Demand for Tutoring - Evidence From a Parallel Survey Experiment

Last registered on June 29, 2022

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Demand for Tutoring - Evidence From a Parallel Survey Experiment
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0009671
Initial registration date
June 28, 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 29, 2022, 2:18 PM EDT

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

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
ifo Institut, Munich

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation

Additional Trial Information

Status
In development
Start date
2022-06-28
End date
2023-12-31
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
Emerging research suggests potential success of tutoring lessons to help students mitigate learning losses accumulated during the COVID-19-related school closures.
In this project, we investigate whether informing about income losses that can be attributed to decreased schooling and skill development can affect planned participation in tutoring lessons and the willingness-to-pay for tutoring in Germany. For that purpose, we implement two parallel survey experiments in a sample of adolescent children aged between 14 and 17 years and their parents. The randomly selected treatment group is informed about the losses in lifetime income due to the equivalent of one year fewer schooling. By comparing responses between the uninformed control group and the treatment group, we evaluate whether our information affects intended registration/participation in tutoring lessons, willingness-to-pay for tutoring, and information acquisition by both, parents and adolescents. We pose the same questions to both parents and their children separately.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Wedel, Katharina and Katharina Werner. 2022. "Demand for Tutoring - Evidence From a Parallel Survey Experiment." AEA RCT Registry. June 29. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.9671
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
We investigate how information about the consequences of one year less of schooling and fewer skills learned affects the demand for tutoring lessons in two parallel survey experiments among adolescents aged between 14 and 17 years and their parents. Respondents in a randomly selected treatment group will be informed about the loss in lifetime income that can be associated with fewer years of schooling and decreased skill development. After information provision, respondents in the treatment group are asked about participation in tutoring lessons (for their child or themselves depending on the sample), their willingness-to-pay for one tutoring lesson, and the willingness to acquire more information about tutoring providers in Germany. Respondents in the control group answer the same questions, but without receiving information about the consequences on income.
Intervention Start Date
2022-06-28
Intervention End Date
2022-08-01

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Our primary outcomes of interest are respondents’ expectation about the future income of their children/themselves, intended registration and participation in a tutoring program, information acquisition about tutoring programs in Germany as well as willingness-to-pay for one tutoring session.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
We elicit planned registration/participation in tutoring lessons as follows:
[outcome1 - parents]
Tutoring and remedial programs often aim to help children and adolescents to complete tasks for school outside of regular class time and help them catch up on learning. These programs can take place online or on-site.

How likely are you to enroll your child in a tutoring or remedial program in the next 6 months?

[outcome1 - adolescents]
Tutoring and remedial programs often aim to help children and adolescents to complete tasks for school outside of regular class time and help them catch up on learning. These programs can take place online or on-site.

How likely are you to enroll in a tutoring or remedial program in the next 6 months?

Answers to both questions can be provided on a slider, ranging from very unlikely (0%) to very likely (100%).

The outcome question on the willingness-to-pay for a tutoring session is worded as follows:
[outcome2 - parents]
“We will now present you with 7 scenarios. In each scenario you can choose between an amount of money for yourself or a tutoring lesson (90 minutes) for your child at the tutoring program Schuelerhilfe.
Schuelerhilfe is a nationwide tutoring provider in Germany where your child can receive one-on-one tutoring in subjects such as math, German, English or French. The tutoring can take place both online and on-site.

After the survey, we will select one person from all respondents for whom one of the scenarios will be randomly chosen and implemented. If one of your scenarios is selected, either the money you would like to keep for yourself will be credited to your survey account after the survey, or you will receive an email with information about how your child can take advantage of the tutoring session.

Now please make a decision in each line.”

[outcome2 - adolescents]
“We will now present you with 7 scenarios. In each scenario you can choose between an amount of money for yourself or a tutoring lesson (90 minutes) for yourself at the tutoring program Schuelerhilfe.
Schuelerhilfe is a nationwide tutoring provider in Germany where your child can receive one-on-one tutoring in subjects such as math, German, English or French. The tutoring can take place both online and on-site.

After the survey, we will select one person from all respondents for whom one of the scenarios will be randomly chosen and implemented. If one of your scenarios is selected, either the money you would like to keep for yourself will be credited to the survey account after the survey, or we will send an email with information on how to claim the tutoring lesson.

Now please make a decision in each line.”

We then present seven scenarios with differing amounts of money, ranging from 0 to 30 Euro. For each scenario, respondents have to decide between the monetary reward and the tutoring lesson for their child or themselves, respectively.


In addition, we run a resurvey about one week after the main survey in which we re-elicit parents’ planned registration of their child for a tutoring lesson. The resurvey will allow us to investigate persistence of treatment effects of the first experiment.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
To better understand the emergence of the treatment effects and to investigate potential mediating channels of our treatments, we ask a range of further outcome questions: (i) importance of different aspects for the respondents’ decision to participate in a tutoring program, (ii) information acquisition about tutoring programs in Germany (iii) expectation about the future income of their children/themselves (iv) the perceived impact of COVID-19 on students’ life.

