Online Tutoring in Maths: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Last registered on May 01, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Online Tutoring in Maths: Evidence from a Field Experiment
Initial registration date
April 29, 2020

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
May 01, 2020, 3:36 PM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

McGill University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We implement an online tutoring field experiment in Maths, whereby Canadian university students tutor Kenyan primary school students one hour per week. The goal is to see whether this intervention raises test scores in Maths, proficiency with computers, oral proficiency in English, and comfort with cross-cultural communication.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Chemin, Matthieu. 2020. "Online Tutoring in Maths: Evidence from a Field Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. May 01.
Experimental Details


The intervention consists in having volunteers from a Canadian university tutor online Kenyan primary school students for one hour per week in Maths.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes are:

• Grade in Maths

• Proficiency with computer (How comfortable do you feel using a computer, including the internet? How comfortable do you feel using the internet on a computer? How comfortable do you feel using the internet on a cell phone? How comfortable do you feel sending an email? How comfortable do you feel talking on Skype?)

• Oral proficiency in English (understanding a native speaker, conversation, vocabulary range, and spoken fluency)

• Cross-cultural communication (How comfortable would you be talking to somebody from another country? How much would you worry about what to say if you were talking to someone from another country?)

These outcomes will be looked at only if there is sufficient variation in the data.

I will use a difference-in-differences analysis. Multiple hypothesis testing will be done by creating indexes, as well as with the the Sharpened False Discovery Rate (FDR) adjusted q-values (Anderson, 2008).

The research plan includes subgroup analyses by:

• gender

• high- or low-ability students
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
• Academic Motivation (Muris 2001)

• Self Esteem (Rosenberg 1965)

• Liking School (Pell & Jarvis 2001)

• School Attendance

• Aspirations

• Perceptions of Canada and Kenya

• Grades in all other disciplines
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
• Half of the classroom each year will be invited to participate

• The other half will serve as the control group
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
The randomization will be at the individual level.
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The planned number of observations is a minimum of 150 students.
Sample size: planned number of observations
The planned number of observations is a minimum of 150 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
75 students in the treatment group, 75 in the control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
McGill University Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
REB File #: 211-1015