Increasing Enrollment in the Small Business Administration's Learning Center
What was the challenge?
In response small business owners’ need for relevant training, SBA created the Learning Center, which hosts nearly 60 courses on a variety of topics. Learning Center users must complete a registration form prior to taking any courses. While this form is not mandatory, research suggests that the burden of completing the form led to 43% of users exiting from the course without starting.
What was the program change?
OES created two versions of the form that decreased free-form fields and the number of multiple choice questions while still collecting the same information, and reordered the questions to simplify completion.
How did the evaluation work?
SBA piloted the forms over three months and recorded form completion rates versus exit rates.
What was the impact?
Over the three months, 64.1% of users continued the course after completing the form, compared to 57.6% prior to the changes. The second updated version of the form also appeared to increase the amount of information voluntarily provided during registration, enabling SBA to learn vital information about the small business owners they serve.