Parte & Mellado

Motivational Emails in Distance University

Laura Parte, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia -UNED
Lucía Mellado, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia -UNED


Abstract

Interactions between instructors and students at distance learning universities are crucial in motivating students and enhancing learning outcomes. Although prior empirical studies have examined email messages at distance learning universities from different perspectives, this is the first study, to the best of our knowledge, to explore the effectiveness of emails considering students’ profiles and their behavior on learning platforms. Specifically, we differentiate between students who are “active” in virtual courses (called “active” students) and students who are “nonactive” in virtual courses (called “inactive” students) in order to design email content and motivate students. Focusing on this differentiation and a control group, we investigate in a Managerial Accounting for Tourism course the effectiveness of motivational emails to: (a) engage students in the virtual course, (b) detect similar behaviors according to sociodemographic characteristics, and (c) influence learning outcomes.

Keywords: asynchronous communication, higher education, learning management system, motivational email messages


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