IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/qsh/wpaper/467377.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Disrupting education? Experimental evidence on technology-aided instruction in India

Author

Listed:
  • Muralidharan, K.
  • Singh, A.
  • Ganimian, A. J.

Abstract

Technology-aided instruction has the potential to sharply increase productivity in delivering education, but its promise has yet to be realized. This paper presents experimental evidence on the impact of a technology-aided after-school instruction program on secondary school learning outcomes in urban India. We report five main findings. First, students in this setting are several grade-levels behind their enrolled grade, and this gap grows with every grade. Second, the offer of the program led to large increases in student test scores of 0.36? in math and 0.22? in Hindi over a 4.5-month period, which represent a two-fold increase in math and a 2.5 times increase in Hindi test score value-added relative to non-participants. IV estimates suggest that attending the program for 90 days increases math and Hindi test scores by of 0.59? and 0.36? respectively. Third, absolute treatment effects are large and similar at all levels of baseline scores, but the relative gain is much greater for academically weaker students because their ?business as usual? rate of learning is close to zero. Fourth, we show that the program precisely targets instruction to students? preparation level, thus catering to wide variation within a single grade. Fifth, the program is 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 education by relaxing multiple constraints to effective teaching and learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Muralidharan, K. & Singh, A. & Ganimian, A. J., 2016. "Disrupting education? Experimental evidence on technology-aided instruction in India," Working Paper 467377, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  • Handle: RePEc:qsh:wpaper:467377
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://scholar.harvard.edu/alejandro_ganimian/node/467377
    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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Christian N. Brinch & Magne Mogstad & Matthew Wiswall, 2017. "Beyond LATE with a Discrete Instrument," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(4), pages 985-1039.
    10. Marinho Bertanha & Guido W. Imbens, 2020. "External Validity in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 593-612, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Carneiro, Pedro & Das, Jishnu & Reis, Hugo, 2016. "The Value of Private Schools: Evidence from Pakistan," IZA Discussion Papers 9960, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. 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.
    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. Foureaux Koppensteiner, Martin, 2014. "Automatic grade promotion and student performance: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 277-290.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. 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.
    21. 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.
    22. 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.
    23. Carrillo, Paul E. & Onofa, Mercedes & Ponce, Juan, 2011. "Information Technology and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Ecuador," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 3094, Inter-American Development Bank.
    24. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    25. 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.
    26. 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.
    27. 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.
    28. 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.
    29. Bulman, G. & Fairlie, R.W., 2016. "Technology and Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education,, Elsevier.
    30. 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.
    31. 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.
    32. Shabnam Sinha & Rukmini Banerji & Wilima Wadhwa, 2016. "Teacher Performance in Bihar, India," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 23637, December.
    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. 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.
    35. 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.
    36. 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.
    37. 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)

    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. George Bulman & Robert W. Fairlie, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," CESifo Working Paper Series 5570, CESifo.
    2. Bulman, George & Fairlie, Robert W, 2015. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5265z87t, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    3. Bulman, George & Fairlie, Robert W, 2016. "Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0rb5x6bf, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    4. Bet, German & Cristia, Julián P. & Ibarrarán, Pablo, 2014. "The Effects of Shared School Technology Access on Students Digital Skills in Peru," IZA Discussion Papers 7954, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. 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).
    6. NAKAMURO Makiko & ITO Hirotake, 2020. "The Effect of Computer Assisted Learning on Children's Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Cambodia," Discussion papers 20074, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    7. Comi, Simona Lorena & Argentin, Gianluca & Gui, Marco & Origo, Federica & Pagani, Laura, 2017. "Is it the way they use it? Teachers, ICT and student achievement," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 24-39.
    8. 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.
    9. Yue Ma & Robert W. Fairlie & Prashant Loyalka & Scott Rozelle, 2020. "Isolating the “Tech” from EdTech: Experimental Evidence on Computer Assisted Learning in China," NBER Working Papers 26953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & José Montalbán & Felix Weinhardt, 2021. "Home Broadband and Human Capital Formation," CESifo Working Paper Series 8846, CESifo.
    11. 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).
    12. Patterson, Richard W. & Patterson, Robert M., 2017. "Computers and productivity: Evidence from laptop use in the college classroom," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 66-79.
    13. 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.
    14. Eric Bettinger & Robert W. Fairlie & Anastasia Kapuza & Elena Kardanova & Prashant Loyalka & Andrey Zakharov, 2020. "Does EdTech Substitute for Traditional Learning? Experimental Estimates of the Educational Production Function," NBER Working Papers 26967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Peter Bergman, 2020. "Nudging Technology Use: Descriptive and Experimental Evidence from School Information Systems," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(4), pages 623-647, Fall.
    16. 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.
    17. Hall, Caroline & Lundin, Martin & Sibbmark, Kristina, 2021. "A laptop for every child? The impact of technology on human capital formation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C).
    18. Benjamin Faber & Rosa Sanchis-Guarner & Felix Weinhardt, 2015. "ICT and Education: Evidence from Student Home Addresses," SERC Discussion Papers 0186, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    19. Derksen, Laura & Leclerc, Catherine Michaud & Souza, Pedro CL, 2019. "Searching for Answers : The Impact of Student Access to Wikipedia," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1236, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    20. Oliver Falck & Constantin Mang & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Virtually No Effect? Different Uses of Classroom Computers and their Effect on Student Achievement," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, February.

    More about this item

    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:qsh:wpaper:467377. 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: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cbrssus.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 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: Richard Brandon The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Richard Brandon to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cbrssus.html .

    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.