Nudging the Classroom: Designing a Socio-Technical Artifact to Reduce Academic Procrastination

AbstractProcrastination is a widespread detrimental human behavior. Virtually everyone delays the initiation or completion of important tasks at times. Some people procrastinate to the point that they become overwhelmed by their inaction. In particular, academic procrastination is estimated to afflict 70 to 90% of undergraduate college students. We adopt the design science problem-solving paradigm to pilot a socio-technical artifact that reduces academic procrastination in large college classrooms. We adopt the principles of nudging to propose three meta-requirements and nine design principles underlying the design of a chatbot that induces students into positive and self-reinforcing behaviors countering procrastination tendencies. We use a formative natural evaluation event to provide preliminary validation for the design. The pilot provides encouraging results both in terms of use of the artifact by the intended audience and of performance improvement and can therefore be used to inform future design iterations.

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