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Elise DeitrickApril 12, 20213 min read

Boost Student Engagement with Codio's New Email Notifications

Codio recently released automatic email notifications which allow teachers to easily nudge students who have not started or submitted assignments.


This idea first emerged in a research paper in 2019 where professors at Coventry University reflected on their adoption of Codio. They noted that due to Codio’s rich data on student engagement with the platform, they were able to create an automated email notification system.

Our main goal is for students to gain a functional level of programming competence, and a pre-requisite for this is simply putting in the time to practice. The often quoted figures are '10 years or 10,000 hours to become an expert' [2, 3]. ...

This link from engagement to achievement is well established [5] but not always obvious to students. Now when we make the claim we can back it up with aggregated evidence produced by our own students. For example, Figure 3 shows the relationship between minutes in Codio and marks on relevant assessments for one cohort − the linear relationship between the two apparent. 


Further, we can show students their own data and a predicted final mark based on current engagement. Figure 4 shows an example of the type of data that could be extracted for an individual student.

Figures 3 and 4 make clear the strong correlation between Codio engagement and grades. To be clear, the inclusion of these figures is not to make a claim of causation derived from Codio use, but to demonstrate the type of data that can be extracted for the purposes of convincing students of the importance of engagement!” (Croft & England, 2019, p. 3)

These automated emails are an easy way for teachers to draw students into the Codio platform to build their coding skills. These email nudges are an important first step in helping students create effective study habits and encouraging students to start assignments with enough time to fully engage with them.

Read the research

Feature Details

Instructors with edit access for a course might have already noticed the new “Notifications” tab:

From there, you can create a new notification:

We offer 3 different types of notifications that email different segments of the students in the course:

  1. Not Started Assignment: students that have never opened the assignment

  2. Incomplete Assignment: students who have not finished an assignment

  3. New Feedback: students with a new grade and associated feedback available

The first two were inspired by the work above to help students develop time management skills. Based on user requests, this same system can also email students when a new grade has been released. (If you have a feature request for Codio, please let us know!)

You can configure the timing of these emails based on the last day to submit without late penalties or the last day before the assignment closes:

Finally, you get to craft the email notification so it sounds like you:

Similar to mail merge, Codio supports a number of automatically filled in fields to enable you to include personalization and all relevant links:

  • <<<student name>>> : Students name
  • <<<assignment name>>>: Assignment name
  • <<<course name>>>: Codio course name
  • <<<course link>>>: link to Codio course
  • <<<assignment link>>>: link to students project
  • <<<feedback link>>>: Link to assignment feedback
  • <<<due in>>>: when the assignment is due for completion relative to current date/time

Once you click the “Create” button, this email notification rule applies to ALL assignments in the Course. This means you can set up your notification rules once at the beginning of the semester, and they will be automatically applied to any assignment you add to the course.

For the full documentation on how to craft an automatic email notification in Codio, please visit:

Reviewing Enabled Notifications

Once you have created your automated email notifications, you can quickly see an overview of them under the same Notifications tab:

If you want to tweak the wording or timing of a notification, simply click the associated “Edit” button.

If you want to delete a notification, simply click the associated “X” icon.

You can test this feature, and much more when you sign up for a free Codio instructor account!

Create Free Instructor Account


Croft, D., & England, M. (2019, January). Computing with Codio at Coventry University: Online virtual Linux boxes and automated formative feedback. In Proceedings of the 3rd Conference on Computing Education Practice (pp. 1-4).


Elise Deitrick

Elise is Codio's VP of Product & Partnerships. She believes in making quality educational experiences available to everyone. With a BS in Computer Science and a PhD in STEM Education, she has spent the last several years teaching robotics, computer science and engineering. Elise now uses that experience and expertise to shape Codio's product and content.