NUTEL - Nudges in Technology-Enhanced Learning

Workshop co-located with ECTEL 2022, September 13, 2022, Toulouse, France


  • Vania Dimitrova, University of Leeds, UK <>

  • Tanja Mitrovic, University of Canterbury, NZ <>

  • Bjorn de Koning, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands <>

  • Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, Graz University of Technology, Austria <>

Workshop Theme, Objectives and Motivation

Interdisciplinary perspectives on the link between nudges, learning, and technology empowerment

This workshop will make a major step in consolidating effort and shaping a research community by providing a forum that explores nudges and nudge theory in the context of technology-enhanced learning research. Bringing together academics from various disciplines, the workshop will address challenges in several streams: theories for nudges and learning, technological underpinning, example domains and applications, adoption in practice.

List of topics

A possible (but not exhaustive) list of topics in each stream is given below:

Underlying theories for nudges and learning

  • models/theories exploring the link between nudges, behaviour change, learning;

  • educational contexts where nudges can add value, e.g. self-regulation, self-assessment, motivation, engagement, boredom, procrastination, social interactions;

  • nudgeability and education;

  • nudge taxonomies and their link to pedagogical objectives;

  • nudges and reflection support;

  • nudges and decision support;

  • nudges and persuasion;

  • nudges and cognitive load.

  • gamification and game-based learning, including storytelling.

Technological underpinning

  • learning analytics for behaviour modelling to inform nudge design

  • interactive nudge interventions: hints, prompts, questions, conversations

  • signposting as nudge interventions: dashboards, open learner models, open social learner models;

  • nudges and group learning: group modelling, group-related interventions; social spaces;

  • nudges and pervasive systems;

  • nudges and engagement in online learning, e.g. e-books/hypertext, MOOCs;

  • adaptive learning technologies, intelligent learning environments.

Example domains and applications

  • example of systems that use nudges;

  • examples of using nudges in digital learning;

  • lessons learnt from design, development and evaluation;

  • co-design of nudges.

Adoption in practice

  • contexts in which nudges have been used;

  • ethical considerations;

  • nudging vs guiding vs pushing;

  • pedagogical utility.

Workshop objectives and expected outcomes

The main objective of the workshop is to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and linking the various communities that explore nudges and learning, with a focus on technology-enhanced learning. The link between nudges and TEL is twofold:

  • TEL environments can be used to gather evidence, model behaviour and develop interventions leading to behaviour change and learning;

  • Nudges can be implemented within TEL environments, and can be part of TEL interventions to improve learner engagement and increase learning effectiveness.

By exploring this twofold relationship, the workshop will form an interdisciplinary community to allow building connections across the different disciplines (cognitive science, economics, behaviour change, persuasion, social science, education, TEL), fostering awareness and cross-fertilisation of ideas, and identifying possible research directions to link nudges and TEL.


Nudges have been widely studied and used in social science for behaviour change. To date, there is a solid body of literature and theory in behavioural and economic sciences around nudging people/users towards desirable behaviour changes. Recently, nudges have also been explored by education and cognitive science, with some reference to TEL. On the other hand, the TEL community has explored various forms of interventions that can be linked to nudges - hints, prompts, questions, conversations, dashboards, open learner models, open social learner models. In most of the cases, these have been designed for specific contexts with no direct link to nudge theories. This workshop starts with the conviction that time is ripe to link the various communities from cognitive science, economics, behaviour change, persuasion, social science, education, TEL to explore the link between nudges and TEL.

Planned format and activities

The workshop is intended as a half day workshop conducted in a highly interactive manner.

  • We envisage two sessions of invited position papers/presentations, each followed by a general discussion. In addition, accepted papers will be presented and discussed. we will accept papers or demonstrations and reports on applications and best practices to stimulate discussions including practitioners. In addition, we will accept papers of any kind that create a link between nudge theory and TEL, including position papers, demonstration papers and reports on applications or best practices. Further, we will accept position papers and statements, which may highlight controversial topics or visionary ideas, to further foster discussions.

  • Workshop papers will only be published online at the workshop website. Having a paper accepted means, however, to be given speaking + discussion time at the workshop. The non-formal publication allows interested co-discussants to submit contributions that highlight the relationship of own, already published work towards nudge theory and put this forward for discussion. A main review criterion will be whether the paper can be expected to inform workshop participants about aspects of the links between nudge theory and TEL, and to stimulate a fruitful discussion.

  • The general discussion sessions will be organised as an interactive session in which participants will discuss open questions in groups. Each group will report back to the entire audience for further discussion.

Participation and workshop format:

No specific requirements are expected from participants of the workshop. We aim to organise the workshop as a hybrid face-2-face/online workshop.


