Texting Students to Help Achieve Their Goals
Many social scientists and policy makers express concern over low levels of college completion and poor overall academic performance. One explanation, drawing on recent insights from behavioral science, suggests that youth often overemphasize the present or rely too much on routine. This study explores ways to counter these tendencies using electronic messaging. Randomly selected students at a 4-year college are given an online goal-setting exercise to think about their future and what steps to take now to help them achieve their goals. Students are subsequently sent electronic messages containing advice, information, motivation, and reminders, with the aim of improving performance, experience, and completion. The results of will be used to develop cost-effective programs that can be scaled up and tested in multiple settings (including high school or 2-year college level and across North America).