Differentiated Learning Experimentation: Evidence from Ghana

Last registered on August 31, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Differentiated Learning Experimentation: Evidence from Ghana
Initial registration date
May 13, 2023

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
May 17, 2023, 2:49 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 31, 2023, 12:07 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator


Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Delaware
PI Affiliation
University of Massachusetts Boston
PI Affiliation
University of Delaware

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Previous research in Ghana, India, and Kenya has demonstrated the effectiveness of an innovative strategy to increase student learning—differentiated learning that teaches students at their level of knowledge, not their grade level, for some period of the school day. Despite its successes, this method of teaching is not always implemented with great fidelity in all settings, raising concerns as governments move to scale this intervention. This study tests the effect of different trainings aimed at improving the implementation rates of differentiated learning on teaching practices and student achievement in primary school. In particular, we evaluate whether in-person training compared to digital training can improve upon the status quo in terms of both effectiveness and cost effectiveness. The resulting RCT has three arms randomized at the school level—a control arm, one with training teachers in-person on differentiated learning, and one with a digital training on differentiated learning. We will assess the effectiveness of these trainings on improving knowledge and adoption of differentiated learning, teaching practices, and student achievement via student, teacher, and head teacher surveys and classroom observations.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Beg, Sabrin et al. 2023. "Differentiated Learning Experimentation: Evidence from Ghana." AEA RCT Registry. August 31. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.11414-2.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Knowledge of differentiated learning; Implementation of differentiated learning; Quality of differentiated learning instruction
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Attendance of students and teachers; Monitoring by supervisors
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The primary sample of 230 schools is divided into three groups by school level randomization, and stratified by baseline implementation of differentiated learning: (1) Treatment 1 – DL In-Person Training (90 schools), (2) Treatment 2 – DL Digital Training (90 schools), and (3) Control (50 schools). In both treatment groups, teachers are provided with refresher trainings on differentiated learning developed in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES).

In Treatment 1, this training is provided in person – teachers will meet over the course of five days for a classroom-based DLE training. This training will follow the traditional cascade module of teacher training by GES, which has long been used by GES in training teachers, especially for large programs. In this model, a group of master trainers is trained on DL, then they train smaller groups of District Teacher Support Teams (DTST) on the same topics. The DTSTs further train teachers who have been selected based on the placement of their schools on DL Experimentation. During the training, participants will receive a succinct resource manual on how to properly implement DL in schools.

In Treatment 2, the training is provided via a digital training platform developed by the National Teaching Council (NTC) . The digital course will be composed of six different modules including an introduction to DL, Resources for Teaching and Learning in DL, an Introduction to DL in Mathematics Lessons, an Introduction to DL in English Lessons, and assessment of learners in English and Mathematics. Participants will be required to study the modules and implement them in their classes for lesson observations. Additionally, participants will be required to record parts of their lesson deliveries in their classrooms on videos, for panel discussions via zoom meetings at the district levels.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
230 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
230 schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
90 schools In-Person Training, 90 schools DL Digital Training, 50 schools Control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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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