Helping Tutors Working with High-Need Students: The Impact of Providing Tutors with a Community of Practice.

Last registered on September 14, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Helping Tutors Working with High-Need Students: The Impact of Providing Tutors with a Community of Practice.
Initial registration date
June 07, 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
June 15, 2022, 10:06 AM EDT

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

Last updated
September 14, 2022, 1:53 PM EDT

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


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Primary Investigator

Brown University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Brown University

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Districts across the United States are increasingly adopting tutoring as a strategy to support their struggling students, the majority of whom come from low-income families and marginalized backgrounds. Our study will explore whether providing tutors with a professional community of practice (CoP) enhances their own experiences as tutors, as well as the experiences of the students they serve. We will randomly assign 100 (out of 200) tutors to receive access to an online CoP, where they can find curated resources, reflect on their experiences, and crowdsource questions and best practices. We hypothesize that providing tutors with a digital platform to connect asynchronously and organically will improve tutors’ sense of social support, increase their self-efficacy, and ultimately increase their likelihood of pursuing a career as an educator and their ability to improve student learning.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Loeb, Susanna and Carly Robinson. 2022. "Helping Tutors Working with High-Need Students: The Impact of Providing Tutors with a Community of Practice.." AEA RCT Registry. September 14.
Experimental Details


Tutor Community of Practice Intervention: Tutors will be invited to participate in an open-forum, lightly moderated digital platform where tutors across the district can find curated resources and voluntarily share stories, experiences, or request advice.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Tutor sense of belonging; Tutor self-efficacy; Tutor interest in career in education
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Tutor persistence;
Student attitude toward tutoring; Student test scores
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We will conduct an RCT to test the effect of the digital, social-support intervention for tutors. We will randomly assign 200 tutors to one of two conditions, stratifying by the tutors’ organization and school placement:
(1) Control (Tutors will be asked to self-reflect about their tutoring experiences but not have access to an open-forum digital platform)
(2) Community of Practice (CoP)
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in Stata
Randomization Unit
Randomization at the tutors level (For the student outcomes, treatment assignment is clustered at the tutor level)
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
200 tutors
Sample size: planned number of observations
200 tutors (1,000 students - for student outcomes)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
100 tutors control; 100 tutors treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We estimate that 200 tutors (100 per condition) will provide us with power for a MDES of 0.31-standard deviations on self-reported outcomes (e.g., belonging, self-efficacy) and 0.19-standard deviations on student test scores.

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Brown University
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number