Starfish for Faculty and Staff

Why Starfish

At Rhode Island College we are looking to see students succeed in a variety of ways. We believe that Starfish will allow for direct communication between students and faculty.

Starfish by Hobsons

Starfish gives you a convenient way to keep track of your students – raising flags when you observe a pattern of behavior that concerns you, ensuring that the people on campus who can intervene are aware. It also allows your students to easily book an appointment with you or someone else who can help.

Getting started is easy. Accessible through your existing systems (often your Learning Management or Student Information system), Starfish will automatically display all students that you have been assigned or are enrolled in your courses.

Starfish Information for Faculty & Staff

Some of your profile, such as your contact information, is imported from Peoplesoft.  

  1. Click on your name in the Top Navigation bar and select the Institutional Profile tab.
  2. Help students put a face to your name by using the Upload Photo link beneath your existing photo or placeholder to upload a photo. Browse to a photo file (.jpg, .png, or .gif), and then click the Upload Now button to update your photo.
  3. Edit your Phone and add an Alternate Email address to have Starfish send email to an address other than your institution email. Select the Both radio button to receive email at both accounts.
  4. Double check that the Time zone selected matches your time zone. This time zone will be used when including appointment times in emails from Starfish.
  5. Add information to the General Overview and My Biography sections to let students know a bit more about you. This information will appear to students who can make appointments with you in Starfish.
  6. Click the Submit button to save your changes.

The first time you log in to Starfish, Starfish will provide a ‘wizard’ to walk you through setting up your office hours, which enables students to schedule time with you. If you do not wish to complete the wizard just yet, check the box labeled “Show me this Office Hours Setup Page again next time I login if I don’t have any Office Hours”, and then click the Close button.

​If your office hours are different week to week, follow the “If your office hours don’t repeat weekly, click here” link.

​If your office hours recur, complete the fields presented to specify:

  1. What day(s) do you have office hours? - check the boxes for each day.
  2. What time are your office hours? - enter a start and end time.
  3. Where are they? - select the Type of setting and enter the Details in the field provided (e.g. the building and room number of your office).
  4. If relevant, provide Instructions for students who make appointments with you.
  5. Click the Set up Office Hours button to save your office hours.​

To setup additional office hours or make any changes, use the buttons on your Home or Appointments page to Add Office Hours, Add Appointment, Add Group Session, Reserve Time or use the Scheduling Wizard.

You will receive an email reminder when there is a new survey for you to complete. Each individual survey presents a student roster for one course section on whom you can raise flags.

  1. ​Select the progress survey link on your Starfish Home page to go the Progress Surveys tab. (only visible when you have active surveys). The selected survey opens, listing your students on the left, and items you may raise across the top.
  2. Check the box for each desired item/ student combination. Click the comments icon ( ) to open a text box for your notes. Click the information icon ( ) associated with an item to verify whether or not the student can view the flag and related comments.
  3. Click the Submit button only when you are finished providing feedback. The items you selected will be raised on your students when you submit the survey.

Important: Once you have submitted the survey you will not have an opportunity to add to or undo the items you raised. Use the Save Draft option if you aren’t ready to submit your survey. You may be asked to submit more than one course survey if more than one of your courses has been included in the survey plan for your institution. They will be listed in the drop-down menu on the Progress Surveys tab.

When you have a concern with a particular student, raise a flag, to-do, or referral to communicate your observations. The appropriate individuals will be automatically notified when you save the item.

  1. Click on the Students navigation item to see your list of students.
  2. Find the desired student by typing the name into the Search box.
  3. Click on the student’s name to bring up the Student Folder.
  4. Click the Flag button.

A list of flags that you have permission to raise on this student is displayed.

  1. Select the desired Flag from the list.
  2. If relevant, select a course from the Course Context, drop down list, and enter notes in the Comment box.
  3. Click the Save button.​

Notes: The Student View: indicates whether the student can view the flag and the notes you include in the Comment box. The Permissions area lists roles that have permission to view the selected flag and the notes you include in the Comment box.


Ready to Get Started?

Support Services

Make Changes to Your Notifications

How to Modify

Starfish will email you a calendar item for each appointment and a summary of flag activity for your students. Use the Email Notifications tab of your Profile to modify details of how and when you receive these notifications.

How to Get More Details On a Student


Click the hyperlink associated with the student’s name wherever you find it to reach the Student Folder. (e.g. in the student list, on an appointment, or in a progress survey).

How to Cancel Office Hours

Cancel One Occurrence

Select the day from the calendar, and hover (don’t click) over the icon associated with the Office Hours on the desired day. Click the Cancel button and select, “Just this one” from the pop up Office Hours card presented. 

Cancel a Series

From the Agenda view, hover (don’t click) over the Office Hours icon ( ) next to an office hour title. Select Cancel from the pop up Office Hours card presented. (If the day you have selected on the calendar includes an occurrence, you will have the option to cancel “Just this one” or “The entire series”)

Rhode Island College entrance
Chris DaCosta

Christopher J. Da Costa

Director of Academic Advising