Research Meeting Simone Plak


12.30 - 13.30 Passcode: 680295

Research Meeting Simone Plak: Raising Student Engagement using Digital Nudges Tailored to Students’ Motivation and Ability Levels

Simone Plak


Pedagogische wetenschappen


Simone Plak

Academic success requires students to engage; they need to participate in educational activities. Therefore, this study aimed to increase registration for and participation in an online exam by digital nudging. We based our nudges on the Fogg Behavior Model (FBM), which states that three elements are required for behavior to occur: motivation, ability, and a prompt (e.g., a nudge). The FBM was evaluated in two ways: (1) we evaluated its aptness to distinguish between students' responsiveness to plain nudges, and (2) we evaluated its recommendation to tailor the type of nudges to students’ motivation and ability levels to increase students' responsiveness. Over the course of three weeks, 579 first-year university students were nudged by sending 6 emails---each email nudging the performance of specific behavior. First, the results indicate that the motivation dimension of the FBM is suited to distinguish between students' performance of the nudged behavior (i.e., between their engagement levels), yet, they fail to support the FBM's ability dimension. Second, the tailored nudging intervention had no effect on engagement, nor on student performance. These results thus emphasize the importance of motivation for engaging in (online) educational activities, but imply no benefit of tailored nudging to students’ motivation and ability levels for raising student engagement.