Interested participants should submit a 2-page position paper in EC-TEL's paper format to EasyChair via the following link:

Papers will be lightly reviewed in order to ensure that they fall within the workshop's scope. As stated above in the section "Format and Activities" , papers could

  • describe applications and best practices of nudges in technology-enhanced learning

  • create a link between nudge theory and TEL

  • discuss controversial topics or visionary ideas

In general, we expect that submitted papers highlight the relationship between the authors' own prior work and nudging theory.


  • June 30: Paper deadline for submitted papers

  • July 10: Paper acceptance notification

  • August 20: Deadline for confirmation of invited presentations

  • September 13 afternoon: Workshop

Workshop Program: September 13, 13:30-17:30, online

Times are approximate. Every speaker has 20min for talking, discussion could also take place right after the talks. For workshop speakers and attendees: We expect to keep within the session "borders", but within each session, shifts in timing each talk could occur.

13:30-13:45: Welcome

13:45-15:00: Session 1: Reflection from case studies using nudges in TEL

The effect of nudges on student engagement and learning in AVW-Space
Tanja Mitrovic, University of Canterbury, New Zealand [online]

The effectiveness of notification on supporting self-regulated learning
Almed Hamzah and Sergey Sosnovsky, Utrecht University, Netherlands [face-to-face]

Supporting Self-Regulation with a Nudge? A Student-facing Learning Analytics Dashboard
Stephanie Teasley, University of Michigan, USA [online]

Given the accelerating rate in which student-facing Learning Analytics Dashboards (LADs) are being deployed in educational technology platforms, there is a pressing need to inform the design and application of these systems so they can fulfill their educational promise. As displays of activity and performance, LADs typically show changes over time and/or comparisons with classmates providing students with feedback to plan for, evaluate and monitor their current progress to adjust their learning strategies. Further, dashboards can do so without being as intrusive as other types of feedback mechanisms (
Vieira et al., 2018; Winne, 2017). At this workshop I will present the learning analytics dashboard we developed for university students, called My Learning Analytics (MyLA). We designed MyLA to act as an intervention, providing students with data that would support Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) by helping them plan, monitor, and evaluate their learning activities, using classmates as a benchmark. However, as MyLA does not provide specific guidance or recommendations about how to use the information presented, we believe that MyLA may serve as a nudge for engaging in SRL rather than taking over the SRL processes for the student.

14:45-15:00 Discussion

15:00-15:30 - Break

15:30-17:30: Session 2: Models and future directions

Designing choice architecture for nudges to promote active video watching
Vania Dimitrova, University of Leeds, UK [online]

The effect of nudging on autonomous learning behavior in tertiary education
Robert J. Weijers and Bjorn B. de Koning,
Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands [online]

In this project, we investigated the usage of nudging as supportive strategy for teachers to promote autonomous learning behavior in students in vocational education and training. Nudging is a technique from behavioral economics to change behavior by changing the choice environment. Despite a relatively wide application of nudging in various fields such as health and safety, the effectiveness of nudging is hardly tested in educational contexts. This project’s central research question therefore was: Can nudging as a teaching strategy improve autonomous learning behaviors in students?
The results of this project provide the following three answers.
First, nudges are a valuable addition to existing techniques to promote autonomous learning behavior. In offline lessons, a goal-setting nudge (i.e., setting a goal at the start of class) helped students to ask more questions during class and get higher grades. In online lessons, a prompt-nudge to support question asking (i.e., the teacher placed the text “Question? Ask live or in chat!” on their virtual background) helped the students to ask more questions, but not get higher grades. These small adjustments achieved relevant behavioral change and improved educational outcomes.
Second, nudging effectiveness is dependent on student factors: students have to both want to demonstrate the behavior, and be able to do so. Only then can a nudge support autonomous learning behavior.
Third, this project reaffirms the importance of the factors behavior, nudge, context, and learner when designing nudges for educational practice. With these factors in mind, nudging can be a valuable addition to – but not replacement of – existing methods for teachers to help students demonstrate autonomous learning behaviors, so that students can enter the labor market as more autonomous individuals.

