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Article: Community College STEM Students Getting ‘Nudged’ Toward Success

"Persistence Plus, a text-based nudge mobile app developer based in Boston, teamed up with the nonprofit Jobs for the Future this fall to initiate a program aimed at more than 10,000 incoming community college students attending four schools. Ohio’s Lakeland Community College, Lorain County Community College, and Stark State College, along with John Tyler Community College in Virginia, will participate in the Nudging to STEM Success for the next two years."

"...The ubiquity of cell phones makes text nudges one of the more effective ways to reach students, according to educators like Julie Ranson, vice president of student success at John Tyler Community College. While emails can pile up in an inbox unread, texts tend to be harder to miss. Additionally, what might seem more intrusive or overwhelming on another medium might seem more acceptable by text." Read the entire article here.

This sounds like an interesting way of using technology to engage students in a way that they are used to. What are your thoughts on this nudging practice? What ways are you reaching students at your institution? Have you considered using texting as a way of disseminating pertinent information?


David J. Rosen's picture


There was recently a good discussion about "nudging" text messages in the  Career Pathways group.

David J. Rosen



Edmund Graham's picture

Thanks, David. I'll have to revisit that thread!

Susan Finn Miller's picture

Hi Edumund, David and all, Thanks for posting this interesting article, Edmund. Teachers in my local program are routinely texting students. We text students to remind them of their orientation appointment and other upcoming events as well as to check on current students who miss class. We also use texting to send and receive homework of various kinds.

You are right; texting is the way many -- if not most-- students communicate these days, so it makes sense to exploit this practice for learning and communication.

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, Teaching & Learning CoP

Edmund Graham's picture

Thanks for your response, Susan. I always find it fascinating when technology is used in this way. I would be interested in learning about student perceptions of these practices and impacts relative to other means of communication (e.g., email).