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What to know when evaluating your options for online program development

Rize’s Approach to Student Success: Creating Meaningful Environments for Instructors to Teach & Students to Thrive

Alessandra Lopez
February 21, 2023
6 mins

Student success is at the core of everything we do here at Rize. We use a data-driven approach to create a meaningful environment for instructors to teach and to ensure that every student receives the support needed to thrive in their Rize courses. This approach is designed to empower instructors to have effective and timely conversations with students, especially students who are considered at-risk.

How do we do that operationally? We provide instructor training and support so that instructors have the resources to create an optimal environment for student learning. We assess both student and instructor performance through course delivery trackers, provide student and instructor support via the Zendesk ticketing system, and issue Student Success Reports to institutions so that they can gain insight into student performance throughout the semester. Additionally, instructors reach out to struggling students on a bi-weekly cadence, and students receive a number of automated notices and reminders, should their performance or engagement wane.

How Rize Delivers on Student Success

Course Delivery Trackers

Our data-driven approach starts with our course delivery trackers that measure enrollments and grading metrics for each course throughout the semester. These trackers serve as a live dashboard that measures the “health” of each course. Based on this data, we can measure trends in average course grades over time, determine which students are at risk of not completing the course successfully, and guarantee that students are receiving graded submissions in a timely manner. 

How: We pull data from the LMS to identify the following: 

  • Student grade
  • Last course access
  • Number of zero submissions
  • Whether the student has received outreach from their instructor regarding performance
  • An At Risk Index Score

We also create an instructor performance report that includes:

  • The number of ungraded submissions
  • The average grade in the class 
  • Percentage of students who are struggling

We use this data to nudge instructors to take a proactive approach to identifying students who may be struggling with their courses. We also can identify instructors who could benefit from support from peers. One of the best ways we can care for our students is by supporting instructors. 


We use Zendesk to actively monitor student progress and concern as well as instructor queries. If students have any concerns or technical difficulties navigating their Canvas LMS, they can submit a student support ticket, which a member of the Rize student success team will then handle. We triage student success tickets by issue type. Through the tagging systems we have implemented, we are able to collect robust data on student concerns, and invest our resources to make operational improvements based on the ticket volume.

How: We use tagging systems to triage incoming tickets. Tags help us address individual student challenges more quickly and also allow us to identify common trends in student needs.

Student Success Reports to Institutions 

Rize sends out reports to institutions after weeks 2, 4, 8, and 12. We use a combination of variables including grades and attendance to categorize students into one of the three buckets: Least Concern, Monitoring, and Assistance Requested. We collaborate with institutions and course instructors to keep track of students who are identified as Monitoring and double down on student outreach to students who are identified as Assistance Requested. This ensures that each gets the optimal support they need, whether or not they raise a flag.

Automated Notices 

Instructors are asked to reach out on a bi-weekly cadence to students who are identified as high-risk. In addition to supporting our instructors with monitoring and nudges, we send automated notices to students who have not logged in to their Canvas course page or have not been consistently engaging with their Rize courses. We conduct outreach to students with low grades to remind them to communicate with their instructors if they have any course-related questions or concerns.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, we take a data-driven and human-centered approach to student success. Our support team actively monitors student concerns and we use data points to make operational improvements to enhance our overall student experience. By leveraging technology and data, we can help institutions and Rize instructors improve student outcomes by providing them with the support (and data points) they need so that every student thrives!

Curious to learn more about the student experience with Rize? Read about how we put student outcomes at the center of every course.

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