Measuring the impact of “hybrid” digital learning on children in rural Indian communities.

Last registered on October 05, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Measuring the impact of “hybrid” digital learning on children in rural Indian communities.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008330
Initial registration date
October 04, 2021
Last updated
October 05, 2021, 2:16 PM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
J-PAL Europe

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
MIT
PI Affiliation
MIT

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-01-01
End date
2023-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This project proposes a randomized evaluation of a “hybrid” digital learning program targeted at children in Grades 5-8 in Indian villages. With the COVID-19 pandemic widening the pre-existing learning gap, we hypothesize that programs with appropriate high-quality digital content made available on easily accessible devices and supported by appropriate social support structures can improve learning outcomes and related skills when implemented directly in communities with groups of children. Therefore, this program provides a hopeful solution to making remote learning more accessible and motivating both during school closures and when schools are open. The evaluation will primarily aim to measure the impact of the program on Math and English learning outcomes. The non-profit Pratham has developed and piloted the key elements of this intervention and will implement the program to be evaluated in 276 villages in India.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Banerjee, Abhijit, Esther Duflo and Adrien Pawlik. 2021. "Measuring the impact of “hybrid” digital learning on children in rural Indian communities.." AEA RCT Registry. October 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8330-1.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Pratham, the implementation partner, has been developing a ’Hybrid’ program targeted at children in grades 5-8 where high-quality digital content relating to Math, English, and Science is made available on easily accessible devices and provided to groups of children in communities and supported by appropriate social support structures. This ’Hybrid’ model attempts to address the shortcomings of typical digital content, the traditional focus of learning in Indian schools, and lack of community engagement and ownership of learning.
Intervention Start Date
2021-10-17
Intervention End Date
2023-03-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Test scores in Maths, English, and Reading.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Outcome measures of interest are learning gains in foundational skills such as functional English and Maths (everyday math as well as school-like math) and vernacular reading. Well-tested and piloted assessments developed by ASER/Pratham and J-PAL (for other research projects) will be primarily used to measure these outcomes, with some adaption of appropriate standard international tools if required.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Confidence, Motivation to learn, and Collaboration.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Additionally, if feasible, there will also be an attempt to measure confidence, collaboration, and motivation to learn. We will also examine the presence of differential impact across gender, age, and initial ability.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
The evaluation will test the combined effectiveness of the “social infrastructure”, group learning methodology and the “digital trigger” content in improving learning outcomes in English and Math. A further ‘bonus’ (if found to be feasible) may be testing of social-emotional skill development (confidence, creativity, motivation, etc.).
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer (Stata).
Randomization Unit
Village
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
276
Sample size: planned number of observations
5,520 children (20 per village).
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
92 villages control, 92 villages T1, 92 villages T2.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Our sample size of two treatment groups of 92 villages and one control of 92 gives us a power of 80 percent to detect a difference in 0.21 standard deviation in test scores between any specific treatment.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
MIT Committee on the Use of Humans as Experimental Subjects (COUHES)
IRB Approval Date
2020-12-19
IRB Approval Number
N/A
IRB Name
IFMR Human Subjects Committee
IRB Approval Date
2020-01-17
IRB Approval Number
N/A