Classhack: Starfish Kudos

starfishOur college has implemented Starfish Retention Solutions, an online system designed to enhance advising and student success. Starfish offers the opportunity to create “Kudos” for individual students in each of my classes. Initially, I assigned a Kudo to each student who earned an “A” on a big exam. Student response was remarkably positive, with verbal and email thanks from recipients. More recently, I have used the “Showing improvement” Kudo for students who have made significant progress but may not yet have reached the upper tier of performance. These students seem to be even more pleased to receive the encouragement, perhaps because their efforts aren’t as frequently acknowledged.

Why do Kudos work? Students are surprised to find  little goodies in their inboxes. The messages allow them to own something of value. Above all, the praise offers convincing evidence that they are meeting an achievable challenge.

It takes only a few moments to enter the Kudos after each major assessment, as Starfish is easily accessible via BlackBoard. So far, I have only used the ready-made messages, but I plan to come up with some more  original and personal versions for next term. Have you tried assigning Kudos yet? How did your students respond?


2 comments on “Classhack: Starfish Kudos

  1. Cathy Hunt says:

    I enjoy posting Kudos early in the semester to students who I sense “could go either direction.” Things like “great job posting your assignments before the due date” and “good work on that online lab” for students who are not particularly wowing me away with their scores seems to raise their bar and keep them in the game. I certainly do get positive and enjoyable responses.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience with Starfish, Cathy. I am definitely going to follow your example. You always have the best tips, so don’t be shy about sharing them with us!

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