MyPLAN expands ‘flags’ and ‘kudos’ messaging options

Starting Feb. 4, UNL instructors will be able to use MyPLAN to send two new types of messages directly to students.

MyPLAN — My Personal Learning and Advising Network — is UNL’s new student advising system. The tool is a digital system available through a tab in Blackboard. It is designed to help document advising sessions electronically and to track and monitor student successes toward graduation.

The new messages offered are flags (an automated email regarding concerns with academic performance or attendance) and kudos (positive email related to strong academic performance or participation within a course).

If a student has three “flags” raised during a semester (in one course or across courses), an automated email will be sent to the student’s academic adviser. The message will encourage the adviser to contact the student and provide support and referrals to academic resources.

“Advising coordinators across campus are excited by how the MyPLAN flags will create a more proactive environment,” said Bill Watts, director of campus advising services. “The flag process will help advisers not just refer students to resource centers, but also encourage conversations around academic success — what it looks like for each student, and strategies students can use to achieve it.”

Nancy Mitchell, director of undergraduate education programs, said research into retention shows that students have better odds at academic success when instructors provide early feedback about performance.

“We have academic support centers to assist students, but sometimes students need to be encouraged to use them early enough in the semester to make a difference,” said Mitchell.

In contrast to a flag, kudos are positive messages that instructors can send to students. Kudos are designed to offer students further motivation and encouragement to keep up their good work within a class.

Amy Goodburn, associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said MyPLAN use by academic advisers has been extensive since it was implemented in January 2012.

“During fall semester more than 20,873 advising notes were entered for undergraduates across all colleges and 5,077 online appointments were scheduled by students,” said Goodburn. “Opening the flag and kudos features is the next step for supporting our undergraduates’ academic success.”

MyPLAN was implemented as part of broader campus efforts to improve academic advising for undergraduates. In addition to creating an electronic advising record that accompanies students throughout their academic careers, MyPLAN also offers instructors features such as attendance rosters (with accompanying student photos) and the ability to offer online scheduling for office hours and other appointments.

For more information about MyPLAN go to or contact Vanessa Roof at