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Do Students Know Best? Choice, Classroom Time, and Academic Performance

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Listed:
  • Theodore J. Joyce
  • Sean Crockett
  • David A. Jaeger
  • Onur Altindag
  • Stephen D. O'Connell
  • Dahlia K. Remler

Abstract

We compare student academic performance in traditional twice-a-week and compressed once-a-week lecture formats in introductory microeconomics between one semester in which students were randomly assigned into the formats and another semester when students were allowed to choose their format. In each semester we offered the same course with the sections taught at the same times in the same classrooms by the same professors using the same book, software and lecture slides. Our study design is modeled after a doubly randomized preference trial (DRPT), which provides insights regarding external validity beyond what is possible from a single randomized study. Our goal is to assess whether having a choice modifies the treatment effect of format. Students in the compressed format of the randomized arm of the study scored -0.19 standard deviations less on the combined midterm and final (p

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore J. Joyce & Sean Crockett & David A. Jaeger & Onur Altindag & Stephen D. O'Connell & Dahlia K. Remler, 2015. "Do Students Know Best? Choice, Classroom Time, and Academic Performance," NBER Working Papers 21656, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21656
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. William G. Bowen & Matthew M. Chingos & Kelly A. Lack & Thomas I. Nygren, 2014. "Interactive Learning Online at Public Universities: Evidence from a Six‐Campus Randomized Trial," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(1), pages 94-111, January.
    5. Durden, Garey C & Ellis, Larry V, 1995. "The Effects of Attendance on Student Learning in Principles of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 343-346, May.
    6. Thomas D. Cook & William R. Shadish & Vivian C. Wong, 2008. "Three conditions under which experiments and observational studies produce comparable causal estimates: New findings from within-study comparisons," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(4), pages 724-750.
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    Cited by:

    1. Do Won Kwak & Carl Sherwood & Kam Ki Tang, 2019. "Class attendance and learning outcome," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 177-203, July.
    2. Nick Huntington-Klein & James Cowan & Dan Goldhaber, 2017. "Selection into Online Community College Courses and Their Effects on Persistence," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(3), pages 244-269, May.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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