Virtual Games to Improve Social Skills

Last registered on October 22, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Virtual Games to Improve Social Skills
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008420
Initial registration date
October 21, 2021
Last updated
October 22, 2021, 9:36 AM EDT

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Toronto

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2021-11-01
End date
2022-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This project will test whether access to a gaming pedagogical app can improve the teamwork and leadership abilities of young unemployed workers in Peru. Participants will be randomly assigned to three treatment arms: (i) access to the gaming app, (ii) access to the app plus an instructional component on social skills, and (iii) access to the app and the opportunity of leading their teams. We will use a virtual platform we have developed to measure social skills based on previous studies to measure the primary outcomes. We will also correlate these measurements with labor market outcomes and estimate treatment effects on employment and wages.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Zarate, Roman Andres. 2021. "Virtual Games to Improve Social Skills." AEA RCT Registry. October 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8420-1.0
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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
The main intervention of the project is a gaming app that will provide participants with practical opportunities to work in teams. The app is based on playing different escape rooms and consists of a pedagogical program of four weeks. In each of these chapters, players must solve different challenges together. Participants must learn to communicate with each other, share private information, coordinate their actions and negotiate to achieve progress in the game.
Intervention Start Date
2022-01-15
Intervention End Date
2022-03-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
The primary outcomes are the teamwork abilities of participants.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
To measure these outcomes, we will use a virtual platform we have developed where we assign participants to teams, and they have to solve a series of tasks we selected based on previous studies.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Employment and wages.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We will use administrative data of the government in Peru to track participants on the labor market. We will correlate the measurements on the platform with labor market outcomes. We will also estimate treatment effects on employment and wages.

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In addition to the control group, participants will be randomly assigned to three treatment arms:

1. Access to the gaming app.
2. Access to the app plus an instructional component on social skills
3. Access to the app and the opportunity of leading their teams
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization will be done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
The randomization unit will be the participant
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2000 job seekers that register for the training programs of the Ministry of Labor in Peru.
Sample size: planned number of observations
2000 participants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
500 participants in each group
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Given the sample size, it is possible to identify an effect of receiving access to the game (independent of the sub-treatments) of 0.114 standard deviations (s) on continuous variables and 5.7 percentage points on discrete variables. When only the 500 participants in each sub-treatment group are compared with the control group, the MDEs are 0.154s on continuous variables and 7.6 percentage points on proportions. Likewise, the MDE of the additional effects of both sub-treatments is 0.177s on continuous variables and 8.8 percentage points on proportions.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Toronto
IRB Approval Date
2021-05-13
IRB Approval Number
00040944