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Beliefs, Effort and College Success
Initial registration date
May 31, 2019
June 04, 2019 12:13 PM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Using information based on historic time use data from an online homework application, we calculate a statistically significant positive relationship between time spent on homework and final grade in an introductory microeconomics course. Along with collective important baseline questions about beliefs about ability and study effort, we randomly present this information to a subsequent class of intro microeconomics. We plan to measure the effect of this information on study effort as measuring both by student time spent on the online homework application as well as self-reported study time before multiple exams throughout the academic period.
Using information based on historic time use data from an online homework application, we calculate a statistically significant positive relationship between time spent on homework and final grade in an introductory microeconomics course. More specifically, we calculate that we find that an additional 3.5 hours of studying per week is associated with an increase in a full letter grade in the course. We randomly present this information to a subsequent class of intro microeconomics.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are primarily interested in the effect of the treatment on time spent on the online homework application as well as self-reported study time.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We expect this information to influence students' perceptions about the returns to study effort, thereby potentially altering their study time.
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are interested in the distribution of beliefs about ability and effort by important demographic variables, such as gender, ethnic background and socio-economic status, to name a few.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Subsets of students may have more correct or incorrect beliefs about the returns to study effort. We are interested in studying the treatment effect and how it varies across these groups.
We administer the treatment during the first midterm of the course. Treatment and control exams are alternated between students as they are passed out. The front page of both is blank. Students are then told to turn over the first page, so that on the back of the front page, there are a few questions followed by a paragraph of text. For the treatment group, the paragraph contains the information treatment, as for the control group the paragraph contains information about the benefits of research participation. We then collect all students study sheets before the exam begins.
Experimental Design Details
Since exams alternated between treatment and control, the way students assorted themselves in seats in the classroom and then how exams were passed out was the randomization process
The treatment was randomized at the student level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
375 students treatment 375 students information treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
University of California at Davis
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number