The University of Iowa


Will Elements of Success work in my course?


Although Elements of Success (EoS) can be used in a variety of courses, it will be most valuable for courses with certain characteristics. In particular, EoS is ideally suited for courses with the following qualities:



  • Courses that have frequent formative assessment (i.e., lots of homework and small stakes assignments)
  • Courses where students may have a lot of questions or misconceptions about how they are doing, such as courses with high enrollment and courses that use a curve
  • Courses that you’ve taught in the past where you have some established grading structures in place


What courses are using Elements of Success?


ANTH:2261 - Human Impacts on the Environment

BIOL:1411 - Foundations of Biology

BIOL:1412 - Diversity of Form and Function

CHEM:1070 - General Chemistry I

CHEM:1110 - Principles of Chemistry I

CHEM:1120 - Principles of Chemistry II

CS:1210 - Computer Science I

ECON:1100 - Principles of Microeconomics

ECON:1200 - Principles of Macroeconomics

ECON:3100 - Intermediate Microeconomics

ECON:3150 - Intermediate Macroeconomics

HHP:3500 - Human Physiology

HHP:3550 - Human Physiology with Laboratory

MATH:1440 - Mathematics for the Biological Sciences

MATH:1550 - Engineering Math I

MGMT:2100 - Introduction to Management

PHYS:1511 - College Physics I


As an instructor, how do I ensure that students get the most out of EoS?


We’ve found that instructors are critical to the success of EoS. Doing the following can help ensure that students get the most value out of EoS:


  • Update ICON regularly. EoS is only as up-to-date as the gradebook.
  • Encourage students to use EoS. Communicate with students about EoS throughout the semester, not just in the first few weeks. Communicating with students when they are likely to reflect on how they are doing (e.g., after an exam) is critical. Pulling up EoS when you work one-on-one with students in office hours is a great way to start a conversation.
  • Guide students on how to interpret the data (e.g., what is a percentile rank?).


I think EoS would work well in my course; what should I do?


If you're interested in implementing EoS in your course, contact the Research & Analytics Team at