IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ces/ceswps/_6328.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India

Author

Listed:
  • Karthik Muralidharan
  • Abhijeet Singh
  • Alejandro J. Ganimian

Abstract

We present experimental evidence on the impact of a technology-aided after-school instruction program on learning outcomes in middle school grades in urban India, using a lottery that provided students with a voucher to cover program costs. A key feature of the program was its ability to individually customize educational content to match the level and rate of progress of each student. We find that lottery winners had large increases in test scores of 0.36ó in math and 0.22ó in Hindi over just a 4.5-month period. IV estimates suggest that attending the program for 90 days would increase math and Hindi test scores by 0.59ó and 0.36ó respectively. We find similar absolute test score gains for all students, but the relative gain was much greater for academically-weaker students because their rate of learning in the control group was close to zero. We show that the program was able to effectively cater to the very wide variation in student learning levels within a single grade by precisely targeting instruction to the level of student preparation. The program was highly cost-effective, both in terms of productivity per dollar and unit of time. Our results suggest that well-designed technology-aided instruction programs can sharply improve productivity in delivering education.

Suggested Citation

  • Karthik Muralidharan & Abhijeet Singh & Alejandro J. Ganimian, 2017. "Disrupting Education? Experimental Evidence on Technology-Aided Instruction in India," CESifo Working Paper Series 6328, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6328
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ifo.de:442/DocDL/cesifo1_wp6328.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Julian Cristia & Pablo Ibarrarán & Santiago Cueto & Ana Santiago & Eugenio Severín, 2017. "Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 295-320, July.
    2. Fang Lai & Linxiu Zhang & Xiao Hu & Qinghe Qu & Yaojiang Shi & Yajie Qiao & Matthew Boswell & Scott Rozelle, 2013. "Computer assisted learning as extracurricular tutor? Evidence from a randomised experiment in rural boarding schools in Shaanxi," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 208-231, June.
    3. Tahir Andrabi & Jishnu Das & Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Tristan Zajonc, 2011. "Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-54, July.
    4. Di Mo & Linxiu Zhang & Renfu Luo & Qinghe Qu & Weiming Huang & Jiafu Wang & Yajie Qiao & Matthew Boswell & Scott Rozelle, 2014. "Integrating computer-assisted learning into a regular curriculum: evidence from a randomised experiment in rural schools in Shaanxi," Journal of Development Effectiveness, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(3), pages 300-323, September.
    5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Banerji, Rukmini & Berry, James & Duflo, Esther & Kannan, Harini & Mukerji, Shobhini & Shotland, Marc & Walton, Michael, 2016. "Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention: Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of "Teaching at the Right Level" in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 11530, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Brij Kothari & Avinash Pandey & Amita R. Chudgar, 2004. "Reading Out of the "Idiot Box": Same-Language Subtitling on Television in India," Information Technologies and International Development, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 23-44.
    7. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markman & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2009. "Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 52-74, February.
    8. Marinho Bertanha & Guido W. Imbens, 2014. "External Validity in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs," NBER Working Papers 20773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Rouse, Cecilia Elena & Krueger, Alan B., 2004. "Putting computerized instruction to the test: a randomized evaluation of a "scientifically based" reading program," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 323-338, August.
    10. Carneiro, Pedro & Das, Jishnu & Reis, Hugo, 2016. "The Value of Private Schools: Evidence from Pakistan," IZA Discussion Papers 9960, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Stephen Machin & Sandra McNally & Olmo Silva, 2007. "New Technology in Schools: Is There a Payoff?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(522), pages 1145-1167, July.
    12. Pritchett, Lant & Beatty, Amanda, 2015. "Slow down, you’re going too fast: Matching curricula to student skill levels," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 276-288.
    13. Joppe de Ree & Karthik Muralidharan & Menno Pradhan & Halsey Rogers, 2015. "Double for Nothing? Experimental Evidence on the Impact of an Unconditional Teacher Salary Increase on Student Performance in Indonesia," NBER Working Papers 21806, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    15. Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin, 2014. "Automatic grade promotion and student performance: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 277-290.
    16. Robert W. Fairlie & Jonathan Robinson, 2013. "Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Home Computers on Academic Achievement among Schoolchildren," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 211-240, July.
    17. Austan Goolsbee & Jonathan Guryan, 2006. "The Impact of Internet Subsidies in Public Schools," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 336-347, May.
    18. Muralidharan, Karthik & Das, Jishnu & Holla, Alaka & Mohpal, Aakash, 2017. "The fiscal cost of weak governance: Evidence from teacher absence in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 145(C), pages 116-135.
    19. Das, Jishnu & Zajonc, Tristan, 2010. "India shining and Bharat drowning: Comparing two Indian states to the worldwide distribution in mathematics achievement," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 175-187, July.
