The Art of Supportive Accountability

Interested in Using This Course?

Contact Megyn Jasman, Assistant Director

The Science

We partnered with supportive accountability experts at the Center for Behavioral Interventions and Technology at Northwestern University to develop this course. Supportive accountability seeks to isolate and efficiently address common difficulties when completing interventions, including mobile interventions and apps. These might include usability (design flaws), user engagement (a lack of motivation), fit (the intervention does not address the user’s specific needs), knowledge (incorrectly engaging), and implementation (insufficient incorporation of new skills into the user’s daily life). Mentors can be trained identify the difficulty points and maintain engagement. Several studies and systematic reviews have highlighted the positive associations between supportive accountability for mobile apps and users’ engagement, number of logins, use of interactive tools, and outcomes. These studies have shown that, with guidance, effect sizes of apps and other technology-delivered interventions are comparable to those obtained in face-to-face interventions, whereas entirely self-guided programs have yielded relatively few benefits. A recent large-scale meta-analysis, for example, showed that students whose use of technology-delivered interventions was supported by coaches, either in person or through online contact, showed more gains than those who self-administered their interventions. In fact, supported interventions produced nearly double the effects of self-administered interventions (0.55 versus 0.28). In our lab, we recently surveyed many meta-analyses, isolating the effects of interventions with and without coaching and support. Importantly, this coaching and support need not be delivered by highly trained professionals.

Course Objectives

This course is designed to provide an overview of supportive accountability, including:

  • The basics of MentorHub
  • What is supportive accountability?
  • How supportive accountability goes hand-in-hand with mentoring
  • The five areas for mentors to check on when providing supportive accountability

Course Outline

  • Introduction
  • Supportive accountability and mentoring
  • Five areas for supportive accountability
  • Knowledge check
  • Evaluation survey