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What is Starfish?

Starfish Retention Solutions is an early alert/kudos communication tool used by faculty to support student academic success. Working through Blackboard, Starfish enables instructors to provide praise or raise concerns regarding their students' academic performance. Referred to as "Kudos" and "Flags", these notifications are sent to the students' ECU e-mail account. A university support network has access to the notifications raised and provides outreach to students as needed. For more information about notifications raised, see Starfish Information.



Advisors and other support personnel have the ability to track notifications raised on their students. You must have a connection to a student through Starfish to see any notifications raised. For more information, please see guide below:

Getting Started - Advisor Guide

Instructors will have the opportunity to complete a course Starfish Progress Survey three times per semester. Once a survey is submitted, instructors will not be able to send notifications again through this survey method until the next survey is released. Instructors can always raise notifications through Starfish > Students > MyStudents.  

For more information, please see guides below:

Getting Started - Instructor Guide

Attendance Feature

Zoom-In Feature

Starfish Email Templates (Difficulty Notifications)

YouTube - Starfish Two Minute Tips:

Update Your Profile

How to take Attendance

Respond to a Progress Survey

How to Create Office Hours

Please note that basic information provided in these videos will help you navigate Starfish. However, these videos are not customized to each institution so your view of information may differ from the view in the video.

You can also select Help l Support in the upper right hand corner of your Starfish page for other guides and tips.

Starfish notifications will be sent to your ECU e-mail account and can be viewed on your Starfish page.

If you receive a academic difficulty notification, please take action!

  • Meet with your instructor
  • Speak with your academic advisor
  • Utilize tutoring or other support services
  • Improve your study habits
  • Attend ALL classes

Please note that NOT all instructors will be using Starfish. You may have several instructors who do NOT raise flags/kudos. Not receiving a Starfish notification does NOT indicate good/poor academic performance. You should always speak with your instructor if you are unsure of your academic status in the course.

For more information, please see guide below:

Getting Started - Student


Having Trouble? Want to learn more?

Contact: John Trifilo (trifiloj@ecu.edu) or Kelly Reddick (reddickk14@ecu.edu)