Personalised Emails in First-Year Mathematics: Exploring a Scalable Strategy for Improving Student Experiences and Outcomes
Widening participation initiatives in higher education have grown overall student numbers while also increasing the diversity of student cohorts. Consequently, enhancing student experiences and outcomes has become increasingly challenging. This study implemented personalised emails in two first-year mathematics courses as a scalable strategy for supporting students with diverse needs. Impact on student experience and outcomes was assessed through surveying and statistical comparisons to previous cohorts. It was found that students perceived the personalised emails favourably and believed the intervention would contribute to them achieving better grades. This translated to a statistically significant improvement in both student experience and academic performance in one of the courses. The results imply that personalised emails are well-suited to courses taken in students’ first semesters of university study, aiding those transitioning to the higher education environment by fostering feelings of belonging, supporting effective engagement, and easing navigation of university systems and processes.