Creating a collaborative platform for coaching within Canvas at ELTE

In March 2021, a StudyCoach Pilot was implemented within the Faculty of Informatics of ELTE (Eötvös Loránd University). StudyCoach was added to the Canvas environment to enable coaches to engage and follow up with students and to:

  1. stimulate collaborative student-centered communication between student counselors (managers in StudyCoach), mentors (coaches in StudyCoach) and students.
  2. lower student retention at ELTE by taking targeted actions with the help of Learning Analytics in StudyCoach.


Table of contents

  About ELTE


  The importance of StudyCoach for ELTE


  The StudyCoach 4-step cycle


  How did ELTE implement the 4-step cycle?

            Step 1: Identify

            Step 2: Zoom in

            Step 3: Engage

            Step 4: Collaborate


About Eötvös Loránd University Hungary (ELTE)

ELTE is the oldest university in Hungary operating continuously since its foundation in 1635 and is considered the largest scientific establishment in Hungary. 

The aim of the Faculty of Informatics is to teach and train experts and teachers in the fields of informatics and cartography. Students graduating from the Faculty of Informatics are able to meet the challenges of the 21st-century information society and develop the infrastructure of informatics. 


The importance of a consistent and integrated coaching experience for ELTE

The ultimate goal of implementing StudyCoach was two-sided. StudyCoach was implemented to support both mentors and student counselors to identify students in need of extra attention. Mentors can then take targeted actions to achieve lower student retention within ELTE. Student counselors can work together with the responsible mentors to help students in their learning journey. 


Challenges

  • Student retention was increasing (partly due to COVID-19).
  • ELTE was missing one single platform for collaboration between students, mentors and student counselors.

Need:

  • Integrated platform in Canvas for identifying at-risk students, following up on them and taking targeted actions to help the students in their learning journeys.


Results:

  • A consistent and integrated coaching experience for both mentors and student counselors.
  • Better insight into the student behavior thanks to cross-course Learning Analytics, which can be used as a starting point to take targeted actions together with a student to stimulate study success.

The StudyCoach 4-step cycle 

StudyCoach provides coaches with superpowers by following the 4-step cycle:



How did ELTE implement the 4-step cycle? 


Step 1: Identify

At ELTE mentors come together with their students in periodical group meetings. During these meetings, mentors and students actively talk about the well-being of students. Mentors try to identify which students might possibly be at risk of retention. The behavioral indicator Submission and the Last-login of students that are displayed in StudyCoach are used by mentors as a starting point for conversation during these meetings. On top of that, the own knowledge and instinct of mentors are leading as a human interpretation of Learning Analytics is always the starting point. 


When a mentor identifies a student who is regularly missing classes, the mentor assigns a "Class Absence" label to a student in StudyCoach. The following label-groups are used at ELTE, elaborated with a representative example:


Label groupExample of labelDescription of exampleWho assigns label?
Group numbersHu_20_1Shows which group the student belongs to in the Hungarian programStudent counselors
Students needing attentionClass absenceStudent is not attending classes three times in a row. It is advised to contact students who are about to reach the limit
Mentor
Class absence_SolvedStudent has been present in the mentor class for two consecutive weeksMentor
Talent indicatorsContact personThe student is the contact person of the mentor class to the Student Support CentreMentor
Action labelsAppointment scheduled
An appointment is scheduled for individual consulting, and investigating which help is necessaryMentor
Student statusPassiveA student has a passive student status for the upcoming semesterStudent counselor



 Tip: When implementing labels, it is important to clearly communicate to all parties what the exact meaning of these labels is, when the label is supposed to be assigned and who is responsible to assign the label. This process was executed carefully at ELTE: the label groups were explained during the training, the mentors received an overview of the labels with the explanations and mentors were actively approached by student counselors to talk about using the labels and the practical workability of the labels. Shortly, all parties were involved in both the implementation and the evaluation of the usage of the labels. Moreover, a clear distinction was made between the responsibility of assigning the practical labels (e.g. Group numbers by student counselors) and didactic labels (e.g. Students needing attention by mentors). 


Step 2: Zoom in

When the mentor has identified the regular class-absence of the student, the mentor meets with the student counselor. Together they discuss the situation of the specific student and dive into the student information. They think of follow-up steps for the mentor to execute. 

Step 3: Engage

The mentor starts using the Action labels. The mentor plans a meeting with the student via the notes. 
When this is arranged, the mentor adds the label "Appointment Scheduled" to the student. Only the student counselor and the coach are able to see the label and know the progress being made in the guidance of the student.  

Step 4: Collaborate

After the meeting between the mentor and the student took place, the follow-up actions are registered by the mentor in StudyCoach. The student is forwarded to a Student Psychologist and this is also assigned as a label to the student. This way, the student counselor can also keep track of the progress a student is making and actions that have taken place. 

 Tip: Want to know more about the sharing of messages with certain roles? Check out the article 'Messaging & Notes'. Looking for more information on how labels work exactly. Please consult the article 'Labels'. 


  

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