Engaging the disengaged: Exploring the use of course-specific learning analytics and nudging to enhance online student engagement
Universities increasingly implement online delivery to strengthen students’ access and flexibility. However, they often do so with limited understanding of the impact of online pedagogy on student engagement. To explore these issues, a research project was conducted investigating the use of course-specific learning analytics to ‘nudge’ students into engaging more actively in their courses. Drawing on perspectives emanating from communication and critical theories, the research involved a staged intervention strategy conducted across three courses (n=892) focussing on a range of timely, strategic communication interventions. Research findings revealed benefits for students who felt supported by explicit expectation management and the strategic use of early nudging to enhance their prioritisation of key course-specific resources. Academics benefited by making use of nudging templates/principles to increase student engagement in their courses. The course-specific context meant that academics and students explicitly shared ways of working in the one place where learners ultimately succeed – the course.