The place of nudging in conversational reflection guidance
Viktoria Pammer-Schindler, Graz University of Technology, Austria [online]

Nudging students towards valuable learning activities by optimal gamification"
Falk Lieder, Max Plank Institute, Germany [online]

17:00 -17:30 Discussion and closing

Program Committee

Program committee members will be invited to make a presentation in one of the two main sessions for the workshop. Additionally, we will ask program committee members to review the papers submitted for peer-review to this workshop. We will add program committee members to this website as we are getting their confirmation. We are very happy to already be able to confirm the following program committee members:

  • Paul Brown, University of Leeds, UK

  • Judy Kay, University of Sydney, Australia

  • Milos Kravcik, DFKI, Germany

  • Falk Lieder, Max Planck Institute Tübingen, Germany

  • Abrar Mohammed, University of Leeds, UK

  • Negar Mohammedhassan, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

  • Stephanie Teasley, University of Michigan, USA

  • Julita Vassileva, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

  • Barbara Wasson, University of Bergen, Norway

Short CVs of organizers

Vania Dimitrova

Vania Dimitrova is a Full Professor of Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence at the School of Computing, University of Leeds, UK. Her research focuses on building systems that help people make sense of data, take decisions in complex settings, expand their knowledge, and learn from experience. She explores the use of data and knowledge models to get insights into user-generated content, understand users and influence behaviour, capture knowledge and support information exploration. She is currently President of the International AI in Education Society and Co-Director of the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training in AI for Medical Diagnosis and Care. She was Co-Director of the Leeds Research Centre in Digital Learning and was Director of Technology Enhanced Learning Strategy at the Leeds Institute of Medical Education. She is Associate Editor of both the International Journal of AI in Education, and Frontiers of AI: AI for Human Learning and Behavior Change. She was Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies (IEEE-TLT), a member of the editorial boards for the personalisation journal (UMUAI), and chaired several international conferences in intelligent learning environments (AIED, ECTEL, ICCE). She coordinated the ImREAL EU project which developed AI technologies to aid cultural awareness training.

Antonija Mitrovic

Antonija Mitrovic is a Full Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, the University of Canterbury. She is the leader of the Intelligent Computer Tutoring Group (ICTG). Her research area is Artificial Intelligence in Education, with the focus on student modeling and the opportunities for adapting instruction to the needs and abilities of each individual student. Prof Mitrovic has established constraint-based modeling (CBM) as one of the two leading student modeling approaches. ICTG have implemented many intelligent tutoring systems for a variety of instructional tasks, ranging from well-defined to open-ended design tasks. Prof Mitrovic has also done research on animated pedagogical agents, modeling affect and meta-cognitive skills, and authoring systems for ITSs. Prof Mitrovic serves as the associate editor for the International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, IEEE Transactions on Teaching and Learning Technologies, and Research and Practice in Technology-Enhanced Education. She was the general chair for AIED 2015, local organizing chair for AIED 2011, President of the AIED society 2013-2015), and a member of the program committees of many relevant conferences, including ITS, AIED, ICCE, UMAP, EDM, LAK and FLAIRS. Prof Mitrovic has authored more than 200 journal/conference articles.

Bjorn de Koning

Bjorn de Koning is Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies (DPECS) at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He coordinates the master program Human Learning and Performance, teaches courses about educational psychology and online learning, and is member of the Examination Board of ESSB. His main area of expertise is in learning and instruction, and he is dedicated to study, stimulate and support learning processes and -outcomes in education and training. His research focuses on (1) optimizing the design of (online/digital) educational materials (e.g., video, animation, text); (2) self-regulation of learning behavior, with a focus on changing the learning environment itself (e.g., by nudging) and teaching strategies to support self-regulation (e.g., self-management of cognitive load); and (3) teaching cognitive strategies to support higher-order thinking processes (e.g., reading comprehension strategies, mathematical word problem solving). He is recipient of the Erik de Corte award (2015) of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instructions (EARLI), which is bi-annually awarded to young and promising scholars in the field of Learning and Instruction. At the local, national, and international level he has extensive collaborations with prominent researchers and societal partners to create both scientific and societal impact. As of 2018, he is Associate Editor for the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Viktoria Pammer-Schindler

Viktoria Pammer-Schindler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Biomedical Engineering at the Graz University of Technology, in Austria, and leader of a research group on working, learning and technology. Her research is in human-computer interaction and educational technology, on interactive systems design from a socio-technical and learning perspective. Prof. Pammer-Schindler is a world-wide leading researcher in technologies for reflection, for workplace learning, and socio-technical design methods that consider technology, target context of usage, and strategic perspectives in parallel. She is currently President of the International Alliance to Advance Learning in the Digital Era ( ), and a past member of the managing board of the European Association of Technology-Enhanced Learning ( ). Prof. Pammer-Schindler will be serving as subcommittee chair for learning, education and families at the ACM CHI 2023, and is currently special issue editor at the IEEE Transactions on Learning Technologies. She has further served at the ACM CHI as an associate chair from 2019-2021, and as a symposium organiser in 2019; and at the EC-TEL as a general chair in 2019, as a program chair in 2018, as a poster & gemo chair in 2016, and as a workshop chair in 2015.