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Early Feedback Leads to Student Success

Mon Sep 4, 2023 at 07:30 AM

For over a decade, our campus has promoted the use of the Faculty Feedback system as a way for faculty to share an academic concern with a student and simultaneously notify the student’s academic adviser. This year, a campus team reviewed and analyzed our past practices and created an improved Early Alert System based on the latest research. The improvements are designed to increase student engagement and performance, make the process simpler and more transparent for faculty, and make outreach more manageable for campus staff. 

As an instructor, there are key and simple ways to help students achieve these five goals. For more on these five actions and concrete things you can do to increase connection and decrease stress, see the Early Alert System Faculty Role: Quick Note

The faculty strategies in the OU Early Alert system are designed to provide support to all students in your courses, but particularly those who are struggling. By providing feedback and help early in the semester, students have the opportunity to change their behaviors in time to positively affect their performance in the course. For example, 

  • Arriving on time to class, asking the instructor for help, or participating more frequently
  • Accessing campus resources, such as tutoring in the Academic Success Center or writing assistance in The Writing Center 
  • Developing new plans with their academic adviser, such as withdrawing from a course or exploring a new area of study

Thus, robust early engagement with your students through the OU Early Alert System will provide multiple opportunities for students to navigate towards success.

References and Resources 

“Early Alert Systems in Higher Education” November 2014. Hanover Research. 

Gump, S. “The Cost of Cutting Class: Attendance as a Predictor of Student Success”. College Teaching , Winter, 2005, Vol. 53, No. 1, pp. 21-26. Taylor & Francis, Ltd.

Villano, R., Harrison, S., Lynch, G. Chen, G. Linking early alert systems and student retention: a survival analysis approach. Springer Nature 2018.

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About the Author

Kristin Landis-Piwowar is the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Accreditation.  She leads and supports student success initiatives for Academic Affairs.  Kristin loves to travel and take evening/night walks with flashlights (as noted by her children).   

Amy Gould is the Student Success Administrator in the Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at OU. Amy's career has focused on developing meaningful partnerships to meet community needs, university goals, and student learning outcomes. Amy enjoys mystery novels and snowy days.

Edited and designed by Sarah Hosch, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Oakland University. Others may share and adapt under Creative Commons License CC BY-NC

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