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Summaries of RCT Grants

Randomized controlled trial of a teacher training program for Khan Academy in Puerto Rico, aimed at increasing math achievement

This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a training and coaching program to support math teachers to use Khan Academy, which is being implemented on a large scale in Puerto Rico.

Grant Recipient: University of Toronto

Term: 2022 – 2024

Principal Investigators: Gustavo J. Bobonis, Philip Oreopoulos 

Funding: $125,816

Abstract: This project is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of a training and coaching program to support math teachers to use Khan Academy, which is being implemented on a large scale in Puerto Rico. Khan Academy is one of the most popular math-oriented Computer Assisted Learning (CAL) platforms. In the US, over 100 school districts across 38 US states have partnered with Khan Academy to gain access to data, technical support, and monitoring tools. 

Despite the widespread adoption of CAL platforms, there is limited evidence regarding whether CAL interventions can be scaled up effectively or whether complementary technology-enabled behavioral interventions can promote the technology’s use and ultimately lead to improved educational outcomes. This RCT seeks to generate this evidence by capitalizing on the large-scale implementation of a Khan Academy teacher training program, funded by the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE).

Under this study, 670 primary and middle schools in Puerto Rico were randomly assigned to either (i) a first treatment group whose teachers would be eligible to receive the program during the 2021 – 2022 school year, (ii) a second treatment group whose teachers would be eligible to receive the program during the 2022 – 2023 school year, or (ii) a control group that would not be eligible to receive the program until the 2023 – 2024 school year. The primary outcome will be math standardized test scores for students in grades four to eight, measured over a follow-up period of two years using PRDE’s administrative data. The study will also measure academic performance in other subjects and parental engagement in the Khan Academy platform. This project is co-funded with J‑PAL North America.

The study’s pre-specified analysis plan is linked here.

Grants

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