In Enlitened, students earn points for answering questions and when the ideas they submit to improve the university are supported by other students.
Students can exchange these points for offers and discounts, on and off campus, or they can donate their points to student mental health charities, like Papyrus and Student Minds. The Student Room then fund those donations.
We use this incentivisation approach as the academic literature, and our own research, shows us that rewards have a significant impact on students propensity to participate.
We have nearly 20 years of experience optimising student engagement on TSR, and it is important for us to draw on our knowledge to reach those students who may be less likely to be motivated to respond otherwise.
The research also tells us that incentivising student surveys doesn’t impact the way students reply. (“Does use of survey incentives degrade data quality?”, Cole, Sarraf, Wang 2015)
Higher education sector best practice encourages incentivisation of student surveys. US NSSE advice is to use incentives. UK Office for Students encourages competitions and prize draws in the NSS good practice guide
Universities, student unions and commercial brands provide offers which Enlitened students can choose to benefit from, to support our social mission, and to attract, or encourage returning customers.
Rewards partners do not receive any student data or information. Providing student rewards is a cost for The Student Room. Universities also do not receive income or other benefits from the reward partners.
The reward categories (tech, wellbeing, food, cinema etc) were based on what students have told us they wanted in initial telephone research, and further informed by focus groups and ideas feedback, as well as consultation with The Student Room.
Our goal is to provide engaging offers for students, so that more students use Enlitened, and we can have the best possible impact on student engagement and wellbeing.
Response rate % increase by incentive type
(reference group: no incentive used)
“The Student Room team have spent 18 years supporting students online. We hope that their Enlitened programme can help future generations of students have the best possible university experience and we are happy to be exploring ways in which Student Minds and The Student Room can work together in the future.”
Rosie Tressler OBE
CEO, Student Minds
“It can be difficult trying to measure student satisfaction with email questionnaires. This new approach is great because it’s instant and constantly being updated. Between us, the student union and university we can work to address issues in real-time.”
Welfare, Community & Diversity Officer –
Student Union University of East Anglia
“Enlitened’s diligent, evidence-led approach and speed of development have been great to witness. Our students have very much enjoyed engaging with Enlitened, and the wellbeing data generated as a result have the potential to be genuinely transformative. The future of student engagement is emerging, and we are excited to be part of it.”
Professor Kelly Coate
Pro Vice Chancellor (Education and Students), University of Sussex
“As Enlitened rolls out across the whole university, I am convinced it will be genuinely transformative. It gives us a leap forward in proactive approachable support for students, transforms conversation with our student community, and is a major shift in the timeliness and detail of the data we have to improve the whole student experience.”
Dr Jon Sharp
Director of Student Services,
University of East Anglia