ICT or send an email to ask@imperial.ac.uk to request this. If your department would like to pilot Starfish, the application will have to be triaged by the governance board and a pilot date set.

As soon as you are ready to start the pilot, the Starfish project team and user group can give you tips on how to best introduce Starfish to students and staff.

The steps for bringing a new department on to Starfish is:

  • Demo
  • Board agreement
  • Requirements analysis
  • Alignment to processes/permissions etc. (iterative process)
  • Blackboard courses check for compliance with Learning Technologist
  • Data templates completed
  • Necessary groups created
  • Additional roles needed?
  • Communicate new attribute filter values to Starfish
  • OSS/SOV extracts: Add new department
  • Blackboard ORG created and students/staff added to it
  • TEST ready
  • PROD ready
  • Blackboard filters updated and LIVE
  • Communication to staff/students and Training
  • Pilot start
  • Go Live (usually next term)

 Some major challenges

  • Merge Departmental processes/relationships/groups/roles structure to the Starfish (College-wide) structure with as minimal impact and as much homogeneity as possible
  • Collect the necessary student/staff/tutorial relationships data
  • Get staff’s buy in.

Key people

Departmental senior user – to act as the liaison between the department, the user group, and help align the processes. Usually one of: Senior Tutor / Academic Tutor / Administrator manager.
Departmental senior pastoral role – to champion the system internally. Usually the Senior/PG Tutor.
Department Head – to champion the system internally.
Board representative – to champion the department on the Starfish board. Usually the Faculty Operating Officer if already on the board.

The Data Starfish uses

The data consumed by Starfish fall into 4 major categories (remember that a ‘course’ in starfish, is a module to the College):

  • Student information (OSS/Blackboard data, transcripts, student/staff photos) – automatic feed
  • Student/staff enrolments to courses (Students to Course Teachers and GTAs via courses) – automatic feed
  • Student/staff relationships (Students to Personal Tutors, Senior Tutors, Director of Studies, Administrators etc.) – provided by the department
  • Student/staff enrolments to groups (personal tutorials, academic tutorials, project groups etc.) – provided by the department

An .xls template will be provided by ICT.

Starfish feeds
The Blackboard course IDs will need to follow the standard College convention:

If the courses (modules) are coming from DSS then:
DSS – <2 letter Department code> <course year> _ <course code> – <Academic_Year>
Eg: DSS-BE1_HBIA-14_15

If created directly in Blackboard then:
COURSE – <2 letter Department code> <course year> _ <course code> – <Academic_Year>

Any additional groups (academic/subject tutorials, project groups) are created directly in Starfish and their IDs will need to follow the following convention:
SIS – <2 letter Department code> <study year> – <1 letter type of group, eg T = Turorial, L=Lab, P=Project> GRP <group number/identifier> – <Academic Year>
Eg: SIS-CH1-TGRP12-14_15

In any case, the above will need to be discussed and agreed with ICT and your Learning Technologist, prior to implementation.