Welcome to the Student Progress Dashboard

The University has created a new Dashboard which shows students how much of their summative assessment they have completed, what their progress looks like and how this attainment compares to the goals that students can (optionally) set for themselves in their current Part and academic year.

This page contains a range of supporting material.

The short 4 minute video, ‘Introducing the Dashboard’, shows staff how to access and navigate the Dashboard pages. The file ‘Explaining your Dashboard’ outlines exactly what each figure or chart is showing. The FAQs, at the end of the page, provide detailed responses to a range of key questions.

Introducing the Dashboard (4 minute video)

Explaining Your Dashboard (word document)

Academic Tutor Experiences of the Dashboard (4 minute video)

FAQs

The Dashboard is a series of screens with a variety of charts within RISIS which show students core information about their progress in their current Part for the current academic year. The Dashboard shows students how much of their summative assessment they have completed, what their progress looks like visualised into a series of graphics and how this attainment compares to the goals that students can (optionally) set for themselves.

The Dashboard shows:

-The running average in the Part so far, and in the current academic year, weighted according to the value of each piece of assessment

-How much assessment, weighted according to value, has been completed in the Part so far

-Individual assessment marks received in the Part so far showing in chronological order on a bar graph and in a table which can be ordered as required

-The degree to which individual assessment marks have exceeded, met or missed the student’s own target

-The full set of overall module marks in the Part so far, as a bar graph, how much assessment has been completed in each module and attainment colour coded against student goals

-Individual submodular assessment marks for each credit-bearing element within each module, as a bar graph colour coded against student goals

-A table showing additional information for each individual piece of assessment including the type of submission, mark and weighting within the module

It is important to note that the Dashboard only draws on summative marks (those that are used to calculate the overall mark for the Part). It also only focuses on the marks that are achieved in the current Part (Foundation year, Part 1, 2, 3, 4 or Postgraduate Taught year) and in the current academic year. In addition, students should still reflect carefully on individual assessment marks and make absolutely sure that they also understand the progression and classification rules that apply to their particular programme. This information can be found by looking at the relevant Programme Specifications here.

The Dashboard was launched to staff in late September 2019 and it will be available to students from early November 2019. This is a staggered implementation because it will allow Academic Tutors to familiarise themselves with the system before they use it with their tutees. All academic staff have access to a suite of training materials. Links and presentations have been made available to all academic and student-facing Professional Services staff from September 2019.

The vast majority of foundation, undergraduate and taught postgraduate students are expected to have access to their own assessment information on the Dashboard. The new platform will not become available for a small number of students because they either have no, or very few summative marks, such as postgraduate research students, or because their individual assessment marks are not available in RISIS, such as those enrolled on Degree Apprenticeships.

The Dashboard is embedded within RISIS. Students should click on the ‘Information’ page on RISIS and then to the ‘Programmes and Modules’ tab. Student will then be able to see the link to access their Dashboard in the dedicated container, alongside other areas of content with information related to their study, such as their programme, their modules, their marks, and their programme specs. The Dashboard container will provide them with two links-one to view their Dashboard and the other to set the range for their goals, if they opt to use this feature.

The Dashboard can be used by a range of staff who provide support to students. All Academic Tutors can access their own tutee’s data on the Dashboard. They can quickly retrieve and scroll through the records of each tutee via a tabulated list in the ‘My students’ table. Academic staff can also access data relating to a broader range of students, through the ‘Tutor Card’. This access is available for academic staff alongside Study Advisors, some Programme Administrators, Student Support Coordinators, Student Advice and Support Managers, Disability Advice Officers and Welfare Officers.

From September, the Dashboard is available for colleagues using Eduroam or who have connected to the UoR network using a cable or VPN. Staff will be able to access the Dashboard, using any kind of internet connection, on or offsite, from early November.

