Implementing government elementary math exercises online: positive effects found in RCT under social turmoil in Chile
Araya Schulz, Roberto
Cita de ítem
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 0244
The impact of online math programs depends on its implementation, especially in vulnerable populations from developing countries. An existing online platform was adapted, at the request of the Chilean Ministry of Education, to exclusively include exercises previously designed and tested by a paper-based government program for elementary school. We carried out a cluster-randomized controlled trial (RCT) with 50 fourth grade classrooms. Treatment classrooms used the platform in a weekly 90-min math session. Due to a social instability outbreak in the country, a large unexpected disruption with huge absenteeism occurred in the second half of the semester, which turned this study into a unique opportunity to explore the robustness of the platform's effects on students' learning. Using multiple imputation and multilevel models, we found a statistically significant effect size of 0.13, which corresponds to two extra months of learning. This effect is meaningful for four reasons. First, it has double the effect of the paper-based version. Second, it was achieved during one semester only. Third, is half that obtained with the platform for a complete year with its own set of exercises and with two sessions per week instead of one. Fourth, it was attained in a semester with a lot of absenteeism.
UCE, Ministry of Education of Chile
Chilean National Agency for Research and Development (ANID)