Cover for Low-Cost Interventions paperAuthor: Joshua Goodman

In large classes, it is challenging for faculty to get to know students and vice versa. Though some students participate actively in class or take advantage of office hours, others remain relatively quiet and thus less familiar to faculty during the semester.  More problematically, often it is the students that faculty get to know least during the semester who are precisely the ones for whom a deeper relationship with a faculty member might be most beneficial.  This paper describes a simple study of the impact of two forms of personalized interventions on student performance in one section of a quantitative course at the Harvard Kennedy School.  How might faculty effectively engage students in large classes, such as core classes, where students may have relatively little interaction with the teacher?  Do low-cost interventions early in the semester improve such engagement and, potentially, student performance?

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