Academic staff, who are also Academic Tutors, should click on ‘Student administration’, look for the ‘My Students’ container and click on ‘My students’. Academic staff can simply view all of their tutees or filter by programme group (e.g. all, foundation, pre-sessional, visiting students, undergraduates, Malaysia undergraduates, postgraduate taught, PGCE), by year of study or by students status (e.g. current, provisional, suspended, withdrawn or all). The generated list allows Academic Tutors to select either the Tutor card or Dashboard for each of their tutees.

Non-academic support staff, and academic staff who wish to access the records of students who are not their tutees, should go to the main RISIS ‘Student administration’ page, look in the ‘Student information’ box, click on ‘Tutor card’ and retrieve an individual student’s details. At the ‘Module Marks’ area of the Tutor card page, there will be a link to click on ‘Student Progress Dashboard’. This will open the Dashboard in a new tab.

The Dashboard has been designed to encourage students to engage and self-reflect on their own progress over time by visualising their attainment data available on RISIS and by showing this attainment against their own goals. It also supports the new Academic Tutorial System, by providing more assessment data to Tutors, and making that data easily accessible to help enhance staff-student conversations, especially around progress and the student’s own performance goals. These conversations, together with additional information on the new Guidance and Feedback tabs, will encourage and support students to think more about the progress being illustrated by the Dashboard, and to work towards improving or maintaining that attainment by actively identifying measures that could help-for example, increasing their engagement in feedback or seeking additional academic or pastoral support. For further staff information on the Academic Tutorial System please click here. For further student information please click here.

When a student uses the Dashboard a goal setting screen will be available for students to complete. This is entirely optional. It asks students to outline a particular mark or a range of marks which they would like to achieve across their individual pieces of assessment, overall module and Part marks. The students will also be asked to decide and indicate if they would be happy to share this information with staff. The Dashboard then uses their goal-setting and goal-sharing data to update the Dashboard by colour-coding the charts to show whether a student has achieved this goal. If a student chooses not to use this feature, the charts will show in grey. The Dashboard view for staff would also be coloured in grey when a student has not set up a goal, or if the student has set a goal but has not shared their goal range with staff. If a student has set a goal range, and has declared that they are happy to share their goals with staff, then the staff view of the student’s Dashboard charts would instead be colour-coded to match the student’s colour-coded view of the Dashboard charts, reflecting this goal range information.
Students can return to the goal setting screen at any time to amend their goals if required and are encouraged to discuss expectations and goals with their Academic Tutor. A short video exploring goal setting is available to students.

In most cases, marks are received by RISIS shortly after individual pieces of assessment are returned to students throughout the academic year. These marks would normally become available within an estimated period of ten days, but there may be specific circumstances that delay availability on some occasions. Once RISIS has this information it will display marks in Tutor Cards. The Dashboard draws directly on this information and will update overnight.

It is important to note that the Dashboard only shows marks achieved by students in their current Part, in the current academic year. It does not show marks achieved in previous Parts or previous academic years, including those achieved by students taking a Part over the course of two or more academic years, such as part-time students. These are still available for students to view on the sub modular information pages on RISIS and relevant staff to view within Tutor Cards on RISIS. Both the student sub modular information area and Tutor Cards on RISIS also contain much more information about any specific circumstances which might have impacted the mark, such as late penalties.

The Dashboard view will refresh in November each year. Returning students will be able to view marks for their previous academic year on the Dashboard until this time. After November, the current Part and year information will be available and marks will start to show as they are received in RISIS during the new academic year. The Dashboard will be available to staff and students all year but do note that although still accessible, all data will be frozen and will not change during the exam period between early May and early July and also during the resit period from late July to early September.

There are a range of different marks scenarios which have been considered very carefully. Some of the most common are listed below.

-Pass/fail module-these are shown as pass/fail on each bar graph and are taken into account in the assessment completion progress chart but because the mark does not contribute to the overall Part mark, no value is included in the running Part weighted average lightbulb.

-Some marks are capped for classification purposes. These are not show as capped on the Dashboard. The marks displayed is the given mark.

