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The Impact of Sharing on Engagement in Massive Open Online Courses
Last registered on November 08, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Impact of Sharing on Engagement in Massive Open Online Courses
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005010
Initial registration date
November 08, 2019
Last updated
November 08, 2019 10:15 AM EST
Location(s)

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Request Information
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
TAMU
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-08-20
End date
2019-12-25
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The higher education industry is currently being disrupted by new digital technologies such as massive open online courses (MOOCs). Although the reach of MOOCs is large, their impact is constrained by low learner engagement. Traditionally, educators have sought to enhance engagement by asking learners to share information about their identity or ideas. However, compared to traditional face-to-face classrooms, MOOCs are considerably larger, more diverse and highly impersonal. Thus, the effect of sharing one’s identity or ideas in MOOCs is uncertain. Our research examines the efficacy of these two types of information sharing upon learner engagement in MOOCs by conducting a multi-study investigation of nearly 15,000 learners. The field experiment will involve three conditions: (1) Control condition with no nudge to share, (2) Treatment 1 with a nudge to share ideas related to the course, and (3) Treatment 2 with a nudge to share identity related to the individual learners. The objective is to understand how different types of sharing impacts learners and how different learners may be impacted differently by studying the heterogeneous effects.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Narang, Unnati. 2019. "The Impact of Sharing on Engagement in Massive Open Online Courses." AEA RCT Registry. November 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5010-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In the identity sharing condition, learners are shown a 30-second video prompt near the start of the course in which the instructor encourages them to introduce themselves. In the idea sharing condition, learners are shown a 30-second video prompt near the start of the course in which the instructor encourages them to share ideas relating to the course. In the control, there is no sharing prompt.
Intervention Start Date
2019-08-20
Intervention End Date
2019-12-25
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Course completion, binging (i.e. content consumed per session), effort (i.e. number of quiz attempts), grade performance (i.e. score on each quiz), and survey-based satisfaction measures
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The field experiment will involve three conditions: (1) Control condition with no nudge to share, (2) Treatment 1 with a nudge to share ideas related to the course, and (3) Treatment 2 with a nudge to share identity related to the individual learners. The objective is to understand how different types of sharing impacts learners and how different learners may be impacted differently by studying the heterogeneous effects.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization coded in the system
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3,000 learners
Sample size: planned number of observations
12,000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 each at least
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