Nudging is an educational influence method that involves architecting subconscious processes and reactions towards a goal that the student already desires. Nudging includes social, personal, and environmental factors, described below.
In Relation to Others
Reputation - Help students share their successes with others
Conformity - Give lower performing students reason to improve by showing them in the context of slightly higher performing students
Collaboration - Give students opportunity to work with each other
Competition - Some students will respond well to opportunities to outperform others, be careful to do this in a way to not alienate students who do not enjoy competition
When Influenced by Others
Trust - Students are more likely to comply with request from others whom they trust. Be sure to be trustworthy—keep commitments and confidences, do what you say you will do
Likability - Students are more likely to comply with request from others whom they like. Find ways to connect with students' interests.
Empathy - Students are more likely to comply with request from others whom they feel a connection to. Find ways to understand students and provide them with information that helps them understand you.
Reciprocity - Students are more likely to comply with request from others from whom they have received something. This is tricky to do while also avoiding giving rewards. Symbolic or verbal gifts are best.
Solicited commitments - Ask students to do specific, manageable tasks
Role Model - Provide an appealing and credible role model that communicates or demonstrates desired actions and the satisfaction that comes as a result
Immediacy - Immediacy is the way we signal closeness, willingness to communicate, and positive feelings to another person. Ways to create immediacy include the following:
Be near the student
Make eye contact
Communicate emotion - Use emojis, multiple exclamation marks, all cap some words
Ask questions that encourage a reply
Refer to previous conversations
Use students' name
General affirmations - "I hope your week is going well"
Express appreciation, complement
Give a greeting
Use inclusive pronouns "we, us"
Use an informal name
Describe personal details including your interests and hobbies
Offer to meet personally with interested students
Share messages unrelated to the class
Make and keep promises
Inform of students' specific situation in the class: falling behind or doing well
Send encouraging messages
Show empathy for struggling students
Give positive evaluations
Introduction to the course and how to operate it
Reminders of specific assignments and due dates
Messages that highlight important content
Start an informal email conversation about the content
Ask for feedback about assignments
Habits - Help students develop positive habits that drive positive behavior
Loss aversion - Create low stakes opportunities to lose, like bonus and penalties for reaching thresholds and milestones
Urgency - Create a feeling that something needs to be done now
Inertia and Status Quo - Activities that are started, or typical, are more often completed
Optimism - Help students stay optimistic by providing opportunities for, and celebrating, success
Ownership - Collecting badges, prize boxes, collectables etc. that demonstrate progress
Completion - Visually illustrate the steps and current stage in a process to encourage students to complete
Collecting badges, prize boxes, collectables etc.
Endowed Progress effect
Ease of Use
Limit ambiguity - Be sure that the UI and instructions provide clear indications of functions and how students should interact with the course
Limit selections - Too many options can be paralyzing, it is better to provide 2-3 really good choices than all 10 possible options
Defaults - When one option is more common, select it for the student, but give them the option to change it if they like
Reduce effort - Where possible, remove or automate steps to complete a task
Pleasant user experience - Make the user environment aesthetically pleasing in appearance and interactions
Framing - Guide how students react to a particular choice by giving it context to support the outcome the student should desire
Anchoring - Students tend to rely more heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions
Partitioning - Breaking information into smaller portions make them easier to consume
Priming - When students are exposed to some information, it affects how they respond to other information
Chunking - Help students remember by grouping related information into smaller, easier to remember chunks of information