- Green light: you’re doing well and on the right track.
- Yellow light: you’re a little off-track, you might want to think about x,y, or z or talk with someone.
- Red light: you’re in trouble. You probably need to reach out to someone for help.
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This essay from Civitas Learning’s Co-founder and Chief Learning Officer Dr. Mark David Milliron originally appeared in Inside Higher Ed on December 9, 2013. We are including it in the Civitas Learning Space because of its importance to our shared conversations within this community of practice. Signals has had a rough few months. Blog posts, articles, and pointed posts on social media have recently taken both the creators and promoters of the tool to task for inflated retention claims and for falling into common statistical traps in making those claims. Some of the wounds are self-inflicted — not responding is rarely received well. Others, however, are misunderstandings of the founding goals and the exciting next phases of related work. Signals is a technology application originally created by a team at Purdue University that uses a basic rules-based set of predictions and triggers — based on years of educational research and insight from the university’s faculty — and combines them with real-time activity of students in a given course. It then uses a “traffic light” interface with student that sends them a familiar kind of message: