The effect of a missing bar
As a mentor for a Project Management course for beginners, I have graduated hundreds of students in the past year and have noticed an interesting effect. The school offers discounts through a government program and full-price payment. The attitude towards learning from these two groups of students is quite different.
Students with a granted discount:
- complains about the discrepancy between the curriculum and the course content (that’s not true)
- stand for their positions in case they have got feedback on how to improve their homework (it shows they are not ready to learn new, not open-minded)
- can’t drop their education because, in their cases, they have to reimburse the course spends (merely the students continue wasting their time on unwanted )
- argue about the stupid and unrelated Project Manager role tasks they have to pass to complete the module (i.e., write test cases for a product)
- always asks how to and what to write in their homework to get the work accepted instead of elaborating on their decisions and practicing gained skills
Students who paid the total price:
- they have an understanding of why they should do work for other roles
- Share with other students their experience and understanding - they are highly involved in helping others
- I haven’t heard complaints about tasks they have to work on during the course, but only questions about how the knowledge and skills might be helpful for them in their job
- they have broad experience, frequently they think out of the box, and they try to apply their current skills in day-in and day-out work
The list is incomplete, and I can continue to iterate through the lots of cases, but I would like to recap my conclusions on it:
- discounts attract people who love discounts. Customers only sometimes need your product.
- a threshold bar with the minimum effort should help you avoid such random people on your product
- even educational courses for beginners have an entry-level of required knowledge. Below that, a student won’t understand the content
- something for free doesn’t mean valuable to you. Don’t fall for it
- if the process is unavoidable for you, try to turn it into something even a bit useful and meaningful for you instead of wasting time and energy
Sorry if the findings are apparent to you :) I want to remind you about it from a different perspective.