Using push technology for maintaining proficiency and promoting a growth mindset in a STEM course

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Just like physical skills, cognitive skills grow rusty over time unless they are regularly used and practiced. This means that school breaks can have quite negative consequences on student learning. The Keeping in School Shape (KiSS) program is an engaging, innovative and cost-effective intervention that uses push technology to help students maintain proficiency over breaks from school, while also promoting a growth mindset. Theoretically, the KiSS program draws on the well-documented benefits of retrieval practice – the notion that recalling previously material is a very effective way of maintaining cognitive performance. The KiSS program embodies retrieval practice by sending students a multiple-choice mathematics question daily via text messaging or email. A positive mindset regarding the benefits of effort is promoted through feedback messages that encourage program resource use, such as choosing to view a hint and retry a problem instead of giving up. This paper reports on a few aspects of the implementation of the KiSS program at a large university during the summer break for students enrolled in an engineering introductory calculus course sequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Higher Education Theory and Practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - Oct 21 2021


  • Mathematics learning
  • Push technology
  • Retrieval practice
  • Student engagement
  • Summer slide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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