The Effects of Information Provision to Parents on Student Outcomes – A Randomised Controlled Trial

Last registered on May 20, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
The Effects of Information Provision to Parents on Student Outcomes – A Randomised Controlled Trial
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004990
Initial registration date
November 06, 2019

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
November 06, 2019, 9:04 AM EST

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

Last updated
May 20, 2022, 5:51 AM EDT

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

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
KU Leuven

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
KU Leuven, UNU-MERIT Maastricht University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2018-08-15
End date
2020-07-01
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Parental involvement is increasingly used to improve student performance at school, yet, it remains unclear if the diverging background of parents could reinforce disparities among students. This study provides causal evidence on the effects on student performance of information provision to parents in a financial education course in which parents are involved by means of a homework assignment. Based on a randomised controlled trial with three different treatment groups and in total 1,253 students in 8th and 9th grade in Flanders, we identify the effects of a classroom intervention without parental involvement, parental involvement through homework and the provision of information to parents. In addition, effects of an interactive family task on students’ and parents’ learning are evaluated.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
De Witte, Kristof and Joana Elisa Maldonado. 2022. "The Effects of Information Provision to Parents on Student Outcomes – A Randomised Controlled Trial." AEA RCT Registry. May 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4990
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Schools are assigned to the four experimental conditions: control and three treatment conditions.
Intervention Start Date
2018-10-01
Intervention End Date
2018-11-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We measure financial literacy by a test based on nine questions. The questions measure financial knowledge as well as financial behaviour.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The financial literacy test also measures financial attitudes and intertemporal preferences.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Schools that registered for participation were randomised to the aforementioned four experimental conditions. We assessed the level of financial literacy of all students before as well as after followed the course. Students assigned to the control group completed the same tests at the same time as students in the treatment groups, without receiving any treatment between the tests.
Experimental Design Details
Students in the control group completed a pre-test at the start of the experiment and a post-test after four weeks, but did not receive any treatment. Students in all treatment groups completed the same pre-test before the intervention and the same post-test at the end of the classroom intervention.
Students in all treatment groups received a homework assignment before the classroom intervention. Students in the first treatment group (‘class’) received a standard homework assignment without parental involvement. Students in the second treatment group (‘parental involvement’) and in the third treatment group (‘information’) received a modified version of the homework assignment with parental involvement. Students in the third treatment group (‘information’) were given before the class an information brochure for their parents.
Students in all treatment groups followed a 4-hour financial education class on saving and investing. The course material was designed as an adaptive online learning path that students completed in groups of two. All course material was developed by high school teachers, tailored to the age and the ability of the target group. After the classroom intervention and the post-test at school, the intervention ended for the first treatment group. In the second and third treatment group, students received a second homework assignment which consisted of a family task to be completed with a parent.
Parents of the students in all treatment groups received a pre-test after the student completed the pre-test at school. A post-test for parents was given to parents of students in all treatment groups after students completed the post-test at school.
Randomization Method
Schools were randomly assigned to the different experimental conditions by a random number generator in STATA.
Randomization Unit
The treatment was clustered at school-level.
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
28 schools
Given that the intervention has already been completed and data have been collected for both the pre-test and the post-test, the numbers reported refer to the observations for which both the pre-test and the post-test are available, i.e. the final sample for the analysis. The calculation of the minimal detectable effect size is also based on this final sample.

Sample size: planned number of observations
1,253 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Control group = 305 pupils, 9 schools
Treatment group 1 = 418 pupils, 10 schools
Treatment group 2 = 209 pupils, 4 schools
Treatment group 3 = 321 pupils, 5 schools
Average number of schools per condition = 7
Average number of pupils per condition = 313.25
Average number of pupils per school = 44.75
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
The computation is based on List et al. (2011) and accounts for intracluster correlation in the calculation of the minimal detectable effect size. In our experimental setting, there are on average 7 schools in each experimental condition. Each school has on average 44.75 students. Computation in Stata based on the post-test shows that the intracluster correlation in the final sample equals 0.1. In the analysis, this intracluster correlation can be reduced by controlling for baseline characteristics of schools and students. Using the conventional power of 0.8 and a significance level of 0.1, the calculation results in a minimal detectable effect size of 0.52 standard deviations in case we would not control for students’ characteristics. Details of the calculation: According to List et al. (2011), in a clustered design, the minimum number of observations in each experimental group can be computed as follows: n=2(t_(α/2)+t_β)²(σ/δ)²(1+(m-1)ρ) This implies that the minimum detectable effect size is equal to: δ=σ/√(n/(2(t_(α/2)+t_β)²(1+(m-1)ρ))) Or the minimum detectable effect size expressed as a fraction of a standard deviation is equal to: δ/σ=1/√(n/(2(t_(α/2)+t_β)²(1+(m-1)ρ))) δ/σ=1/√(313.25/(2(1.96+0.84)²(1+(44.75-1)0.1)))=0.52 Reference List, J., Sadoff, S. and Wagner, M. (2011), So you want to run an experiment, now what? Some simple rules of thumb for optimal experimental design, Experimental Economics 14, 439-457
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
No
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Abstract
Targeted parental involvement is increasingly employed to activate parents to use their supporting role to enhance learning effects of students. Given the low cost, one popular measure is information provision to parents. However, the evidence on such measures remains limited. This study provides causal evidence on the effects of information provision to parents in a financial education course where parental involvement was stimulated. Based on a randomised controlled trial with 1253 students from grade 8 and 9 in Flanders, we identify the effects of the classroom intervention separately from parental involvement prompted in homework and the provision of subject-specific information to parents on students’ learning outcomes. The estimates reveal that, overall, the treatment effectively increases financial knowledge and skills. However, despite its popularity in schools, the value added of prompting parental involvement and providing parents information is not significant overall, but only for financial skills.
Citation
Maldonado, J.E., and De Witte, K. (2021). The Impact of Information Provision to Parents: Experimental Evidence on Student Outcomes. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance 31.

Reports & Other Materials