Online Tutoring for Low Performing Students in the Aftermath of Covid-19 School Closures

Last registered on February 04, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Online Tutoring for Low Performing Students in the Aftermath of Covid-19 School Closures
Initial registration date
February 04, 2022

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
February 04, 2022, 3:22 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.



Primary Investigator

Institute for Employment Research

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
PI Affiliation
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
PI Affiliation
Institute for Employment Research (IAB)
PI Affiliation
University Potsdam
PI Affiliation
German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW)
PI Affiliation
University Potsdam

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
To reduce the spread of Covid-19, school closures and other measures limiting in-person teaching and peer interactions were implemented almost universally worldwide. These measures have large potential to aggravate students’ educational performance, in particular for those from low socio-economic backgrounds or already low performing students. To mitigate the negative effects of Covid-19 on student performance, governments provided large financial resources to implement tutoring for students. However, little is known about the take-up and the effectiveness of such programs. This study investigates the effectiveness of a one-to-one online tutoring program targeting low performing school students. University students deliver the free of charge tutorials. We first analyze the effect of tutorial invitations on the take-up. We proceed to study its effects on student performance, learning activities, and labor market transition.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Anger, Silke et al. 2022. "Online Tutoring for Low Performing Students in the Aftermath of Covid-19 School Closures." AEA RCT Registry. February 04.
Experimental Details


Our RCT investigates the effects of offering free one-to-one online tutoring to low performing school students on (i) tutoring take-up, (ii) grades in German, mathematics, and English (first foreign language in German schools), (iii) learning activities, motivation, engagement, well-being, and grit, and (iv) transitions into employment. In the following, we first describe our general setting, and then provide details about the data collection and intervention.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes are:
(i) take-up of the one-to-one tutoring

All contingent of finding a first stage:
(ii) grades in the subject/s addressed by the tutoring
(iii) school inputs (learning effort and motivation)
(iv) grade repetition
(v) spill-over to subject/s not addressed by the tutoring
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Our secondary outcomes are:
(i) a standardized measure of grit
(ii) educational and occupational aspirations (contingent on finding a first stage)
(iii) mental well-being measured by the HCL-10.

Longer-run outcomes:
(i) Educational success (degree),
(ii) Labor market success (Employment and wages derived from registry data)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Individual-level stratified randomization of low performing students in grades 8 and higher, conducted in an online survey portal called “keyingress”.
Experimental Design Details
In February 2022, all households with children in grades 8 or higher who participated in CoDu wave I were contacted to participate in CoDu wave II. Our intervention sample consists of students who report in the wave II questionnaire a low grade in school, state they would likely use tutoring, and they think tutoring is potentially very effective. Students who fulfill the sample criteria are randomized after answering the questionnaire, stratified on (i) an indicator of receiving social assistance, and (ii) sex of the student. For students allocated to the treatment group, the invitation, which explains the structure of the tutoring, appears at the end of the wave II questionnaire. If the students are interested in the tutoring offer, they can register directly at the end of the questionnaire or use the contact information from an e-mail they receive directly after answering the questionnaire. During registration the students state the subject(s) in which they require tutoring. If the students do not register directly, they can also register later. Two weeks after the end of the second survey wave, all students in the treatment group receive a reminder by post to register for the tutoring.
Randomization Method
Stratified randomization, conducted in an online survey portal called “keyingress” after students answered CoDu questionnaire wave II.
Randomization Unit
Individual (student)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
The target sample size is 500 students in grades 8 to 13
Sample size: planned number of observations
The target sample size is 500 students in grades 8 to 13
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
250 students treatment and 250 students control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Otto-Friedrich Universität Bamberg
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials