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TOP: Tutoring Online Project During the Coronavirus Emergency in Italy
Last registered on May 19, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
TOP: Tutoring Online Project During the Coronavirus Emergency in Italy
Initial registration date
March 27, 2020
Last updated
May 19, 2020 6:03 PM EDT
Primary Investigator
Harvard Kennedy School
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Additional Trial Information
In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Italy’s government ordered the closure of all schools and universities in the country. Educators were forced to rapidly adapt to online/ distance learning methods. At home, students from underprivileged backgrounds are less likely to have proper learning support. This inequality might increase existing learning gaps by socioeconomic characteristics. The intent of this research is to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention that provides individual online tutoring to students whose background does not allow them to properly follow learning activities during the school closure. Specifically, the intervention will randomly assign middle school students to a tutor -a volunteer college student- who will provide 3 hours of online tutoring per week. We will evaluate the impact of the intervention in the short-term and long-term educational outcomes of students.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Carlana, Michela and Eliana La Ferrara. 2020. "TOP: Tutoring Online Project During the Coronavirus Emergency in Italy." AEA RCT Registry. May 19. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5607-1.1.
Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The outcomes will include: (1) data collected from a questionnaire to students, including test score in math and reading, motivation and soft-skills (2) administrative outcomes on students' performance, grades, absences, track choice (3) data collected from a questionnaire to parents on soft skills of children (4) data collected from a questionnaire to teachers on homework and personality traits.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Due to the limited availability of tutors, students will be randomly assigned to online tutors.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
The unit of randomisation is the individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
We expect to have around 1,000 students and to randomly assign them to treatment and control condition. The final number will be updated after the recruitment of tutors and students will be completed and before the assignment to treatment and control condition.
Sample size: planned number of observations
We plan to have 1,000 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
There will be 500 students per treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

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