Can Information Nudges Prevent Learning Decay During COVID-19? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Bangladesh

Last registered on May 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Can Information Nudges Prevent Learning Decay During COVID-19? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Bangladesh
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007674
Initial registration date
May 16, 2021
Last updated
May 17, 2021, 10:28 AM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Singapore Management University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Florida International University
PI Affiliation
Singapore Management University
PI Affiliation
Singapore Management University

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-06-13
End date
2022-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
COVID-19 has created unprecedented difficulties for the education sector in Bangladesh, as schools remain closed since March 2020. To tackle this crisis, Bangladesh has taken a multi-pronged approach—delivering education through the national terrestrial television. However, the uptake of these programs has been low among rural students, and the leading causes of the low uptake have been information inadequacy and lack of commitment. This study aims to test through a randomized field experiment the impact of regular and repetitive information nudges on televised programs' uptake—delivered by SMS and automated voice calls to households. Moreover, the staggered proposed reopening of schools—based on grades—will help us identify the impact on learning outcomes, which will be measured by exams and SMS-based spot quizzes with achievement rewards. This study will help policy-makers understand effective solutions to reduce learning decay during the pandemic, which is scalable for Bangladesh and other developing countries.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Fujii, Tomoki et al. 2021. "Can Information Nudges Prevent Learning Decay During COVID-19? Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Bangladesh." AEA RCT Registry. May 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7674-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We stratify the sample of students by school, grade, and gender. Within each stratum, we will randomly allocate each student to one of the following two treatment arms:

Information group: Those in the treatment group will receive weekly information through SMS text and voice calls. The content of the SMS and calls will relate to information that is potentially useful for the students' education.

Control group: Those in the control group will not receive the weekly information through SMS text and voice calls.
Intervention Start Date
2021-07-01
Intervention End Date
2022-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Learning behavior and outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
For this study, we plan to recruite 1200 secondary school students, stratified by school, grade, and gender. The main objectives of our intervention is to understand whether the information nudges can improve students' learning behavior and outcomes in the treatment groups. We consider the following econometric model to estimate the intention-to-treat effects:
𝑌𝑖 = 𝛼 + 𝛽𝑇𝑖 + 𝛾𝑋𝑖 + 𝜖𝑖 (i)
where Yi is the TV viewership or standardized test score in English/Mathematics of individual 'i'; Ti takes a value of 1 if the individual belongs to the treatment group, and 0 otherwise;. The reference category here is the control arm students who do not receive information nudges. Xi will include any other observable covariate that is not balanced at baseline across treatment arms. All test scores will be
normalized relative to the control mean and standard deviation for every school-grade combination.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
1200 students
Sample size: planned number of observations
1200 students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
600 students for each of control and treatment arms
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
SMU IRB
IRB Approval Date
2021-04-21
IRB Approval Number
IRB-21-064-A059(421)
IRB Name
FIR-IRB
IRB Approval Date
2021-05-05
IRB Approval Number
IRB-21-0164