student at computerFrom Standford News, Clifton B. Parker reports on a new study that indicates that online interventions that help develop a growth mindset and sense of purpose can help struggling students improve.  Parker discusses research that suggests brief online interventions can have significant effect.  He writes:

In their study, the researchers explored the impact of two types of online interventions on 1,594 students in 13 high schools.

One intervention involved the development of a “growth mindset” and the other a “sense of purpose.”

Students with a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed, as opposed to those with a “fixed” mindset who believe that people are born with a certain amount of intelligence, the researchers said.

The sense-of-purpose intervention was designed to help students articulate how schoolwork could help them accomplish meaningful life goals.

Both interventions aimed at helping students, especially poor performers, believe they can learn and grow and achieve purpose in life.

The research measured changes in students’ grades in core academic subjects. The results showed that among students at risk for dropping out (one-third of the sample), both interventions raised grade-point-averages and increased the rate at which the students performed satisfactorily in each course by 6.4 percentage points.

The authors included psychology researchers David Paunesku, Carissa Romero, Eric Smith and Professor Carol Dweck, all of Stanford University, and David Yeager, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin.

Paunesku, a behavioral scientist and lead author on the paper, said, “The findings suggest the possibility that brief, Internet-based activities like the ones we tested could be used to improve learning outcomes for hundreds of thousands or even millions of students around the country at an extremely low cost.”

Read the full story at Online ‘mindset’ interventions help students do better in school, Stanford research shows.