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Improving Student's Financial Proficiency by Differentiating Computer-Assisted Instruction and Feedback? Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial.
Last registered on September 23, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Improving Student's Financial Proficiency by Differentiating Computer-Assisted Instruction and Feedback? Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004431
Initial registration date
September 23, 2019
Last updated
September 23, 2019 4:06 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
KU Leuven
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
KU Leuven
PI Affiliation
UAntwerpen
PI Affiliation
UCLouvain
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2018-08-15
End date
2019-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study examines the impact of within-class differentiation on the learning outcomes of Flemish students in eighth and ninth grade. In particular, using a computer-based learning environment, we evaluate the impact of two differentiation practices on the effectiveness of a financial education programme. First, differentiating instructions to the particular needs of students is examined for which high-ability students follow a more challenging learning path and low-ability students a basic path with additional instructions. Second, we examine whether providing students with elaborated feedback on own performances improves their learning outcomes. In order to establish the results on the effects of both practices, we conducted a large-scale randomised control trial involving 32 schools and 1,177 students.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
De Witte, Kristof et al. 2019. "Improving Student's Financial Proficiency by Differentiating Computer-Assisted Instruction and Feedback? Evidence from a Randomised Control Trial.." AEA RCT Registry. September 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4431-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In order to examine the impact of the within-class computer-assisted differentiation practices, i.e. differentiated instruction and feedback, we designed four conditions, i.e. one control condition and three experimental conditions.
- The control condition did not receive the financial education programme.
- In the first experimental condition, all students had to follow an intermediate-level learning path, regardless of their proficiency level. Elaborated feedback was given after all exercises.
- In the second experimental condition, students followed a differentiated learning path. The paths included simple verification feedback.
- In the third experimental condition, students followed a differentiated learning path and elaborated feedback was provided. This experimental condition contains the most extended form of differentiation. A comparison with the first experimental condition allows us to evaluate the impact of differentiating instruction. The value added of elaborated feedback is investigated via a comparison with the second experimental condition.
Intervention Start Date
2018-09-17
Intervention End Date
2019-01-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We measure financial proficiency using a computer-aided multiple-choice test that contains questions covering both financial knowledge and financial behaviour.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The financial education programme was developed for students in eighth and ninth grade in Flemish secondary education. Schools were invited to participate in the financial education programme in an open call. Teachers were given the liberty to plan the lectures in October or in November. From the schools willing to participate in either wave, we randomly assigned them to the control condition or one of the experimental conditions. In order to guarantee a uniform implementation, we requested the teachers to give the lectures during the pre-specified periods, depending on the particular wave, and during regular class hours. In order to evaluate the programme, students had to take three financial literacy tests, i.e. a first test prior to the lectures to measure students’ baseline financial proficiency, a second test at the start of the last lecture to capture the short-term effectiveness of the programme, and third test administered as an homework approximately six weeks after the lectures for students in the experimental conditions to measure longer-term effects. Students in the control condition completed the pre- and first post-treatment test at the same time as students in the experimental conditions.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization was performed by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Randomization was done at the level of the school to avoid spillover effects and contamination of the treatment within the same school.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
46 schools signed up to participate in the financial education programme of which 32 schools entirely followed the protocol (students completed both the pre- and post-treatment financial literacy test).
Sample size: planned number of observations
1,177 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control condition: 312 students, 9 schools
Experimental condition I: 159 students, 5 schools
Experimental condition II: 281 students, 8 schools
Experimental condition III: 425 students, 10 schools
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
January 31, 2019, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
January 31, 2019, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
32 schools
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
1,177 students
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Control condition: 312 students, 9 schools Experimental condition I: 159 students, 5 schools Experimental condition II: 281 students, 8 schools Experimental condition III: 425 students, 10 schools
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers