Reclaiming the Nudge
Kim Manturuk, Inside Higher Ed
The impact of nudging—small interventions that impact behavior—has thus far been mixed. Both the FAFSA nudge and the nudge aimed at increasing college applications from low-income qualified students found no significant effects when replicated at scale. Some nudges have even backfired: A nudge intended to motivate students to study more by showing them how they compared to their peers actually caused low-performing students to study less and even drop out.
In this essay, Kim Manturuk of Duke Learning Innovation argues that the small interventions designed to influence student choices are neither panacea nor failure—but tools worthy of continuing experimentation.