STUDY | 
Education
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Improving Adult Literacy

OECD (2017a)
Summary by 

The experiment found that average attendance increased by 7% for those students who were sent the text messages in comparison to the control group who had been sent no messages at all. Moreover, the dropout rate of students (those who never come back after the mid-term break) decreased by 36% in the group sent messages relative to the control.ASK was able to conclude that the use of behavioural nudges in the form of simple text messages, based on principles of positive feedback, social support and planning or organisation, had a positive impact on improving attendance, attainment and retention rates of learners on adult education programmes. As a result of the trial’s findings, a number of colleges around the UK are looking to implement a similar text message regime. Using behavioural insights to reduce attrition and increase attainment in adult education could in the long term, therefore, have the potential to improve overall adult literacy and numeracy in the United Kingdom.