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Community Champion


I loved attending Deactivated user‌'s session on how Instructure is approaching artificial intelligence and how this can impact education (the official session title was "The Canvas of the Future - Artificial Intelligence & Behavioral Economics).

Hilary set the vibe for us by rocking some totally sweet 60's era feeling James Bond music before she kicked things off. Then she started off by pointing out that everything is predictable. The sun will rise and set. Kitties and bunnies will always get an "awwwww" response. And a hot pocket will always burn the crap out of your mouth.

The premise of what she (and in turn Instructure/Canvas) are doing is based on a book. Nudge focuses on improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. We can start to look at how we make decisions and more importantly how can we make better decisions. But, unfortunately, no one is nudging in academia and there are no educational platforms for nudging. But Canvas ran a small pilot program and found that nudging works - if you do it.

Canvas nudged 18,000 students on 25,000 assignments that were late, but not closed. These students received a text or a push notification from the mobile app nudging them to complete the assignments. Only 6% opted out of receiving the notifications (but this means 94% opted in), and over time there was a drop in how late assignments were. I don't remember the drop in K12, but in HE, the average late assignment went from one day to one half of a day.

So, what's next for the nudge project??

Hilary is wanting to replicate the smaller test in a larger test. Canvas has created a course level LTI that instructors can enable for a wider level testing. Ultimately, what Hilary is seeking is to have peer reviewed journal-able quality data and analysis so faculty will want this LTI enabled for their students. It is time for artificial intelligence to have a place in education as a benefit to the student.

*Note: If I missed any important information from this presentation, please add to the comments below!

8 Replies
Community Champion

Thanks for this,  @kenneth_rogers ‌. I wanted to attend this session but couldn't make it. I have been curious about what Hilary said.

Of course,  @dhulsey ‌! This is just scratching the surface, though. It was such an inspiring session I highly suggest you watch it once the recordings are available.


Community Participant

Thanks for this post! I wanted to learn more about Nudge, but didn't have a chance to attend the session. I will for sure check out the recording once it is released. I joined the Nudge LTI Canvas course as well! 

Community Champion

Think it is a very simple but clever idea. 

As a school that uses both online and paper based assignments (using the Gradebook simply as a gradebook) would the LTI also cover this feature? Deactivated user

Did not know there was an LTI course join?

 @GideonWilliams ‌ - Check out Canvas LMS  (Hilary's Nudge LTI course). This is a nudge test course she mentioned during her presentation.

As for online vs. paper assignments - that's a great question for Deactivated user‌. I'm not sure the ins and outs of the LTI, but it'd be great if the LTI connected to the gradebook to nudge your students. We'll have to wait and see what she says!

Community Champion

In addition to the technology of nudging (which sounds great, esp. if the students have some options for configuring the system as they do now for notifications), I wanted to chime in with a design strategy that I call "fall-back" which is having a positive, proactive move that students can make if/when they miss an assignment; I guess instead of a nudge, you could call it a push, something that will propel them forward instead of ruminating on the blank or zero in the Gradebook. There is ALWAYS something they can do next in order to pick up and move on. So, for example, if students don't get any of the reading done in a given week, I have a canned email I send out after the reading deadline telling them how they can move on to the story writing assignment even without having done any reading; if they miss the story deadline, I have a canned email about moving on to do the blog comments anyway because it's fine to do that even if they did not have time for a story that week, etc. etc.

Don't stop! Just keep swimming! 🙂

just keep swimming (finding nemo)

Okay, wait just a second, laurakgibbs‌! That does not at all look like a cat meme; in fact, it looks more like a cat-food meme.

Just sayin'!


Ha ha  @kmeeusen  : Just keep swimming! Swim faster! Don't become cat-food! 🙂

Because the growth mindset cats are coming:

When I face a new problem, I think creatively.

cat watches fish