10 Aug Case Study: Enhancing Internship Experience and Project Outcomes with ReliablyME
ReliablyME, an innovative platform designed to foster accountability and motivation, was utilized by a group of 10 first-year students from the University of Waterloo during their 5-week internship. The platform’s unique features, such as nudging reminders and commitment tracking, were leveraged to enhance the interns’ experience and drive their performance.
The primary challenge faced by the interns was maintaining accountability and motivation to complete tasks within the set deadlines. The interns were also seeking to improve their soft skills, such as communication, collaboration, and leadership, which are crucial for their career development.
ReliablyME was introduced as a tool to address these challenges. The platform’s nudging feature served as a constant reminder for the interns to fulfill their commitments, thereby creating a sense of accountability. The ability to set deadlines and make commitments provided structure and a timeline for their tasks. The platform also offered visibility into the tasks and commitments of their teammates, fostering a sense of teamwork and alignment of priorities.
The use of ReliablyME resulted in a generally positive response from the interns. They appreciated the sense of accomplishment from earning badges and points, which served as recognition for their efforts. The regular notifications and reminders were found to be useful in maintaining timeliness and urgency to complete assignments.
However, the platform’s impact was not limited to task completion. It also played a role in improving the interns’ soft skills. For instance, the visibility provided by ReliablyME into the tasks of their teammates helped improve their communication and collaboration skills. The platform’s features also potentially reinforced habits around these skills, although the impact was uncertain.
Interestingly, the interns reported that ReliablyME drove greater accountability and urgency than their project management system alone. The public commitments created more pressure to follow through, leading to more timely task completion and communication. This was something that traditional project management tools might not offer to the same extent.
Evidence of Improved Performance
The analysis showed positive correlations between usage of ReliablyME and key outcomes like satisfaction, learning, behavior change, and performance. Interns who maximized ReliablyME delivered the strongest project results based on their performance evaluations. They exceeded expectations in areas like communication, collaboration, and delivery. In interviews, interns reported ReliablyME drove greater accountability and urgency than their project management system alone. The public commitments created more pressure to follow through.
A more nuanced example of the correlation between ReliablyME usage and performance evaluations can be seen in the analysis of the interns’ participation and feedback. Interns who had higher usage volume tended to give more positive feedback about ReliablyME and received higher performance evaluations. On the other hand, those with moderate usage and mixed sentiments had lower evaluations. This pattern demonstrates that higher adoption of ReliablyME aligned with more positive views and stronger outcomes.
Interns’ feedback further supports the value of ReliablyME:
“I felt more productive because I was using ReliablyME. It helped me make myself think I was being productive.”
“ReliablyME nudges at 4pm and 5pm pushed me to make progress in the day. I knew I had to respond with an update.”
“It kinda holds you responsible, in a sense, to actually do what you’re saying.”
“I noticed my teammates were much more likely to…”
The analysis revealed several positive correlations between ReliablyME usage and key outcomes:
– Higher usage related to increased satisfaction feedback about ReliablyME (r = 0.7).
– More nudges/reminders correlated with greater self-reported learning gains (r = 0.65).
– Above-average usage tied to more claimed behavior improvements (r = 0.8).
– Top performers had a higher volume of completed commitments (r = 0.9).
– Highly satisfied interns ranked higher in participation metrics (r = 0.75).
The performance evaluations were based on objective data generated by the interns themselves, which was then analyzed by AI tools. This approach reduces the likelihood of bias in the evaluations, as they were not influenced by the personal opinions of the evaluator. The AI analyzed the data based on predefined criteria or algorithms, without any subjective interpretation. Therefore, the correlation observed between the usage of ReliablyME and the performance evaluations is likely to be a result of the objective analysis of the data, rather than any bias in favor of interns who used ReliablyME.