IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bss/wpaper/36.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Relative Effectiveness of Teachers and Learning Software: Evidence from a Field Experiment in El Salvador

Author

Listed:
  • Konstantin Büchel
  • Martina Jakob
  • Christoph Kühnhanss
  • Daniel Steffen
  • Aymo Brunetti

Abstract

This study provides novel evidence on the relative effectiveness of computer-assisted learning (CAL) software and traditional teaching. Based on a randomized controlled trial in Salvadoran primary schools, we evaluate three interventions that aim to improve learning outcomes in mathematics: (i) teacher-led classes, (ii) CAL classes monitored by a technical supervisor, and (iii) CAL classes instructed by a teacher. As all three interventions involve the same amount of additional mathematics lessons, we can directly compare the productivity of the three teaching methods. CAL lessons lead to larger improvements in students' mathematics skills than traditional teacher-centered classes. In addition, teachers add little to the effectiveness of learning software. Overall, our results highlight the value of CAL approaches in an environment with poorly qualified teachers.

Suggested Citation

  • Konstantin Büchel & Martina Jakob & Christoph Kühnhanss & Daniel Steffen & Aymo Brunetti, 2020. "The Relative Effectiveness of Teachers and Learning Software: Evidence from a Field Experiment in El Salvador," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 36, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:36
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.sowi.unibe.ch/files/wp36/Buechel_etal_2020_CAL.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2020
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264.
    2. Bold,Tessa & Filmer,Deon P. & Martin,Gayle & Molina,Ezequiel & Rockmore,Christophe & Stacy,Brian William & Svensson,Jakob & Wane,Waly, 2017. "What do teachers know and do ? does it matter ? evidence from primary schools in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7956, The World Bank.
    3. Aymo Brunetti & Konstantin Büchel & Martina Jakob & Ben Jann & Christoph Kühnhanss & Daniel Steffen, 2020. "Teacher Content Knowledge in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Math Assessment in El Salvador," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 34, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
    4. Sarah Baird & Aislinn Bohren & Craig McIntosh & Berk Ozler, 2015. "Designing Experiments to Measure Spillover Effects, Second Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 15-021, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Jun 2015.
    5. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
    6. Rachel Glennerster & Kudzai Takavarasha, 2013. "Running Randomized Evaluations: A Practical Guide," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10085, April.
    7. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
    8. Isaac Mbiti & Karthik Muralidharan & Mauricio Romero & Youdi Schipper & Constantine Manda & Rakesh Rajani, 2019. "Inputs, Incentives, and Complementarities in Education: Experimental Evidence from Tanzania," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(3), pages 1627-1673.
    9. Tessa Bold & Deon Filmer & Gayle Martin & Ezequiel Molina & Brian Stacy & Christophe Rockmore & Jakob Svensson & Waly Wane, 2017. "Enrollment without Learning: Teacher Effort, Knowledge, and Skill in Primary Schools in Africa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 185-204, Fall.
    10. Simon Heß, 2017. "Randomization inference with Stata: A guide and software," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 17(3), pages 630-651, September.
    11. Isaac M. Mbiti, 2016. "The Need for Accountability in Education in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 109-132, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Aymo Brunetti & Konstantin Büchel & Martina Jakob & Ben Jann & Christoph Kühnhanss & Daniel Steffen, 2020. "Teacher Content Knowledge in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Math Assessment in El Salvador," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 34, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Konstantin Buechel & Martina Jakob & Daniel Steffen & Christoph Kuehnhanss & Aymo Brunetti, 2020. "The Relative Effectiveness of Teachers and Learning Software: Evidence from a Field Experiment in El Salvador," Diskussionsschriften dp2006, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    2. Aymo Brunetti & Konstantin Buechel & Martina Jakob & Ben Jann & Christoph Kuehnhanss & Daniel Steffen, 2020. "Teacher Content Knowledge in Developing Countries: Evidence from a Math Assessment in El Salvador," Diskussionsschriften dp2005, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    3. Bold, Tessa & Kimenyi, Mwangi & Mwabu, Germano & Ng’ang’a, Alice & Sandefur, Justin, 2018. "Experimental evidence on scaling up education reforms in Kenya," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 168(C), pages 1-20.
    4. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2019. "Understanding development and poverty alleviation," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2019-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
    5. Eble, Alex & Frost, Chris & Camara, Alpha & Bouy, Baboucarr & Bah, Momodou & Sivaraman, Maitri & Hsieh, Pei-Tseng Jenny & Jayanty, Chitra & Brady, Tony & Gawron, Piotr & Vansteelandt, Stijn & Boone, P, 2021. "How much can we remedy very low learning levels in rural parts of low-income countries? Impact and generalizability of a multi-pronged para-teacher intervention from a cluster-randomized trial in the ," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).
    6. Eduard Marinov, 2019. "The 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 78-116.
    7. Benjamin A. Olken, 2020. "Banerjee, Duflo, Kremer, and the Rise of Modern Development Economics," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 122(3), pages 853-878, July.
    8. Naik, Gopal & Chitre, Chetan & Bhalla, Manaswini & Rajan, Jothsna, 2020. "Impact of use of technology on student learning outcomes: Evidence from a large-scale experiment in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    9. Jason T. Kerwin & Rebecca L. Thornton, 2021. "Making the Grade: The Sensitivity of Education Program Effectiveness to Input Choices and Outcome Measures," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 251-264, May.
    10. Nicholas Barton & Tessa Bold & Justin Sandefur, 2017. "Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Kenya - Working Paper 457," Working Papers 457, Center for Global Development.
    11. Barton, Nicholas & Bold, Tessa & Sandefur, Justin, 2017. "Measuring Rents from Public Employment: Regression discontinuity evidence from Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 12105, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Islam, Asad, 2019. "Parent–teacher meetings and student outcomes: Evidence from a developing country," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 273-304.
    13. Asim,Salman & Chase,Robert S. & Dar,Amit & Schmillen,Achim Daniel, 2015. "Improving education outcomes in South Asia : findings from a decade of impact evaluations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7362, The World Bank.
    14. Naveen Kumar, 2019. "Public Schools Can Improve Student Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in India," 2019 Papers pku634, Job Market Papers.
    15. Tushar Bharati & Seungwoo Chin & Dawoon Jung, 2020. "Recovery from an Early-Life Shock through Improved Access to Schools," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 20-04, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    16. David K. Evans & Arkadipta Ghosh, 2008. "Prioritizing Educational Investments in Children in the Developing World," Working Papers WR-587, RAND Corporation.
    17. Cilliers, Jacobus & Kasirye, Ibrahim & Leaver, Clare & Serneels, Pieter & Zeitlin, Andrew, 2018. "Pay for locally monitored performance? A welfare analysis for teacher attendance in Ugandan primary schools," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 167(C), pages 69-90.
    18. Battaglia, Marianna & Lebedinski, Lara, 2015. "Equal Access to Education: An Evaluation of the Roma Teaching Assistant Program in Serbia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 62-81.
    19. Leaver, Clare & Ozier, Owen & Serneels, Pieter & Zeitlin, Andrew, 2020. "Recruitment, Effort, and Retention Effects of Performance Contracts for Civil Servants: Experimental Evidence from Rwandan Primary Schools," CEPR Discussion Papers 15333, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Lay, Jann, 2010. "MDG Achievements, Determinants, and Resource Needs: What Has Been Learnt?," GIGA Working Papers 137, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    computer-assisted learning; productivity in education; primary education; teacher content knowledge;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:36. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.sowi.unibe.ch/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ben Jann (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.sowi.unibe.ch/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.