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Mindsets, Smartphones, and Student Success

, , , , , Indiana Wesleyan University, United States ; , Wheaton College, United States ; , Indiana Wesleyan University, United States

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Washington, DC, United States Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), San Diego, CA


This study utilized a smartphone app to deliver growth-mindset and social belonging nudges (ecological momentary interventions) to help increase student success at college. Growth-mindset suggests intelligence can grow (Walton & Yeager, 2014), while social belonging is feeling connected to others (Walton & Cohen, 2011). The intervention was administered during the first two weeks of the semester to 71 at-risk students. There was a significant, positive correlation between end-of-semester grade-point average (GPA) and app engagement for minority students. The results of this study align with previous research (Walton & Cohen, 2011) suggesting minority students are particularly likely to benefit from social-belonging interventions. These results indicate that implementing growth-mindset and social belonging interventions, through the use of smartphone technology, may lead to increased academic success among disadvantaged students.


Devers, C., Daugherty, D., Steenbergh, T., Runyan, J., Oke, L., Alayan, A. & Ragsdale, E. (2016). Mindsets, Smartphones, and Student Success. In Proceedings of E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning (pp. 648-651). Washington, DC, United States: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 20, 2019 from .

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