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Scaling up virtual learning of online learning in high schools
Last registered on July 23, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Scaling up virtual learning of online learning in high schools
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005982
Initial registration date
June 09, 2020
Last updated
July 23, 2020 9:52 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
World Bank
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Kassel
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-05-18
End date
2020-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We have an ongoing evaluation that tests the impacts of a training program that uses online learning for 15-17 years old high school students, with a focus on teaching entrepreneurial skills and a scientific mindset. That program was taught using computers in schools, during school time, until schools were closed with the COVID-19 pandemic, after which students continued to finish the material from their homes. With the COVID-19 pandemic closing schools, school systems have been looking for content and ways to engage students. We therefore are testing the impact of launching this material to another region of the country. We are interested in two key questions:
1) How can we best encourage take-up and usage of online learning materials among high school students during the COVID-19 school closures? This will be tested by comparing the impact of different nudges, reminders, and other interventions to encourage take-up and usage..
2) What is the impact of this program on learning outcomes? This will involve comparing impacts for students who are assigned to the personal initiative and negotiations classes to those who receive other courses. We will then also compare the learning gains from this virtual learning to those from students in our first experiment, who did most of the learning under teacher supervision in schools.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Asanov, Igor and David McKenzie. 2020. "Scaling up virtual learning of online learning in high schools." AEA RCT Registry. July 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5982-1.1.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We have two types of interventions: the training interventions, and then interventions to enhance take-up of training.

Training interventions:
Schools are randomly assigned to one of the following four treatment groups:
1) Personal initiative + Negotiations training + Role Model videos
2) Personal initiative + Negotiations training + Placebo videos
3) Spanish + Statistics + Role Model videos
4) Spanish + Statistics + Placebo videos

Interventions to enhance the take-up of training:
We are testing different interventions to encourage take-up and usage of the online platform. These include:
i) control group
ii) lottery reminder to students - students earn a ticket for a lottery prize for each completed module
iii) Encouragement to students to find a student peer to study together
iv) Encouragement to students for those who complete their work
v) Benchmarking SMS to students for those below the median
vi) Role model testimonials/motivational videos to teachers from teachers and students who have already completed the course
vii) Reminder about monitoring and deadline to teachers
Intervention Start Date
2020-05-18
Intervention End Date
2020-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We have two sets of outcomes: take-up outcomes, and learning outcomes.

Take-up outcomes:
1) Proportion of students who complete at least one module
2) Number of modules completed by students
3) Total days spent active on platform

Learning outcomes:
Test scores of learning based on Spanish and English literacy, knowledge of statistics, science, negotiations and personal initiative.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Course type is randomized at the school level to one of the following:
1) Personal initiative + Negotiations training + Role Model videos
2) Personal initiative + Negotiations training + Placebo videos
3) Spanish + Statistics + Role Model videos
4) Spanish + Statistics + Placebo videos

Take-up interventions are randomized at the individual level or class/teacher level, depending on the intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by computer or on the online platform
Randomization Unit
School for main interventions
Class for some take-up interventions
Student for individual interventions
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
416 schools
532 classes
Approximately 24,000 potential students
Sample size: planned number of observations
We will only observe outcomes for students who log in once to the platform - which we anticipate to be over 10,000 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
104 schools in each treatment group
127 to 136 classes in each treatment group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Innovations for Poverty Action - IRB
IRB Approval Date
2020-05-18
IRB Approval Number
15629
Analysis Plan

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