    20. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "New Evidence on Classroom Computers and Pupil Learning," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 735-765, October.
    21. Paul E. Carrillo & Mercedes Onofa & Juan Ponce, 2010. "Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3094, Inter-American Development Bank.
    22. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo Group Munich.
    23. Diether W. Beuermann & Julian Cristia & Santiago Cueto & Ofer Malamud & Yyannu Cruz-Aguayo, 2015. "One Laptop per Child at Home: Short-Term Impacts from a Randomized Experiment in Peru," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 53-80, April.
    24. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2011. "Home Computer Use and the Development of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(2), pages 987-1027.
    25. Paul Carrillo & Mercedes Onofa & Juan Ponce, 2010. "Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 37758, Inter-American Development Bank.
    26. 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.
    27. 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.
    28. Bulman, G. & Fairlie, R.W., 2016. "Technology and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    29. Julian Cristia & Pablo Ibarrarán & Santiago Cueto & Ana Santiago & Eugenio Severín, 2017. "Technology and Child Development: Evidence from the One Laptop per Child Program," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 295-320, July.
    30. repec:oup:qjecon:v:132:y:2017:i:2:p:871-919. is not listed on IDEAS
    31. repec:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/692712 is not listed on IDEAS
    32. Shabnam Sinha & Rukmini Banerji & Wilima Wadhwa, 2016. "Teacher Performance in Bihar, India," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 23637.
    33. Abhijit Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Mainstreaming an Effective Intervention: Evidence from Randomized Evaluations of “Teaching at the Right Level†in India," Working Papers id:11419, eSocialSciences.
    34. Joshua D. Angrist & Peter D. Hull & Parag A. Pathak & Christopher R. Walters, 2017. "Leveraging Lotteries for School Value-Added: Testing and Estimation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 871-919.
    35. Mo, Di & Swinnen, Johan & Zhang, Linxiu & Yi, Hongmei & Qu, Qinghe & Boswell, Matthew & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "Can One-to-One Computing Narrow the Digital Divide and the Educational Gap in China? The Case of Beijing Migrant Schools," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 14-29.
    36. Barrera-Osorio, Felipe & Linden, Leigh L., 2009. "The use and misuse of computers in education : evidence from a randomized experiment in Colombia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4836, The World Bank.
    37. Sarojini Hirshleifer, 2017. "Incentives for Effort or Outputs? A Field Experiment to Improve Student Performance," Working Papers 201701, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    38. Singh, Abhijeet, 2015. "Private school effects in urban and rural India: Panel estimates at primary and secondary school ages," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 16-32.
    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. Francisco Gallego & Emma Näslund-Hadley & Mariana Alfonso, 2017. "Tailoring Instruction to Improve Mathematics Skills in Preschools: A Randomized Evaluation," Documentos de Trabajo 487, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    2. Facundo Albornoz & María Victoria Anauati & Melina Furman & Mariana Luzuriaga & María Eugenia Podestá & Inés Taylor, 2017. "Training to teach science: experimental evidence from Argentina," Discussion Papers 2017-08, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    3. Daniel O. Gilligan & Naureen Karachiwalla & Ibrahim Kasirye & Adrienne M. Lucas & Derek Neal, 2018. "Educator Incentives and Educational Triage in Rural Primary Schools," NBER Working Papers 24911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Malamud, Ofer & Cueto, Santiago & Cristia, Julian & Beuermann, Diether W., 2019. "Do children benefit from internet access? Experimental evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 41-56.
    5. repec:nbr:nberch:13934 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nerea Gómez-Fernández & Mauro Mediavilla, 2018. "Do information and communication technologies (ICT) improve educational outcomes? Evidence for Spain in PISA 2015," Working Papers 2018/20, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    7. Perera, Marcelo & Aboal, Diego, 2019. "The impact of a mathematics computer-assisted learning platform on students' mathematics test scores," MERIT Working Papers 007, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    8. Aaron Chatterji, 2017. "Innovation and American K-12 Education," NBER Working Papers 23531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:175-187 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Andrabi, Tahir & Das, Jishnu & Khwaja, Asim Ijaz & Ozyurt, Selcuk & Singh, Niharika, 2018. "Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools," Working Paper Series rwp18-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    11. Clair Null & Clemencia Cosentino & Swetha Sridharan & Laura Meyer, "undated". "Policies and Programs to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 516e420e637c4851b15e6a3f6, Mathematica Policy Research.
    12. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:4:p:103-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Karthik Muralidharan & Paul Niehaus, 2017. "Experimentation at Scale," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 103-124, Fall.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    computer-aided learning; productivity in education; personalized learning; teaching at the right level; post-primary education; middle school; secondary school;

    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:ces:ceswps:_6328. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/cesifde.html .

    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 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.

    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.