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Peer Effects in Computer Assisted Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment

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  • Fafchamps, Marcel
  • Mo, Di

Abstract

We conduct a large scale RCT to investigate peer e↵ects in computer assisted learning (CAL). Identification of peer e↵ects relies on three levels of randomization. It is already known that CAL improves math test scores in Chinese rural schools. We find that paired treatment improves the beneficial e↵ects of treatment for poor performers when they are paired with high performers. We test whether CAL treatment reduces the dispersion in math scores relative to controls, and we find statistically significant evidence that it does. We also demonstrate that the beneficial e↵ects of CAL could potentially be strengthened, both in terms of average e↵ect and in terms of reduced dispersion, if weak students are systematically paired with strong students during treatment. To our knowledge, this is the first time that a school intervention has been identified in which peer e↵ects unambiguously help weak students catch up with the rest of the class without imposing any learning cost on other students.

Suggested Citation

  • Fafchamps, Marcel & Mo, Di, 2015. "Peer Effects in Computer Assisted Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211628, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae15:211628
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Frijters & Asadul Islam & Debayan Pakrashi, 2016. "Can we select the right peers in Indian Education? Evidence from Kolkata," Monash Economics Working Papers 39-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.

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    Keywords

    Teaching/Communication/Extension/Profession;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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