Six Kent State professors test Course Signals

Chenayle Bradford

Kent State recently launched Course Signals, a feedback program that aids student and instructor communication, in several courses this semester.

Shelley Sherwin, project manager for Information Services, said this is the first semester for the program, which is referred to as an early alert system to increase student retention and improve students’ experiences in classes. Sherwin said the signals are being used in six pilot courses:

– Roman Achievement with Brian Harvey

– FYE: First Year Experience with Joan Inderhees

– Seven Ideas that Shook the Universe with Jon Secaur

– Fashion Fundamentals with Catherine Leslie

– General Psychology with Melanie Tabak at Kent State Trumbull

– Wilderness Remote First Aid with Jeffrey Pellegrino

Coleen Santee, executive director of Information Services, said the program is designed to keep students on track throughout the semester by sending out red, yellow or green signals on Blackboard Learn with feedback messages to determine their success in the course. Red indicates a student is likely to fail the course; yellow indicates a student is struggling in the course; and green indicates a student is having success in a course.

Sherwin said the team behind the program is not sure whether Course Signals will be used in any courses during the summer terms, but it is expected to continue in the fall.

“Right now this program only gives the professor the opportunity to give feedback on class performance,” Sherwin said.

“But eventually it will allow professors to track how often students access learn to give more accurate feedback and guidance.”

Sherwin said the university has plans to expand the program to a larger group of courses in the fall semester.

Contact Chenayle Bradford at [email protected].