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The impact of COVID-19 social isolation measures on the academic performance of Azerbaijani students
Last registered on August 13, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The impact of COVID-19 social isolation measures on the academic performance of Azerbaijani students
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0006285
Initial registration date
August 13, 2020
Last updated
August 13, 2020 12:33 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Texas A&M University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Portsmouth
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2020-08-14
End date
2020-09-15
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study aims to understand the effect of COVID-19 social isolation and lockdown measures on the academic performance of Azerbaijani higher education students. At the beginning of March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Azerbaijani universities had to transition to online delivery of all courses. This was an unprecedented experience both for higher education institutes and for the entire student body, as according to Azerbaijani laws, online courses cannot be listed in academic degree plans. Therefore, neither Azerbaijani universities nor students had previous experience in online academic degree-seeking education.

The online instruction also raised questions and concerns regarding the existence and effectiveness of the relevant infrastructure at Azerbaijani universities. The prevalence of unequal access to online educational resources and means among students also became the focus of debates. Some students experienced financial problems and consequently had to leave their dorms or rented apartments for living with their parents and relatives in smaller cities and provinces. Disruptions to living arrangements also increased the gap in access to educational resources among different student groups. The gap could be more pronounced for female students who would have to live with their parents, as based on local traditions, females are supposed to undertake the largest share of household chores.

The researchers will conduct a survey among Azerbaijani undergraduate and master students at the University of Economics (UNEC) to understand how COVID-19 isolation and lockdown measures and online educational delivery affected their academic performance.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Huseynov, Samir and Zahra Murad. 2020. "The impact of COVID-19 social isolation measures on the academic performance of Azerbaijani students ." AEA RCT Registry. August 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.6285-1.0.
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The researchers will conduct a survey among Azerbaijani undergraduate and master students at the University of Economics (UNEC) to understand how COVID-19 isolation and lockdown measures and online educational delivery affected their academic performance.

Intervention Start Date
2020-08-14
Intervention End Date
2020-09-15
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcome variable is the pre- and post-Spring 2020 educational outcomes.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
H1a. The academic performance of students from lower-income families /regions will be more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to students from higher-income families/capital city.

H1b. The effect will be moderated with demographic profile measures and quality of living conditions indicators.


H2a. Female students will be more negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic compared to male students and more so for those from lower-income families/region than those from higher-income families/capital city.

H2b. The effect will be moderated with demographic profile measures and quality of living conditions indicators.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)

Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The researchers will conduct a survey among Azerbaijani undergraduate and master students at the University of Economics (UNEC) to understand how COVID-19 isolation and lockdown measures and online educational delivery affected their academic performance.

Experimental Design Details
The first block of the survey will include questions about the living arrangements of students before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. This block will enable the researchers to capture the quality of living conditions of students and incurred changes because of the pandemic. The second block of the survey will reveal the academic history of students and also their academic performance during COVID-19. The third survey block will contain questions on the demographic profile of students. The final block of the survey will measure the cognitive performance and emotional resilience of students.
Randomization Method
The survey will be incentivized with a lottery among students who completed the entire study. The researchers will randomly select 25 students among survey respondents for 20.00 AZN ($12.00) cash reward. The selected students will have to present their student IDs and also their unofficial transcripts to receive the cash reward. The cash earning will be realized if the survey responses overlap with the information indicated in submitted documents. This procedure will induce truthful reporting of academic performance measures.
Randomization Unit
n/a
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
n/a
Sample size: planned number of observations
1064
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
n/a
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We will aim to collect 1000+ responses to allow for sufficient degrees of freedom to perform the statistical test given the number of variables we will collect. To detect a small effect size using an OLS regression. We calculated the ex-ante required sample size using G*power software. Based on G*power, we have to have at least 1064 survey respondents to achieve 80% statistical power (for the small effect size of f^2=0.02), error probability of 0.05 using linear multiple regressions with 20 control variables.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Texas A&M IRB
IRB Approval Date
2020-08-12
IRB Approval Number
IRB2020-0530M
Analysis Plan

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Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS