“We found there was this sweet spot for registering,” Evans said. “The early birds, for whatever reason, were less likely to show up. Those who signed up one to three weeks before the course began were the most likely to persist.”
The students with the highest probability of actually completing the course were those who agreed to take a pre-course survey. Those students watched 12 more lectures and were 12 percentage points more likely to earn a completion certificate than those who chose not to complete the survey.
“It was fascinating to discover that the student’s willingness to take the survey was the strongest predictor that they would complete the course,” Evans said.