Persistence Plus is a texting service designed to help learners, especially first-year, first-generation, and adult students, succeed in college. Students receive periodic check-ins via text from an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot with questions such as ‘What’s your biggest concern about school right now?’ The bot offers advice and resources specific to each student and rooted in behavioral science. The service holds students accountable by asking them when they will study, and following up later to see if they stuck to their plan. Persistence Plus calls these reminders nudges.

Persistence Plus claims that their AI communication system has led to greater persistence among students, especially first-generation college students, and higher grades in introductory math classes. What, in your opinion, are the advantages and drawbacks of this service? Join the discussion on Vialogues.

Excerpts from the discussion:

@00:47 Sara Hardman:This reminds me of an initiative at Georgia State University called Pounce that uses AI to regularly communicate with students in the summer leading up to college. Pounce has been shown to be effective, and students really appreciate the anonymous, confidential help in getting advice for how to prepare and what to expect.

@02:39 RuthS: It could help any student that feels alone. Students face a lot of problems at college where they feel too embarrassed to mention them because they think they're the only one who faces them. But having an AI bot could help any student realize that's not true.