Incentives, Engagement and Learning in the New Online World: An Experimental Study

Last registered on August 22, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Incentives, Engagement and Learning in the New Online World: An Experimental Study
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009299
Initial registration date
April 23, 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
April 28, 2022, 6:04 PM EDT

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

Last updated
August 22, 2022, 7:09 AM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Prague University of Economics and Business

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Ahmedabad University

Additional Trial Information

Status
Completed
Start date
2022-04-23
End date
2022-07-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
The period of pandemic has observed an exponential rise in free access webinars. However, a large fraction of students who opt to enroll for these webinars/courses do not attend it. If they decide to attend, they have a low engagement and learning, and often dropout before it ends. Our paper studies whether symbolic incentives offered to attend these webinars affect the attributes of the participants who enroll for such online events, and whether it subsequently affects their attendance, engagement, learning and dropout rate.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Arora, Puneet and Arihant Jain. 2022. "Incentives, Engagement and Learning in the New Online World: An Experimental Study." AEA RCT Registry. August 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9299-2.0
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
No incentive vs Incentive treatments for attending the webinar
Intervention Start Date
2022-05-02
Intervention End Date
2022-06-30

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Demographic and Academic Attrubutes of participants who enrolled for the webinar; Attendance rate on the webinar day; Engagement during the webinar; Performance on the poll questions during the webinar; Dropout rate from the webinar
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will randomly send the informational email about webinar to three different groups of potential participants.

The first group will be called “Control group”. They will receive the basic webinar information about the free and open webinar on XX topic being conducted by XX faculty, sent in a standard email format that is typically used by the partner university.

The second group will be called a “T1 group or Participation Certificate group”. They will receive the same basic information on the webinar as in control group, plus they will also receive information on participation incentive for those who complete the webinar.

The third group will be called a “T2 group or Performance Certificate group”. They will receive same basic information on the webinar as in control group, plus they will also receive information on performance certificate based on participants' performance on poll questions during the webinar.

While only the T2 group will receive prior information about the poll during the webinar, the other two groups will also attempt those poll questions. The poll questions will be on the topic being taught during the webinar.
Experimental Design Details
Our project will be built in one of the regular exercises that our partnering University conducts as part of its admissions outreach process. As part of their outreach, they conduct several open-house free webinars on different topics from social sciences to sciences to not just introduce students to the topic of the webinar, but to also engage them with the university. In one of the university's webinar outreach emails, we will introduce an element of randomization to study the effect of incentives on the outcomes of interest. University's admissions office subscribes to a database of emails that they use to approach interested people who may be or may have been interested in studying at the university. We will use this database to randomize our intervention at the individual level, stratified by field of study and state of residence.

The emails will be sent to three randomly created groups: No incentive group, Participation certificate group and Performance certificate group.
Randomization Method
Randomization done using Stata
Randomization Unit
Individual level, stratified at field of study and state of residence
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
More than 1,00,000 (Exact no yet to receive)
Sample size: planned number of observations
More than 1,00,000 (Exact no yet to receive)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Total students will be equally assigned to each treatment group (one-third assignment to each group)
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University Research Board, Ahmedabad University
IRB Approval Date
2022-04-21
IRB Approval Number
N/A

Post-Trial

Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
No
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials