Introduction to the Early Warning System (Early Warning System)

(To download or print a PDF version of this topic, click here.)PDF File

About the Early Warning System

The Early Warning System is a tool used to communicate warnings to Students or Observers that a performance problem is beginning to appear or has become more serious. Warnings can be generated based on graded performance, late or missing course work, or attendance within the online course. The Instructor can choose to communicate a particular warning to just the Student, the Student and a parent or advisor that is assigned as an Observer, or just the Student’s Observer. In addition, the Instructor has control over the message each time a warning is communicated. The Instructor can use the default message or modify it to more accurately communicate the seriousness of the situation.

Important Information about the Early Warning System

When using the Early Warning System, please keep the following key points in mind:

  • The Early Warning System does not continuously monitor the course. The Instructor must check the Early Warning System periodically and click Refresh to discover incidents of Student performance that trigger an alert. The Early Warning System consolidates these incidents and allows the Instructor to easily report problems, the Early Warning System does not automatically detect problems and notify Students and Observers. Remember to refresh rules manually on a regular basis.
  • The System Administrator may turn off access to the Early Warning System based on policies at the institution. If the Early Warning System is on at the system-level, the Instructor may still turn it off within the course.
  • The Early Warning System keeps a log of alerts sent to users. The log is searchable and can be used to verify that a Student was alerted to a problem.

Early Warning System and the Gradebook

The Early Warning System is designed to work closely with the Gradebook. Early Warning System rules use gradebook results to create rules and create alerts to student performance based on those rules. In particular, the Early Warning System can trigger an alert based on grades recorded in the gradebook. As well, Assignments or Assessments that are not completed by the deadline may also be used to trigger an alert.

Early Warning System and the Performance Dashboard

The Performance Dashboard includes information about Early Warning System alerts. The Early Warning Column shows the number of warnings and the number of total rules that may trigger a warning. Clicking on the data in this column will open the Early Warning System. The Early Warning System column will only display if the tool is turned on in the course.