When we think about improving student performance, we usually think of major changes in the education system, improving infrastructure, hiring more qualified teachers, etc. All of which are important of course, but could we be missing something? Perhaps something less costly and easier to implement?
Having someone that supports you in your activities is important. There may be times when you feel demotivated, and you just need someone to be there and check on you.
This is exactly the idea that has been used by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) in the new UK in their new trial in the context of education. They looked at students who, at the age of 16, had failed Maths and English exams.
Such students were asked to choose their own “study supporter” (e.g. a friend or a relative) –who was supposed to send them text messages encouraging them to study or revise for the upcoming exams.
Could this really make such a difference, you may ask?
The answer seems to be an unambiguous YES. Students were 27% more likely to pass the exams. It seems like knowing that someone cared about their results helped them find the motivation to work harder!
Source: Forbes article.