Web-Based Early Warning System

Instructors of freshmen students are asked to assess their students' progress and let them and their academic advisors know, via a web report in MAP-Works, if their performance is satisfactory or unsatisfactory. 

Early Warning feedback is no longer collected via PAWS.

A faculty member can identify students as High Risk or Low Risk, enter a preliminary overall grade, and recorded absences. If "High Risk" is entered, the faculty member may indicate that a student's risk is based upon attendance, assignment, quiz/exam, or participation. Because this information is accessible to academic advisors, the faculty member may also add additional comments to assist the academic advisor in working with the student to improve their performance in the course.

See the Fall 2015 Early Warning Memo issued by the Provost's Office.

Early Warning System Feedback Instructions

Frequently Asked Questions about the Early Warning System
What students are eligible to receive feedback on their performance via the Early Warning System?
The Early Warning System provides a mechanism for instructors to provide feedback for these populations of students:
  • Any student at freshmen or sophomore standing
  • Any new transfer student
  • Students at any academic level who are enrolled in the University via the Academic Opportunity Center (AOC)
  • Students at any academic level who participate in the Life Impact Program
  • Students at any academic level who are classified as Lawton Scholars
  • Students at any academic level who are living in University Housing
  • Students at any academic level who are in a developmental math course
  • Select students who have earned university scholars
As a faculty member, how will I know if I have Early Warning-eligible students in my classes?
You will need to log into MAP-Works and view your rosters for Early Warning-eligible students in your classes.  See the Entering Academic Updates  document for more information.

As an advisor, how will I know if I have Early Warning-eligible students in my caseload?
You will need to log into MAP-Works and create a filter to view only students with Early Warnings on your caseload. See the Entering Academic Updates document for more information.

When can instructors begin entering Early Warning feedback?
Instructors can begin entering Early Warning feedback as early as the fourth week of classes.

What is the deadline for instructors to enter Early Warning feedback?
All feedback must be entered no later than the end of the eighth week of classes.

How can I involve my teaching assistants in entering the Early Warning feedback?
In order for teaching assistants to enter Early Warning feedback, they need to be assigned as instructors on the graded (lecture) portion of the course. Contact your departmental schedule builder and request that they be added as instructors with an “Instructor Role” of TA and “Access” of Grade. TA’s assigned to the graded (lecture) portion of the course will then be able to enter feedback from that graded course section (not through the non-graded sections). TAs should be careful to only enter feedback for those students with whom they have had contact.

Do students have access to comments entered by instructors?
Yes, comments entered within the system are viewable by the student.  Instructors are encouraged to enter comments as these provide the most valuable feedback to students regarding academic performance.  Academic advisors are also able to use these comments to start conversations with students about the early warnings.  Instructors should write comments in a manner suitable for the student to review.

What methods can I use to assess student performance in the first few weeks of class?
Assessment information might include attendance, performance on quizzes/exams, participation in class discussions, etc. The Center for Instructional and Professional Development (CIPD) has posted suggestions for ways to assess student progress in small and large classes alike on their website.

Why is the Early Warning System deadline so early in the term?
UWM’s goal is to identify and connect with students who exhibit difficulty and/or disengagement very early in the term—before midterm grades/exams are historically calculated, processed, and disseminated—representing a more proactive alert system. By providing an early feedback mechanism, based on student behavior and/or performance during the first 4-5 weeks of class (e.g., students who miss class regularly, who are chronically tardy, who consistently fail to turn-in their assignments, or who rarely are prepared for planned class activities), we hope to be able to intervene with students in time to positively influence their performance in the course or even to help them successfully drop the course. Waiting until the traditional midterm/eight-week point often means that it is too late for a student to successfully turn their performance around and also means that they are beyond the allowable drop date for courses.