Giving a nudge: How digital alerts can keep students on track
Author: Ray Schroeder
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By Natalie Schwartz, Education Dive
Colleges are using student data to craft custom text messages and other prompts to boost retention, but experts warn they can backfire. Nudges, when done right, are proving up to that task. Nudging is a concept that has gained traction in higher ed ever since the 2008 release of the book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness” brought the subject to the public’s attention. Put simply, nudges are interventions that steer someone toward a better decision without taking away their choice. In higher ed, they take the form of messages delivered through texts, emails or the learning management system that warn a student if they’ve fallen off track, alert them to important deadlines and make them aware of campus resources. Student data comes into play by helping colleges figure out who needs what kind of information most.