Reply to 4 students discussion post according to the question. 150-300words for each reply.

Please note that you need to answer with agree or disagree. And you need to mention the factor of behavioural economic the students made and analyze.

No references needed.

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Discussion question:

Taking into account the range of the activities undertaken by the University, how might the University management take advantage of behavioural economics to improve operations (e.g. in service delivery, or student experience, or student performance)? What could they do that they aren’t doing now to achieve better outcomes?

[Note that you must discuss behavioural policy responses (e.g. nudges), not those tied to traditional policy levers (price, income) etc]

StudentA:

I really like the use of loss aversion in our grading in this subject. I think it would be a great idea if the university let us elect to view grades for any subjects in the same way. This would mean we wouldn’t have to engage with it if we didn’t want to, but if we find the effect significant in improving marks we could.

I think this would be good because studies have shown a significant increase in performance for students exposed to it. However, I read one (Improving student performance through loss aversion, 2019 by Smith, B, Shrader, R, White, D) which raised concerns that loss aversion affects males and females differently, Apostolova-Mihaylova et al, Heterogeneous gender effects under loss aversion in the economics classroom: A field experiment, (2015) found that women were negatively impacted by the procedure. They addressed previous studies like this one that suggested there was a difference in improvement between the two and ultimately found both sexes improved. However, the study also suggested that men may improve more than women.

I’m not sure forcing all units to frame our grades as losses would be a great idea if there is evidence to suggest some demographics might be unfairly given and advantage or disadvantage by it, but it would be good if we could choose for ourselves.

StudentB:

It is without question that tertiary education, in of itself, is a relatively difficult endeavour; designed to challenge pre-established thoughts and expand an individual’s current knowledge-base. As such, the standard required to adequately complete assessments tasks and examinations is understandably higher. Additionally the subsequent weight placed upon these tasks, generally speaking, is substantial. For example, for most second-year units the number of assessable items ranges from three to four (including a final examination). Each task ranges from ten to twenty percent, with a final exam weighing the heaviest—weighing approximately forty to sixty percent. Given the higher academic rigour required to complete assessments coupled with the relative large weight applied to each subsequent task, it is easy to understand how current university procedure may induce excessive stress for students.

An alternate approach to the traditional means of assessment involves the use of framing, specifically ‘chunking.’ Chunking refers to the act of breaking an activity into constituent areas, focusing on smaller sequential processes, thus allowing us to more easily decode or understand a particular situation. Instead of relying upon a limited set of highly-weighted assessment tasks, the frequency of assessment could be spread throughout the semester; with each task weighing significantly less. For example, in place of a single-twenty percent essay task, there could be multiple ‘essay entries’ spread across a specific timeframe—with each entry weighing two percent (for example). In essence, by altering the frame from: a psychologically unattainable target to an outcome that students deem more manageable—the stress and anxiety defined by tertiary education may be reduced, thus creating an environment where students can excel.

StudentC:

University life can be characterized by having too much freedom, complicated choices and complex processes. Students have numerous choices to make, what degree program to study, what electives to pick, which classes to have in what semester, the list goes on. Having so many options can be taxing and paralyzing. Resultantly some students end up making decisions that are not in their best interest. Making information simpler and easier to understand can help in improving outcomes in university. This includes having a simpler guided enrolment process and study content. Universities can also have automatic enrolment into core courses to help simplify student’s choice architecture.

Procrastination is one main problem students face. This resultantly leads to late submission of assignments and poor quality of work which can result in failure. Having cues around the university that encourage people to attend lectures and do assignments can help in improving performances. These can be in form of messages like, ‘’40% of students that don’t attend lectures fail’’ or ‘’Last minute completion of assignments’ results in poor grades’’. This type of nudging can result in increased effort from students.

Due to the pressure students suffer in university, a lot of students suffer from depression and mental issues. Universities have well-being centres which students can get help from but a lot of students do not make use of these facilities. Sending text messages and emails to students that communicate the importance of seeking help when you are struggling can help improve student wellbeing.

StudentD:

University is a difficult time filled with complicated choices when completing your degree, University students definitely suffer from the paradox of choice whilst completing their studies. It is often compounded with the fact that given there are very little reminders around deadlines, enrolment and payment options. University students often fall behind due to the lack of communication after being used to a different communication method in High School. Through a lack of reminders and a full time load, University students often struggle to stay on top with so much going on, which leads to poorer grades and less of a success rate at University. As a result most students, due to this stressful workload drop down to three units a semester due to the stressful nature Whilst this is financially beneficial for the University, the lack of communication and the need for students to take accountability for themselves after being spoon fed for years in high school creates a problem given the amount of choices they have.

I personally believe that with nudging the University can help students keep on track of their deadlines, assignments and payment dates. Not only will this use of nudging be beneficial for the students it will also provide a better attitude towards University studies. Nudging seems to be a point of controversy but if the University nudges you towards keeping you on top of your university admin as well as giving yourself more time to study it is definitely beneficial to both students and the University. As pointed out nuThis will result not only in allowing students to have less stress and spend more time on content rather than managing admin side of things thus providing them with a more fruitful experience.

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