In addition, we plan to perform heterogeneity analyses with respect to respondents’ prior beliefs as well as the extent to which the students’ learning has been affected by COVID-19.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We elicit respondents’ importance of different aspects for the their decision to register/participate in a tutoring program as follows:
[reasons - parents]
How important are the following considerations for your decision about whether to enroll your child in a tutoring program?
The consideration of whether
... my child has enough time to participate in a tutoring program.
... my child is motivated to participate in a tutoring program.
... my child would benefit from the tutoring program.
... we can financially afford that my child participates in a tutoring program.
... I support my child to participate in a tutoring program.
... my child needs help with schoolwork.

[reasons - adolescents]
How important are the following considerations for your decision about whether to enroll in a tutoring program?
The consideration of whether
... I have enough time to participate in a tutoring program.
... I am motivated to participate in a tutoring program.
... I would benefit from the tutoring program.
... my family can financially afford that I participate in a tutoring program.
... my parents support that I participate in a tutoring program.
... I need help with schoolwork.
Answers can be given on a 5-point scale, ranging from “very important” to “not important at all”.

We elicit information acquisition about different tutoring programs as follows:
[info acquisition – parents and adolescents]
Would you like to receive further information, e.g. on subjects offered, location and registration options of tutoring programs and learning apps or learning platforms in Germany?
o Yes
o No

If you indicate "yes", further information will be displayed at the end of the survey.

We also elicit posterior beliefs about the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has on the future income of their child/themselves.

[future income - parents]
Many students learned fewer skills at school during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, due to the loss of instructional time during school closures.
How do you think the change in schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your child's future income?

As a reminder: the average income in Germany is equivalent to about 2,100 Euro (net) per month.

I believe that my child's income …
o will decrease by ____ Euro (net) a month.
o will increase by ____ Euro (net) a month.
o will not change.

[future income - adolescents]
Many students learned fewer skills at school during the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, due to the loss of instructional time during school closures.
How do you think the change in schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic will affect your future income?

As a reminder: the average income in Germany is equivalent to about 2,100 Euro (net) per month.

I believe that my income…
o will decrease by ____ Euro (net) a month.
o will increase by ____ Euro (net) a month.
o will not change.

We also elicit respondents’ perceived impact of COVID-19 on students’ life as follows:
[aspects of life - parents]
Now it's time for your assessment of how COVID-19-related school closures will affect various aspects of your child's life since the pandemic began. To what extent do the following statements apply?
- My child will have worse opportunities on the job market due to school closures.
- My child will be less satisfied with his/her life in the long run because of school closures.
- My child will suffer from long-term health problems due to the school closures.

[aspects of life - adolescents]
Now it's time for your assessment of how COVID-19-related school closures will affect various aspects of your life since the pandemic began. To what extent do the following statements apply?
- I will have worse opportunities on the job market due to school closures.
- I will be less satisfied with my life in the long run because of school closures.
- I will suffer from long-term health problems due to the school closures.
Answer can be given on a 5-point scale from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”.

In addition, we elicit respondents’ prior beliefs about the loss in income that can be associated with fewer years of schooling and skill development as follows:
[Prior beliefs - parents and adolescents]
“Many studies look at how the skills learned in school affect later income on the labor market.
Imagine a person who earns 2,100 Euro (net) a month, which is roughly the average income in Germany.
By how many Euro do you think this person's income will change on average if he or she attends school for one year less and thus learns fewer skills at school?

I think that this person's income will decrease by ____ Euro.
(The answer "0" means that this person's income will not change).”

Finally, we also elicit respondents’ beliefs about the extent to which student learning has been affected by COVID-19. We do this by posing a series of questions.
First, we elicit how many weeks the child could not go to school due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of weeks in online schooling.
Second, we elicit whether the child has already participated in a tutoring program.
Third, we elicit respondents’ belief about the learning losses due to COVID-19 as follows:
[statement - parents]
How much does the following statement apply to your child?
"My child has learned much less than usual in school because of the COVID-19 pandemic."

[statement - adolescents]
How much does the following statement apply to you?
"I learned much less during the school closures than I usually do in school".
Answers could be given a 5-point scale: “fully applies”, “rather applies”, “rather does not apply”, “does not apply at all”, “neither nor”.
In our resurvey about one week after the main survey, we re-elicit parents’ beliefs about the loss in income that can be associated with fewer years of schooling and skill development.
In the resurvey, we additionally elicit (i) whether parents informed themselves about tutoring programs and (ii) the reasons for (not) doing so (open-ended question).

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We conduct the survey experiment in a sample of 2,000 parents and their adolescent children between the age of 14 and 17 years. The survey is conducted in cooperation with a German survey institute, Bilendi & respondi. The recruitment of the parents (and their children) is managed by Bilendi & respondi, which collects the data via an online platform. That is, our participants answer the survey questions autonomously on their own digital devices. Randomization is carried out by Bilendi & respondi at the individual level, using a computer.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is carried out by the survey company Bilendi & respondi, using a computer.
Randomization Unit
at the individual level
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
2,000 parents and 2,000 adolescents
Sample size: planned number of observations
2,000 in the parent sample and 2,000 in the adolescent sample
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
2,000 parents and 2,000 adolescent children in the age between 14 and 17 years, 1,000 of each are in the treatment group, 1,000 in the control group; randomization in the two samples is carried out independently
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
None
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Ethics Commission, Department of Economics, University of Munich
IRB Approval Date
2022-06-28
IRB Approval Number
2022-2