Small-group tutorials in Colombia
Last registered on November 25, 2019


Trial Information
General Information
Small-group tutorials in Colombia
Initial registration date
November 25, 2019
Last updated
November 25, 2019 10:33 AM EST
Primary Investigator
Inter-American Development Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
This RCT has two main goals. First, its most important objective is to assess the effectiveness of an intervention aimed at improving the reading skills of struggling third-grade students in Colombia. Students participated in remedial tutorials conducted during school hours in small groups. Trained teachers used structured pedagogical materials that can be easily scaled up. We designed the data collection so that to measure treatment effects during third grade and, to measure fade-out, in grade four (when no tutorials were offered). Second, we set out to implement this intervention with three cohorts of students and therefore we did a series of randomized experiments. The goal was to use the outcomes of each cohort to fine-tuned the intervention for each subsequent cohort.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Alvarez Marinelli, Horacio, Samuel Berlinski and Matias Busso. 2019. "Small-group tutorials in Colombia." AEA RCT Registry. November 25.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Remediation tutorials (of 6 students or less) that followed a structured material to improve literacy skills of third grade students who were struggling to read at the grade level. The tutorials took place during school hours, 3 days a week, 40 minutes each day and lasted 12 to 16 weeks.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
EGRA test with the following subtasks: knowledge of letter sounds, reading of non-words, fluency of oral reading and reading comprehension.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We construct a more comprehensive measure of literacy which is a simple sum of all the items of the four subtasks.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Two subtasks of the EGMA test: additions and subtractions.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
In each of the three cohorts (2015, 2016, 2017) we administered the EGRA test to all third graders at the beginning of the school year. We then used those results to determine a threshold for the population. All students whose score was below the threshold were deemed eligible. Treated students are eligible students in schools randomized to treatment. Control students are eligible students in schools randomized to control.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We modified the sample overtime for costs reasons. The number of schools: 94 (2015), 84 (2016), 80 (2017)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1100 (2015), 750 (2016), 700 (2017)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2015: 48 (T), 46 (C); 2016: 42 (T), 42 (C); 2017: 40 (T), 40 (C)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.2-0.3 s.d.
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
December 31, 2017, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
December 31, 2018, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
94 (2015), 84 (2016), 80 (2017)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
2015: 46 (C), 48 (T); 2016: 42 (T), 42 (C); 2017: 40 (T), 40 (C)
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?

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Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers