Assessing the Effect of Online Courses in Entrepreneurship
Last registered on October 01, 2015

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Assessing the Effect of Online Courses in Entrepreneurship
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000894
Initial registration date
October 01, 2015
Last updated
October 01, 2015 8:39 AM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship - YE
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The Danish Foundation for Entrepreneurship - YE
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2015-11-02
End date
2016-10-31
Secondary IDs
17199196 (Registration number provided by NESTA, the funding organisation)
Abstract
In this experiment we will investigate the influence of two online-based entrepreneurship programmes and compare the effects of a programme with experiential design with a programme which is based on lectures by entrepreneurial role models. During this process we will be able to assess in which way the educational dimensions of “mastery experience” and “vicarious learning” influence the entrepreneurial self-efficacy of young pupils as well as their inclination to participate in high-growth oriented entrepreneurial activities.

3000 randomly selected pupils (year of birth = 2000) will be randomly divided into three groups and invited to participate in three different online-based educational programmes all of which will last for two weeks. In order to test the effectiveness of practice-based and experiential entrepreneurship education one group will be requested to perform weekly challenges and reflect on how they have been affected by the activities which they have performed and on the type of learning that they perceive to have gained from these challenges. This group will be compared to pupils who will be asked to view and reflect on two weekly presentations by entrepreneurial role models. Both of these groups will be compared to a control group of pupils who will only be requested to view and reflect on two short scientific documentaries each week. The goal of the experiment is to analyse how we can best use online-based education in order to influence pupils at an early stage of education to make them consider entrepreneurship as an attractive career choice.
Registration Citation
Citation
Jørgensen, Casper and Kare Moberg. 2015. "Assessing the Effect of Online Courses in Entrepreneurship." AEA RCT Registry. October 01. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/894/history/5449
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
In this experiment we will investigate the influence of two online-based entrepreneurship programmes and compare the effects of a programme with experiential design with a programme which is based on lectures by entrepreneurial role models. During this process we will be able to assess in which way the educational dimensions of “mastery experience” and “vicarious learning” influence the entrepreneurial self-efficacy of young pupils as well as their inclination to participate in high-growth oriented entrepreneurial activities.

3000 randomly selected pupils (year of birth = 2000) will be randomly divided into three groups and invited to participate in three different online-based educational programmes all of which will last for two weeks. In order to test the effectiveness of practice-based and experiential entrepreneurship education one group will be requested to perform weekly challenges and reflect on how they have been affected by the activities which they have performed and on the type of learning that they perceive to have gained from these challenges. This group will be compared to pupils who will be asked to view and reflect on two weekly presentations by entrepreneurial role models. Both of these groups will be compared to a control group of pupils who will only be requested to view and reflect on two short scientific documentaries each week. The goal of the experiment is to analyse how we can best use online-based education in order to influence pupils at an early stage of education to make them consider entrepreneurship as an attractive career choice.
Intervention Start Date
2015-11-02
Intervention End Date
2015-11-16
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
According to social learning theory, the most powerful way to motivate individuals to engage in a specific activity is to increase their confidence in performing the various tasks that are required in order to execute these activities successfully, that is, their task-specific self-efficacy (Bandura, 1977a,b, 1997). An individual’s level of self-efficacy is, according to Bandura (1997), easiest to influence by either providing the individual with mastery experiences or through vicarious learning.
Vicarious learning, or modelling as it is often called, can effectively be provided by role models. Students may learn how to perform specific skillsets and how to execute specific activities by observing role models. This learning is, however, not solely instrumental. Role models may also affect whether or not the specific behaviour is perceived as desirable and thereby motivate or demotivate the students to engage in the behaviour. However, in order to get a mastery experience it is not enough to only listen to role models, it is necessary to practise the particular behaviour. By getting challenges that increase in complexity in a step-wise manner, the pupils will be increasingly acquainted with the behaviour and will increase their confidence in performing the different tasks that are involved in this behaviour.
We thus expect that both of these educational approaches will have positive effects, however in slightly different ways and on different variables. Compared to the control group both educational programmes will have a significantly higher positive influence on the pupils’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions.
H1a: The entrepreneurship programmes will have a positive effect on the pupils’ level of entrepreneurial attitudes and entrepreneurial intentions.

Practical experience with a behaviour does, however, tend to have a sticky effect on the practitioners’ perception of the specific behaviour (Biggs & Tang, 2007; Illeris, 2009). We therefore expect the influence of the experiential programme on its participants’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions to remain one year after their participation, whereas this effect will wear off for participants in the role model programme.
H2a: The influence which the experiential programme has on its participants’ entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions will not be significantly different one year after their participation (endline) compared to immediately after their participation in the programme (follow-up).
H2b: The level of entrepreneurial attitudes and intentions for participants in the role model programmes will not be significantly different at baseline and endline.

We furthermore expect that the role model programme will not have any significant effect on the pupils’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy since it typically requires practice to learn skills (Biggs & Tang, 2007). We therefore only anticipate the experiential programmes to have a significantly positive effect on the pupils’ entrepreneurial self-efficacy. Naturally, this effect may in time wear of, but we do expect it to be still significantly higher one year after the completion of the programme compared to the pupils’ baseline levels.
H3a: Participants in the experiential programme will have significantly higher levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy after they completed the programme.
H3b: Participants in the experiential programme will have significantly higher levels of ESE one year after they completed the programme.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
See above
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
3000 randomly selected Danish adoloscents born in 2000 (14-15 years old) will be invited to participate in a survey and in addition to this they will be invited to participate in a two week long online-programme. We anticipate that 780 respondents will accept to participate in the online education since they will be rewarded with cinima tickets for their participation. We will randomly allocate these 780 participants to three different online programmes (1 - Practical entrepreneurship, 2 - Rolemodel entrepreneurship, 3 - Control group). Baseline data will be collected before they start their education and follow-up data will be collected directly after their educational treatment has finished, we will collect endline data one year after their participation in the programme.
Experimental Design Details
None
Randomization Method
The participants will be allocated to the different groups depending on when they register. The first to register will be allocated to group 1, the second to group 2, the third to group 3, and then this process will start all over again
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
0
Sample size: planned number of observations
780 participants (divided into three groups with 260 in each) + an additional 750 that only participate in the baseline and endline survey (no treatment)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Three groups with 260 participant in each. The initial selection of the 3000 adoloscents to contact is completely ranomized
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Based on prior experience with similare measures and educational treatments we anticipate that the effect size will be large. Our group size of 260 participants will therefore be sufficient in order to generate reliable results for an effect size at 0.80 at a significance level of 0.05 Average mean = 4,79 (on a 1-7 Likert scale) Average standard deviation = 1.36 Small (0.08 std) = 0.11; required n at effect size 0.80, significance level of 0.05 = 2450 Medium (0.16 std) = 0.22; required n at effect size 0.80, significance level of 0.05 = 613 Large (0.25 std) = 0.34; required n at effect size 0.80, significance level of 0.05 = 251
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
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 and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers