Students and their thoughts: reflecting for a good semester

Last registered on October 25, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Students and their thoughts: reflecting for a good semester
Initial registration date
October 21, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
October 25, 2022, 2:12 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

University of Glasgow

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Würzburg
PI Affiliation
University of Würzburg
PI Affiliation
University of Glasgow
PI Affiliation
University of Würzburg
PI Affiliation
University of Glasgow

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We aim to examine the impact of mental health on academic performance and the role played by reflection and literacy intervention. In that attempt, primary data of students of an undergraduate course at the University of Würzburg will be collected during one academic semester. We contribute to the existing literature by measuring both the impact of our intervention on mental health and the effect of mental health on academic performance. The results will test whether a reflection and/or a potential literacy intervention in the classroom can significantly affect mental health.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Bhan, Prateek Chandra et al. 2022. "Students and their thoughts: reflecting for a good semester." AEA RCT Registry. October 25.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Depressive disorder,
Life satisfaction,
Risky behaviour,
Attendance in lectures, and
Academic performance.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Psychological factors
􏰀 Depressive disorder - This variable is measured via the eight-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8). Each questions includes four response options from ’Not at all’ to ’Nearly every day’ (Kroenke et al., 2009).
􏰀 Stress - is gauged using the perceived stress scale that includes ten questions with five response options each (from ’never’ to ’very often’) (Cohen et al., 1994).
􏰀 Life satisfaction - We include the question to rate life satisfaction on a scale from 0 (’completely dissatisfied’) to 10 (’completely satisfied’) used in Socio-Economic Panel (Kantar Public, 2021).
􏰀 Risky behaviour - For this we refer to the Busch et al. (2014) ques- tions on the frequency of consuming stimulants (alcohol, cigarettes) during the last 30 days.
2. Performance
􏰀 Attendance is monitored during first lecture and during lectures with multiple-choice tests (in lectures 4, 6, 8, 10) by asking for the number of the participants.
􏰀 Performance - Firstly, this is assessed using the individual scores for all multiple choice test and the total score for all multiple choice tests. Secondly, the outcomes of the final exam and the re-sit exam are used. For the exams we can distinguish between drop-out (appearing, but cross-out; do not appear) and the evaluation of the exam (grade and individual scores).

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design

There will be two arms.
Treatment - reflection intervention (pondering on the past year in university).
Placebo - pondering on the significance of architecture of university building.

Further details are available in the attached analysis plan.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Students are randomised and treated at an individual level using Qualtrics' randomisation function.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
roughly 250-300 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
roughly 250-300 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
roughly 250-300 students split evenly to two groups (treatment and placebo)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
College of Social Sciences Research Ethics Committee, University of Glasgow
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents

Preanalysis plan

MD5: cf1f09f975c9d5b6b2b66a31f554ff63

SHA1: 181eb04a8a4dcd13e7d4bae35d3e9ef93cb6cc75

Uploaded At: October 21, 2022


Post Trial Information

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials