Notations are ways in which users can communicate information about a student to one another through Beacon.  This information will help to provide members of the Success Network a comprehensive picture of a student's experience both inside and outside the classroom.  There are 3 types of notations available: Alerts, Updates, and Encouragements.


Alert.png   Alerts

Alerts are the most significant notation type because they have a direct effect on how the student is presented to advisor users of the site.  The more Alerts that a student has, the more prominent their profile appears to advisors, elevating them to a higher risk status.  Alerts should be used when the information is directly relevant on the student's outcomes. Examples would be:

  • Midterm warning
  • Academic probation
  • Lack of social fit
  • Ill family member
  • Loss of financial support
  • Discussion of leaving campus

Alerts have two states:

Open: open alerts represent information that has been identified about a student but that has not yet had an intervention documented in the system.

Lowered: lowered alerts represent an alert that has been attended to and documented by a member of the campus community.


Update.png     Updates 

Updates allow Success Network members the ability to create and share a note about a student that may be interesting although not particularly impactful on the student's or institution's desired outcomes.  An example may be a peer mentor's reflection of how a face-to-face meeting went with the student with a list of the topics that they spoke about.  Other examples would be:

  • Change of major
  • Transition
  • Career/internship discussion
  • General meeting notes

Encouragement.png    Encouragements

Encouragements are a mechanism for members of the Success Network to provide positive, strategy-focused feedback to students to help them feel recognized and supported in their academic journey. Rooted in research around Growth Mindset, Encouragements help students continue to explore their learning styles and techniques.

Encouragements have pre-defined types (or categories) that correspond with growth-oriented strategies:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Active Participation
  • Craftsmanship
  • Innovative Approach
  • Mentoring
  • Positivity
  • Quality of Effort
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Other

Encouragements also have a slightly different set of audience rules.  Rather than the series of options that are afforded under the other types of notations, Encouragements are simplified to either be set as private (only the author and the student) or all (the entire success network that is connected to the student).

Below is an example email that a student would receive for an Encouragement.


Notation Categories

When a user is creating an alert or update for a student within their network, they have the ability to tag the alert/update with a category.  Within Notations reporting, administrators have the ability to filter the report by one or more categories.  An institution can have 20 active categories at a time.  

Based on your review of the site and your institution's use the previous year, you may want to update your active Notation Categories. Categories that are no longer being used can be moved to an inactive status.

Creating a Notation Category

  1. Log into Beacon as an administrator
  2. Click on "Settings"
  3. Select "Notation Categories"
  4. Click the Blue plus sign in the middle of the page
  5. Type the name of the category you would like to create
  6. Click "Save"


How to Create a Notation

Notations can be created in many different areas.

  • On the Beacon home page
  • On a student's profile page
  • Within the Faculty Experience
  • From the Notation Widget (embedded on another website)

Notation Reporting

To review your institution's use of notations, once you’ve logged into Beacon, select "Reports".  Under that tab, select "Notation".  You’ll be able to run reports of the top 10 categories, along with the top 10 most active Success Network Members.  You’ll be able to filter by specific categories, as well as specific date ranges.


Notation metrics are also available by selecting "Reports" and then selecting "Metrics".  On this report notation activity will be shown for your institution as well as the top 10 students by page view or by notation count.


Additional details can be viewed and exported from the Notation Management page.

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