Improving Student Success by Being Automatically Personal

Mark A Palmer


This paper describes the development and use of “automatically personal e-mail” routines allowing one to send interpretive e-mails to one’s class based on clicking a command in an Excel grade book. The macros are included in a template file which are available under the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons License. Nudges have been shown to be effective in engaging students, but they are often time consuming for faculty. The author has found that he can send detailed performance updates to students automatically through macros in a well defined Excel Gradebook. This increases
student engagement as they see it as a way of demonstrating caring. Using an Engineering Materials Course as an example, the author demonstrates the steps necessary to send 6 such nudges throughout an 11 week term. Sample commented coding and examples of the messages sent to students are provided as examples. Students are very satisfied with the auto-emails as shown. The paper closes with an analysis meant to help others implement this system in the minimal amount of time.

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The ASEE Computers in Education (CoED) Journal
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