We use Starfish for our tutoring program and have been for about 3 years now. Unlike Joe, our center is primarily appointment based, so the system works well for us. Like any program, there are the occasional technical or human errors, but overall the scheduling is effective, and students seem to pick it up rather quickly. Students are connected to the tutors through their courses and a separate portal is available for our writing center, since we will review a paper for any subject area. Starfish also has a “Services” tab that provides a list of tutors by name and their schedules. This works well for students that would prefer to work with a specific tutor, since the link via course randomly assigns students to a qualified tutor.
Our institution currently utilizes two referral flags for tutoring and supplemental instruction. Our director and I reach out to the students when they are referred to make that personal connection. This system hasn’t been utilized to its fullest capacity across campus (and many instructors will simply refer by word of mouth), so currently the two of us can handle the referrals that come through.
Starfish has really helped with our data collection process as well. Our tutors record outcome reports for their appointments that summarize the session. These reports also can also record if a student was late or if the student missed an appointment. Starfish can generate its own data reports as well, and with a bit of editing in Excel, I can sort out information like total appointments, unique visitors, and visitation trends.
If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to try to answer them. I’ve only been in my role for a year now, so I’m still learning a bit of the ins-and-outs of Starfish.
Assistant Coordinator of Tutoring Services
Student Center 109B
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We attempted to implement Starfish last week for our tutoring but ran into a glitch. The Starfish system will probably work well if you have a tutor appointment based model. We have a lab based model for our Math Lab and Writing Studio. When we tried to check students into the system, it was assigning each student to the same person who checked them in at the front desk. This created a problem because it was assigning multiple appointments to the front desk person and to start a meeting and end a meeting, you had to have different start times and end times for whoever checked them in otherwise it shows up as a conflict in the system. Plus, it would not accurately reflect the time they spend in the lab. This does not work for us, so we had to go back to our old tracking system.
We plan to use Starfish for our Peer Mentoring which should work, but Hobsons needs to improve the software to allow for an entity such as a math lab or writing lab to accept multiple people. I am waiting to hear back from our staff who is implementing Starfish throughout our campuses. They were going to contact other Institutions and Hobsons to see if there is a work around. I think the advising component of the software is robust but the tutoring component could use some better programming.
From: Open Forum for Learning Assistance Professionals [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Paniccia, Loreta
Sent: Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:00 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Starfish and tutoring
Hi all! We have successfully implemented Starfish on our campus for early alert and it is working very well. We now want to introduce the Tutoring component for increased tracking and communication. Please share if you have any experience with Starfish and tutoring and are willing to be a guide for us as we proceed.
Thanks in advance!
Chair, Learning Assistance Department
Coordinator, Tutoring Program
SUNY Broome Community College
1017 Front Street
Binghamton, NY 13902
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