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Nudging Study Habits: A Field Experiment on Peer Tutoring in Higher Education

Author

Listed:
  • Wilson, Nicholas

    () (Reed College)

  • Pugatch, Todd

    () (Oregon State University)

Abstract

More than two of every five students who enrolled in college in 2007 failed to graduate by 2013. Peer tutoring services offer one approach toward improving learning outcomes in higher education. We conducted a randomized controlled experiment designed to increase take-up of university tutoring services. Brief, one-time messages increased tutoring take-up by 7 percentage points, or 23% of the control group mean. Attendance at multiple tutoring sessions increased by nearly the same amount, suggesting substantial changes in study habits in response to a simple and inexpensive intervention. We find little evidence of advertising-induced tutoring on learning outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilson, Nicholas & Pugatch, Todd, 2017. "Nudging Study Habits: A Field Experiment on Peer Tutoring in Higher Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10784, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10784
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jimmy R. Ellis & Seth Gershenson, 2016. "LATE for the meeting: Gender, peer advising, and college success," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 16-262, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    2. Castleman, Benjamin L. & Page, Lindsay C., 2015. "Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 144-160.
    3. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-163, January.
    4. De Paola, Maria & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2015. "Procrastination, academic success and the effectiveness of a remedial program," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 217-236.
    5. Paloyo, Alfredo R. & Rogan, Sally & Siminski, Peter, 2016. "The effect of supplemental instruction on academic performance: An encouragement design experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 57-69.
    6. Adam M. Lavecchia & Heidi Liu & Philip Oreopoulos, 2014. "Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities," NBER Working Papers 20609, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Novarese, Marco & Di Giovinazzo, Viviana, 2013. "Promptness and Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 49746, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. McGuigan, Martin & McNally, Sandra & Wyness, Gill, 2014. "Student Awareness of Costs and Benefits of Educational Decisions: Effects of an Information Campaign and Media Exposure," IZA Discussion Papers 8596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Graham Beattie & Jean-William P. Laliberté & Philip Oreopoulos, 2016. "Thrivers and Divers: Using Non-Academic Measures to Predict College Success and Failure," NBER Working Papers 22629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    peer tutoring; human capital investment; behavioral response to advertising; nudges; higher education;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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