Increasing coursework completion

2 min read: We ran an experiment across 120 managers participating in a behavioural programme. We wanted to see if we could make it more likely that participants would complete their weekly online coursework in a timely manner (within 14 days of the due date) by putting new prompts and consequences into the environment.

The control groups were informed of what was required to be completed on the online system and by when. The experimental groups were given the same information but in addition, each group were assigned a nudger, someone from the training company who would call them each week to discuss their online work. The nudger called each week and discussed the online progress with those who answered.

Participants from the experimental group were 20% more likely to complete within the window than those from the control. Additionally, by the end of the programme those receiving the calls scored almost 10% higher on activities successfully completed.

Interestingly enough when asked whether the calls had influenced their behaviour, the participants voted that they had not. It just goes to show so much of the time we are completely unaware of how small changes in the environment are nudging our behaviour.