-Where marks are ‘held’ (for example if there is a decision pending on a student request to be ‘Deemed not to have sat’ due to extenuating circumstances) the words ‘waiting for confirmation’ will display on the Dashboard.

-Some students may have submitted an extenuating circumstances form which relates to a piece of assessment or may have a late penalty applied. Neither of these scenarios are currently indicated on the Dashboard but much more information is still available, for staff, on the student Tutor Card and, for students, in their sub module marks screens on RISIS.

-In exceptional circumstances, some students may have been awarded an exemption or DNS (‘Deemed not to have sat’) against a particular piece of assessment. This will be indicated on the Dashboard by the words ‘Exemption/DNS’.

-Some students start their studies after the standard entry point in September/October. Their assessment data will show, as normal, as long as all modules run within the academic year.

-Some modules adopt a ‘best of’ approach to calculating assessment marks where only the best marks from a selection of assessment are counted. For example, the best 3 marks from a possible 5 are used to calculate the module mark. The other 2 are discarded. In these cases, all received marks will show in summary tables. Discarded marks will show as having a zero weighting. The overall module mark, the running part weighted average and the assessment completion progress circle will not include discarded marks because of this zero weighting.

-Some programmes require students to achieve certain marks in individual modules or across a range of modules. These requirements are outlined in programme specifications but are not indicated in the Dashboard. It is important that students understand that although the Dashboard might show them a particular running Part weighted average, they will still need to meet any additional programme requirements.

-Missing marks are shown as an empty space. If a student has a zero mark, the Dashboard will show a zero figure and use the words ‘Mark=0%’.

-Non-credit bearing modules are excluded.

-Students on a Study Abroad or placement year will be able to see a pass/fail for their modules or a specific mark if it is available.

The design of the Dashboard has been thoroughly reviewed by an external disability and accessibility consultant. We have focused particularly on usability and choice of colour palate for users who experience challenges differentiating between shades. Future updates of the supporting software will provide additional accessibility features. In particular, some staff or students may encounter difficulties using screen readers with some of the graphs included within the Dashboard, depending on which type of software is in use. A resolution to this will be provided by the company we are working with to provide the Dashboard by March 2020. If any students or staff experience difficulties in terms of accessibility, please contact the Disability Advisory service (DAS) at disability@reading.ac.uk.

Students have been involved in this project from the start. Student representatives have been included in the Project Board, which has been heavily involved in all aspects of Dashboard design and delivery. Student focus groups were also central to the initial design of the Dashboard. Feedback was sought during student experience workshops and students were involved throughout the testing phase in the Spring and Summer 2019. The project team has worked with RUSU representatives who have reviewed the content of the Dashboard and advised the project team throughout. In addition, one of the EMA Programme’s full-time Graduate Partners, a 2018 University of Reading Graduate, has played a central role in design and delivery of the Dashboard including requirements gathering, technical development, extensive testing and liaison between the University and supplier throughout the entire project.

The design and content of the Dashboard has been developed collaboratively through a constructive consultative process. Academic and professional colleagues sit on the Workstream Board, overall EMA Programme Board and all of the University committees and communities of practice in which the team have presented, explored and discussed the Dashboard. In addition, all of the EMA Programme’s seconded Academic Partners have had consistent input into the Dashboard throughout the design period. Academic and professional colleagues beyond these groups have also been consulted in one-to-one meetings, in which requirements have been identified and new ideas drawn back into Dashboard design.

Staff in Support Centres, Henley Help Desk, the ISLI Office (or the Student Services team for colleagues at the University of Malaysia) can help students and colleagues who may have queries surrounding accessing the Dashboard, moving between charts or interpreting the data showing. If Support Centre staff cannot provide an answer, they are able to contact the RISIS team via the RISIS helpdesk, using the new category ‘Student Dashboard queries’. These queries will then be diverted to the EMA or SIS Team for further investigation.

We welcome any feedback that you might like to provide. Please contact Emma Mayhew, Academic Director of the EMA Programme, on e.a.mayhew@reading.ac.uk.