Resources to Enable Transformational Student Outreach

Civitas Learning Civitas Learning Space Community Insights Nudging Outreach Results

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You probably already send lots of communications to your students throughout the year. But, what is the nature of those communications? We have found that institutions have flexed their muscle around transactional communications to students — for example, reminding students to register by reminding them about the deadline. Our work shows that when institutions shift to transformational communications with students… institutions open doors to opportunities to create meaningful connections with students and provide them timely, relevant support. For example, reminding students to register by acknowledging they might be going through a stressful time of the term has led to responses from students who are thankful to know someone cares about them, and thankful to have the opportunity to ask the questions that were holding them back from registering in the first place (e.g. What classes should I register for? What happens if the class I needed is not offered at a time I’m available?) Using Illume, you can explore your data to find opportunities to send nudges to improve student outcomes. Learning resources available within the Nudge Hub can then help you craft transformational messages to positively influence student behavior as well as understand the lifecycle of a nudge-based outreach campaign. These resources include tools for planning, presentation, measurement and execution, plus a library of templates to simplify the nudge writing process.
Transformational Outreach Around the Civitas
Issue 3 of Community Insights revealed opportunities to impact persistence for some part-time students by guiding them to take one more course. In a recent webinar, Harper College shared more about the action they took inspired by this finding — just two months after launching Illume! Using Illume, they found the “credit hour” tipping point (where the likelihood of persistence starts to switch to being more likely to persist from being less likely) for their institution was 5.14 credits. They then identified 2,036 students in good standing who were registered for the term, but had less than 6 credits for the spring 2018 term. Using templates available in the Nudge Hub, they implemented a nudge campaign for these 2,036 part-time students. After sending just one nudge two weeks prior to the start of the spring semester, they were able to encourage 199 students to moderately increase their course load, resulting in additional 289 courses taken total! For Harper College that resulted in a 1 percentage point lift in students taking 7 or more credit hours compared to the previous year, and an additional 898 credit hours — or almost $120,000 dollars in tuition revenue.
Summer Nudges Now Available
The Nudge Hub is now directly accessible to partners in Illume, which makes it easier than ever to leverage these resources and enable institutional teams to take action. In preparation for the summer term, we’ve added new tools to help you plan and execute outreach initiatives for students taking courses and students not taking summer courses. Available now, you’ll find mattering and mindset nudges for various student populations and templates you can use to engage your students during the summer months.

Carl Thorne-Thomsen

Carl oversees the Illume and Inspire applications. He leads the company’s product efforts into student nudging, providing the tools to effectively outreach to students using cutting-edge behavioral science theory. Before joining Civitas, Carl taught HS Algebra and Geometry with Teach for America, where he also coached tennis, led the math department and was 2013 Kimball HS teacher of the year.