Researchers have recently noted a fact that nudging can help the scholars in measuring the impact of educational interventions. In fact researcher such as Phil Oreopoulos and his fellow team researchers are confident that measures such as text messages and other online form of communications can really prod the learners to study more and thus perform better.
After collecting all the required data, Phil and her fellow researchers Uros Petronijevic of York University, Richard W. Patterson of the U.S. Military Academy and Nolan G. Pope of the University of Maryland at College Park came to a conclusion that on an average a student only spends 15 hours a week studying outside class.
“We see a lot of students are just not studying in the amounts we would expect, so maybe we shouldn’t be surprised why they don’t do so well,” Phil was quoted saying. Post their data accumulation, the bunch of researchers focused on the aspects that would help in increasing the number of hours that students spend in studying and increased the target from 15 to 25 hours a day.
Our theory is, if we could move students to studying at a minimum around those hours, all other problems would be solvable in terms of their academics,” he said.
Steps like asking the students to read information from links between their studies and test times, jotting down their goals and targets, creating weekly schedule wherein the students would give deadline of 25 to 30 hours a week to themselves, enrolling in virtual coaching programmes, and receiving weekly text messages as per their personal goals, were taken.
Phil Oreopoulos who is a professor of economics at the University of Toronto and a team of his colleagues found that many aspects of this kind of nudging intervention was successful, however while looking at the overall impact there was but only a little difference found in the behavior of the students taken under the radar.
To this Petronijevic said, “It may be that students aren’t quite sure how to effectively spend the time they do study, and if they don’t know what to do, that could lead to a bunch of conflicts and paralysis”. He also said, “We’re going to reverse engineer personalized suggestions for them (students), through text and email, to be clear about what they can be doing around time itself.”
However, despite of the disappointment the scholars are positive and hopeful that technologies and intervention programs such as what they have been working on can be used to improve the student outcomes overtime.
“We are optimistic that these types of online interventions, over time, will make a difference,” Oreopoulos said. “And our ability to learn the truth about their potential impact is improving all the time, too.”