About TIME (Technology in Math Education): RCT

Last registered on May 05, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
About TIME (Technology in Math Education): RCT
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009358
Initial registration date
May 05, 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
May 05, 2022, 12:57 PM EDT

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

Locations

There are documents in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access to this information.

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Chicago

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Chicago
PI Affiliation
University of Chicago

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-12-01
End date
2023-05-15
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
About TIME (Technology in Math Education) explores how technology can best be used to promote the acquisition of math skills among young children and reduce the gap in skill development between high- and low-income children. We hypothesize that digital apps may improve young children’s math skills over the long run compared to similar non-digital learning materials both because children are likely to spend more time using digital apps compared to non-digital learning materials and because digital apps may be more efficient at conveying math skill. About TIME will proceed in two parts. The first is a series of field experiments to help us understand how technology works to promote learning. The second is a large-scale randomized controlled trial intended to compare the increase in math skills among preschool-age children who are provided with a tablet containing high-quality math apps and a group of children provided with high-quality non-digital materials of the sort recommended by experts in math learning and intended to promote the same skills as the digital apps (corresponding to this registration). The results of the About TIME Project will: 1. compare the increase in math skills for children provided with a digital tablet containing high-quality math apps to the increase for children provided with high-quality nondigital materials intended to convey the same skills, 2. estimate the extent to which parent characteristics and barriers to parent engagement influence the effect of both digital and non-digital learning tools in building child math skill, 3. estimate how parent involvement moderates the effect of digital apps relative to non-digital materials on children’s math skills, 4. estimate how digital apps affect children’s and parents’ enthusiasm for math, 5. describe which apps are used the most, when are they used, and which features of apps are most often used by children.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Kalil, Ariel, Haoxuan Liu and Susan Mayer. 2022. "About TIME (Technology in Math Education): RCT." AEA RCT Registry. May 05. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9358
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Once recruited, families will provide consent to participate in the RCT and then be randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or to a control group. Parents in one treatment group will receive a tablet loaded with high-quality math apps. Parents in the other treatment
group will receive high-quality non-digital materials that are designed to convey the same skills as the apps. The control group is a “business as usual” group that will receive no treatment other than nominal materials unrelated to early math learning such as coloring books.
Intervention Start Date
2022-12-01
Intervention End Date
2023-05-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Overall effectiveness (a combination of time on task and efficiency of time on task) of digital v. non-digital math learning materials in conveying numeracy skills to preschool-aged children analyzed by parent socio-economic status
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Changes in parent attitudes and beliefs that are known to predict children's math skills, math enthusiasm, reported usage of non-digital materials, recorded usage of digital materials, and reported engagement in other math talk/learning activities
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Once recruited, families will provide consent to participate in the RCT and then be randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups or to a control group. Parents in one treatment group will receive a tablet loaded with high-quality math apps. Parents in the other treatment group will receive high-quality non-digital materials that are designed to convey the same skills as the apps. The control group is a “business as usual” group that will receive no treatment other than nominal materials unrelated to early math learning such as coloring books. We will survey parents at baseline and at the end of the intervention to collect data on family demographic characteristics, parents’ reports of the home learning environment, parents’ beliefs and expectations about their children’s math skill development, and parents’ expected return on their time and material investments in children’s math skill development. We will also ask questions that measure parents’ math anxiety and growth mindset and parents’ reports of the structural, behavioral, and cognitive barriers that stand in the way of their child’s math skill development. These will be used as covariates in the analysis of changes in assessment scores. We will manage the equal distribution of low vs. high income into those groups by stratifying on income within the randomization procedure.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Within-classroom randomization across 10-15 preschool sites. We complete the randomization procedure after all participants are recruited and prior to the start of the intervention using a statistical software program.
Randomization Unit
Our unit of randomization is parent-child dyads.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
We don't design clusters, so the planned number of clusters is 700 parent-child dyads.
Sample size: planned number of observations
700 parent-child dyads
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Around 117 low/117 high-income parent-child dyads will be assigned into one of two treatment groups or to a control group.

Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Our minimum detectable effect size for the main Intention-to-Treat effect is designed to be 0.2 at the .05 level of statistical significance and with an 80 percent chance of deriving statistically significant impacts assuming a two-sided test of the null hypothesis.
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
The University of Chicago Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
2022-01-19
IRB Approval Number
IRB21-2002