About Boost

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Overview

Boost is a mobile app for Android and iOS that aggregates information about student schoolwork and uses it to deliver timely, personalized, automated notifications. This includes sending push notification reminders about upcoming assignment due dates, personalized encouragement after submitting an assignment, and recently posted course announcements in Canvas. Boost also displays a to-do list (matching a student's Canvas to-do list) of upcoming assignments in a student's Canvas courses.

Important:
Not all assignments and announcements will trigger a Boost push notification; see Eligible assignments and announcements.

Boost was developed by eLearning Design and Services in collaboration with Benjamin Motz, IU Research Scientist in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The alpha pilot (Fall 2018) included the participation of 6 instructors across 4 campuses, and 130 student volunteers. The beta pilot (Spring 2019) included approximately 700 instructors and 2,000 students. During these pilots, feedback was gathered from participating students and instructors, faculty councils, teaching centers, technology- and educational-policy committees, assistive technology analysts, and student government representatives.

Comparison with Canvas notifications

  • Canvas does not remind students about upcoming assignment deadlines, nor provide proactive alerts when a student hasn't submitted anything for these assignments; Canvas notifications are triggered when changes such as a due date, a grade, a grading policy, and course content occur.
  • While standard Canvas notifications preferences apply to all your enrolled courses, students can modify Boost notifications on a course-by-course basis, setting assignment due date reminders from 2-24 hours beforehand.
  • For both Canvas and Boost notifications, students control their preferences, not instructors.

For more about native Canvas notifications, see How do I set my Canvas notification preferences as a student? and Canvas Notifications (PDF).

Courses available in Boost

When students download and access Boost on a mobile device (see Access Boost via the app), they will see all published courses that they are enrolled in as students for the current semester, and can set their notification preferences accordingly. Instructors do not need to enable Boost or to perform any action for students to start receiving notifications from their courses.

Access Boost

Via the app

You can download the Boost app for your mobile device from the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store.

Via Canvas

In courses in which the instructor has enabled the Boost external tool within Canvas (see Add an external app to your course in Canvas), students can access Boost via the left-hand course navigation menu, where they can view a list of devices where they have installed Boost, and can revoke notification permissions from a device. Students who have not previously registered in the app will see information about it, including download instructions.

Instructors can see aggregate information about the number of notifications that have been sent in a course for each assignment.

Experimental features

When first installing Boost, you'll be invited to enable "Experimental Features". If you do so, you'll be enrolled in an IRB-approved research study. Only students who are at least 18 years old should enable these features. Students who consent to participate in this study may receive new forms of notifications that are untested, but that are designed to be positive and helpful.

Eligible assignments and announcements

Assignment criteria

For a notification to be sent, assignments must:

  • Be in a course that is published and open to students
  • Not be a group assignment
  • Be assigned to everyone in the course. Differentiated assignments that are only assigned to a single section, group, or student are not included.
  • Have a due date that is in the future
  • Be open (after "Available from" date and before "Until" date, if those values have been set; if those values have not been set, that is also acceptable)
  • Be graded ("Display Grade as" is not set to Not Graded, is not omitted from the final grade, and has more than 0 points assigned)
  • Be an online submission (On Paper and No Submission are excluded)
  • If a quiz, there should not be an access code. (An access code is typically included only for proctored exams, which students cannot access directly).
  • If an external tool submission, the tool must send assignment submission information to Canvas before the due date. Currently, the only tool confirmed to do so is Quick Check; assignments using other external tools are currently not included.
  • Not be submitted already by the student receiving the notification; students who have submitted previously will not be notified.

Announcement criteria

For a notification to be sent, announcements must:

  • Be in a course that is published and open to students
  • Be available to students at the current date and time; future scheduled announcements will not be included until they become available

Help and feedback

For help, contact your campus Support Center.

To provide feedback and suggestions, email IU Boost Support.

For more about Boost, see Boost@IU.

Related documents

This is document atud in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2020-08-26 11:46:47.

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