The Impact of Personalized Emails on College Students' Academic Achievement
thesisposted on 2016-10-18, 00:00 authored by Vinoadharen Nair Das
A growing amount of research has shown the benefits of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) on academic achievements and other related areas (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004). SEL is the ability to understand emotions, solve problems, and create positive relationships (Elias et al., 1997). Unfortunately, most SEL research focuses on preschool through high school. The present research filled the gap using a SEL-based personalized email prevention program in college. The emails were designed using the five core teachable SEL competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2005). Three hypotheses were proposed: (1) SEL emails will lead to higher academic achievement among college students compared to students who receive non-SEL emails; (2) SEL emails will increase college students’ academic self-efficacy compared to students who receive non-SEL emails; (3) SEL emails will improve college students’ sense of belonging compared to students not receiving SEL emails. 46 participants were recruited into this 8-week study (Summer 2015). Participants received post-examination emails after their first and second exams. The first hypothesis was supported. The personalized emails improved exam scores among participants in the treatment condition (SEL-based) compared to the control, specifically in the final exam. No differences were found between participants in the treatment and control condition in regards to academic self-efficacy and sense of belonging so the second and third hypothesis were not supported. This type of evidence-based prevention research can improve the quality of student’s academic well-being. It can also possibly reduce the achievement gap and increase college students’ chances of completing their education through improvements in academic achievements.