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July 20, 2021

Calming the Homework Chaos: Using Automated Assignment Reminders to Boost Course Performance

Accelerator at WGU Labs partners with Boost to simplify the lives of overworked students

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SALT LAKE CITY – Accelerator at WGU Labs, an affiliate of online nonprofit Western Governors University, today announced an investment in and strategic partnership with Boost, a research-backed tool that sends students personalized reminders and supportive messages that improve course performance and completion rates. 

College can be chaotic, particularly for students juggling work and family obligations. The average student has more than one assignment each day, and introductory courses often feature more than 150 assignments in a single semester. Boost aims to remedy the chronic issue of missed assignments—the top predictor of poor course outcomes—by helping students prioritize their daily tasks. 

“Our Canvas-integrated app empowers students to focus on their work, not stress over their workload,” said Dr. Ben Motz, co-founder of Boost and research scientist at Indiana University. “It does so by sending automated reminders and empathetic nudges to help students stay on top of their coursework and graduate on time.”

Boost was first created at Indiana University, where it has helped more than 200 students pass a class they would have otherwise failed, saving them $425,000 in wasted course costs. According to published studies, the tool has helped students achieve higher grades and increased course completion rates. And Boost has its largest effect on students earning a B through F, raising their grades by a letter grade on average.

“In our work, we’ve consistently seen that robust student support systems require both people and tools,” said Ashley Pallarito, Director of Accelerator at WGU Labs. “Boost’s outcome-driven notifications app is a perfect example of a successful support tool built within a university ecosystem.”

Under the partnership, the Accelerator will test Boost’s tool in new environments to identify common points of success and potential areas of improvement. The Accelerator will also help Boost expand into student populations where personalized reminders can make the most difference, starting with high schools and community colleges.  

“Our philosophy is that little daily reminders can become big wins,” said Josh Owens, co-founder and CEO of Boost. “We’ve already seen exciting student performance improvements with Boost, and we’re excited to partner with the Accelerator to gain access to WGU’s broad expertise in supporting students’ wins, both large and small.”

Boost marks the eleventh partnership for the Accelerator at WGU Labs since its inception. To learn more about the Accelerator and its partners, visit wgulabs.org/startup-services.

About WGU Labs

WGU Labs is a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University. Accelerator at WGU Labs provides research, market development, and product enhancement services to early-stage education businesses. Through these services as well as financial investments, the Accelerator advances the scale and impact of education companies that share its mission to increase student access, lower student costs, and improve student outcomes. Learn more about WGU Labs and the Accelerator at wgulabs.org/startup-services.

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About Boost 

Boost is a personal notification assistant for students on their smartphones. Boost connects directly to a student's Canvas account and is easy and effective with no new work for administrators, instructors, or students. Students who use Boost are 3% more likely to pass their class, earn 4% higher grades, and are 6% more likely to turn in any given assignment. Learn more about Boost at boost.education.

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Media Contact

Leslie Reed, Director, External Communications
385-428-9433

leslie.reed@wgu.edu
More Info: 866-225-5948

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