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Tutoring, Professional Development, and Educational Improvement: Evidence from Colombia
Last registered on August 01, 2017

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Tutoring, Professional Development, and Educational Improvement: Evidence from Colombia
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0002359
Initial registration date
July 28, 2017
Last updated
August 01, 2017 1:54 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Harvard University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2017-04-01
End date
2018-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Empirical studies in developing countries have shown that improving teaching and learning practices by tailoring them to the needs of disadvantaged and struggling students may result in significant improvements of their educational results. This research project aims to evaluate the individual and combined effectiveness of two interventions: teachers’ professional development and tutoring. This evaluation will be conducted in public schools in the city of Cali, Colombia
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barrera-Osorio, Felipe. 2017. "Tutoring, Professional Development, and Educational Improvement: Evidence from Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. August 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.2359-1.0.
Former Citation
Barrera-Osorio, Felipe. 2017. "Tutoring, Professional Development, and Educational Improvement: Evidence from Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. August 01. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/2359/history/20025.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
Our study aims to evaluate the individual and combined effectiveness of two interventions –teachers’ professional development and tutoring– on the test results of struggling students. The first intervention, teachers’ professional development, consists in one visit per month that randomly selected teachers in public schools will receive over the next three academic terms. The purpose of these visits, which combine classroom observations and feedback, and that are conducted by tutors and pedagogical advisors hired by the Carvajal Foundation, a local NGO, is to provide teachers with pedagogical strategies to strengthen their educational practices aimed at improving the basic language and math skills of struggling students. These visits will be reinforced with group workshops (three per term). The second intervention, the tutoring intervention, consists in two one-hour tutoring sessions per week that students in the bottom of the distribution within each grade/school included in the study will receive over the next three academic terms. Tutors will be hired by the Carvajal Foundation and will work directly with the students in reinforcing their basic language and math skills.
Intervention Start Date
2017-08-01
Intervention End Date
2018-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and the Early Grade Math Assessment (EGMA). School Progression. Dropout.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In April 2017, out of the total 93 public schools in the city of Cali, Colombia, the Carvajal Foundation, a local NGO, randomly selected 7 schools (treated schools). These 7 schools will receive, starting in August 2017, the interventions that we describe below. The NGO collected language and math test scores of students in grades 2 through 5 in these public schools. In addition, out of the remaining public schools, the NGO will randomly select 4 schools (control schools) and will administer the same tests. These schools will not receive any intervention.

The two interventions in the 7 public schools will be assigned in the following way:

• Teachers’ professional development intervention: Out of the total 76 teachers in grades 2 to 5 in the 7 treated public schools, 38 teachers were randomly selected to receive this intervention. Randomization was conducted at the teacher level.
• Tutoring intervention: Out of nearly total 6,000 students in grades 2 to 5 in the randomly selected 7 public schools, 912 students will be selected to receive the tutoring intervention. These 912 students were selected considering the 12 students per school/campus/grade in the bottom of the distribution within each of these school/campus/grade units. Tutors were randomly assigned to each school/campus/grade.

At the end of each academic term language and math tests will be administered to all students in the sample of 9 public schools.
Experimental Design Details
In April 2017, out of the total 93 public schools in the city of Cali, Colombia, the Carvajal Foundation, a local NGO, randomly selected 7 schools (treated schools), 19 institutions. These schools will receive, starting in August 2017, the interventions that we describe below. The NGO collected language and math test scores of students in grades 2 through 5 in these public schools. In addition, out of the remaining public schools, the NGO will randomly select 4 schools (control schools) and will administer the same tests. These schools will not receive any intervention. The two interventions in the public schools will be assigned in the following way: • Teachers’ professional development intervention: Out of the total 76 teachers in grades 2 to 5 in the 7 treated public schools, 38 teachers were randomly selected to receive this intervention. Randomization was conducted at the teacher level. • Tutoring intervention: Out of nearly total 6,000 students in grades 2 to 5 in the randomly selected 7 public schools, 912 students will be selected to receive the tutoring intervention. These 912 students were selected considering the 12 students per school/campus/grade in the bottom of the distribution within each of these school/campus/grade units. Tutors were randomly assigned to each school/campus/grade. At the end of each academic term language and math tests will be administered to all students in the sample of 9 public schools.
Randomization Method
In April 2017, out of the total 93 public schools in the city of Cali, Colombia, the Carvajal Foundation, a local NGO, randomly selected 7 schools (treated schools), 19 institutions. These schools will receive, starting in August 2017, the interventions that we describe below. The NGO collected language and math test scores of students in grades 2 through 5 in these public schools. In addition, out of the remaining public schools, the NGO will randomly select 4 schools (control schools) and will administer the same tests. These schools will not receive any intervention.

The two interventions in the public schools will be assigned in the following way:

• Teachers’ professional development intervention: Out of the total 76 teachers in grades 2 to 5 in the 7 treated public schools, 38 teachers were randomly selected to receive this intervention. Randomization was conducted at the teacher level.
• Tutoring intervention: Out of nearly total 6,000 students in grades 2 to 5 in the randomly selected 7 public schools, 912 students will be selected to receive the tutoring intervention. These 912 students were selected considering the 12 students per school/campus/grade in the bottom of the distribution within each of these school/campus/grade units. Tutors were randomly assigned to each school/campus/grade.

At the end of each academic term language and math tests will be administered to all students in the sample of 9 public schools.
Randomization Unit
Randomization done by computer; private.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
21 educational public institutions
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 7000 students in grades 2 to 5.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
38 teachers assigned to the first intervention, and 912 students assigned to the second intervention and 528 students in the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Power calculations were estimated. We did several robustness exercises—different powers and effects sizes. Our most conservative estimate is that, in order to detect effect sizes of 0.15 sd on our measure of achievement with a power of 0.8, we need a minimum sample size of 1,396 students. Considering a conservative effect size of 0.15 sd, with a treatment group of 912 students and the control group of 528 students, our power is 0.78. Also, in order to confirm the patterns we observe in the control group, we will compare the results in the 4 randomly selected control schools to a different set of 4 randomly selected control schools in the city.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Committee on the Use of Human Subjects, Harvard University
IRB Approval Date
2017-04-21
IRB Approval Number
IRB17-0564
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS