Research shows that having conversations with someone in your life about your studies can improve your marks! Project Boost is an Australian-first pilot study being run by Western Sydney University during Spring Semester 2019. Its goal is to establish whether there is an evidence-based way to help students get a bigger boost out of their studies.
It works very simply: when you sign up you might receive a weekly SMS to help you plan, prepare, and achieve your study goals for your preferred unit. You might also be asked to nominate a ‘Supporter’ who will also receive a weekly text message which will mirror your own.
A Supporter can be anyone, as long as they're not enrolled in the same School as you at Western Sydney University. Most people choose their partner, parent, sibling, or friend! Watch the below video to learn about what to expect.
Frequently Asked Questions
We want to see whether weekly text messages could help you to get more out of your studies, and engage more with someone in your life who cares about you and your success at uni. Specifically, we’re interested in whether weekly text messages and extra support helps you to do better in Spring Semester 2019.
This is a pilot study, which means that if you sign up you might nominate a Supporter and receive text messages, and you might not. This helps us to figure out whether these text messages, and conversations with your Supporter, improve your grades.
A Supporter can be anyone, as long as they're not enrolled in the same School as you at Western Sydney University. So far 40% of our students' Supporters are their partners, 30% are parents and siblings, and 20% are friends! They don't need to have been to university or know anything about your studies. If you're asked to nominate a Supporter we will send them weekly texts, prompting them to ask you questions about the unit you nominated. You'll always know what your Supporter has been texted about every week because you will receive a text with the same information.
If you and your nominated Supporter receive messages, they will contain:
- Prompts to talk to your Supporter about what you’re learning;
- Prompts for your Supporter to talk to you about your studies;
- Reminders about exams and deadlines.
Your Supporter will not be told anything about your marks or attendance. The messages have been designed to help them understand what you are doing at uni and how they can support you during the semester. The messages will always be positive.
Unfortunately not. At this time you will have to select just one of the eligible units available in Spring Semester 2019 (please refer to below list).
Yes, you can unsubscribe from the text messages at any time by replying STOP. You will be sent a confirmation SMS, but will not receive any future scheduled texts. Unsubscribing from the text messages does not withdraw you from the pilot, or remove your data from the dataset. To withdraw from the pilot, you can email email@example.com.
Yes, they can also unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP.
You can reply to the text messages if you want to, but you are not expected to, and we will only check message replies about once per week. Don’t reply to texts if you are trying to get in touch with your tutor, lecturer, unit coordinator or anyone else at Western Sydney University. You’ll need to contact them directly. If you have any questions about your unit, the unit content, or vUWS, then please contact your unit coordinator - their contact details can be found in your Western Sydney University Learning Guide.
If you would like to let us know what you think about the messages, Project Boost, the conversations you have with your supporter, or anything else, we would love to hear from you. Just reply directly to the texts.
Your responses to the sign-up form are being collected by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and are used to assign you to a study condition (text messages, or no text messages).
At the end of the semester, we’ll see if the text messages and conversations made a difference to final grades. No one except two of the researchers will know who was in the study or what their grades were – your Supporter will never be told about your academic performance. No individual will ever be identifiable in our reporting of the results of the study.
Overall results of the pilot will be shared with Western Sydney University, and may be published in an academic journal. A summary of the results will be published on the Western Sydney University website. The Project Boost pilot has been reviewed by the Western Sydney University Human Research Ethics Committee, approval number H13274.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Units included in Project Boost
- Level 1 - Bioscience 2 (401006)
- Level 1 - Human Relations and Life Transitions (401005)
- Level 1 - Approaches to Professional Nursing Practice (401007)
- Level 2 - Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing 1 (401013)
- Level 2 - Health Variations 3 - Acute Exacerbations of Chronic Conditions (401210)
- Level 2 - Health Variations 2 - Chronic Illness and Disability (401209)
- Level 3 - Being a Professional Nurse or Midwife (401021)
- Level 3 - Clinical Leadership and Professional Relationships (401213)
- Level 1 - People, Place and Social Difference (102170)
- Level 1 - Working with Communities (101900)
- Level 1 - Crime, Deviance and Society (102039)
- Level 1 - Psychology: Behavioural Science (101183)
- Level 1 - Working with Cultural Differences (101664)
- Level 2 - Ethics in the Social Sciences (101555)
- Level 2 - Human Rights, Human Services and the Law (400195)
- Level 2 - Prisons, Punishment and Criminal Justice (102036)
- Level 2 - Community and Social Action (101595)
- Level 2 - Community Management and Organisations (101644)
- Level 3 - Crime Prevention and Community (102038)
- Level 3 - Contemporary Social Issues and Professional Practice (102203)
- Level 3 - Social Psychology (101683)
- Level 3 - Evidence, Investigations and Police Intelligence (101567)
- Level 3 - Child Abuse as a Social Issue (101381)
- Level 3 - Motivation and Emotion (101678)
- Level 3 - Indigenous Cultures: A Global Perspective (101905)
- Level 3 - Psychology and the Online World (102350)
- Level 4 - Theory and Practice of Psychological Assessment and Intervention (101420)
- Level 1 - Foundations of Research and Evidence-Based Practice (400863)
- Level 2 - Metabolism (300848)
- Level 3 - Neuroanatomy (300754)
- Level 1 - Enterprise Law (200909)
- Level 2 - Torts Law (200008)
- Level 3 - Civil Procedure and Arbitration (200813)
- Level 1 - Enterprise Innovation and Markets (200911)
- Level 2 - Managing in the Global Environment (200864)
- Level 3 - Brand and Product Management (200088)