NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2015||Do Students Know Best? Choice, Classroom Time, and Academic Performance|
with Theodore J. Joyce, Sean Crockett, David A. Jaeger, Stephen D. O'Connell, Dahlia K. Remler: w21656
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 randomi...
|March 2015||Effects of Peer Counseling to Support Breastfeeding: Assessing the External Validity of a Randomized Field Experiment|
with Theodore J. Joyce, Julie A. Reeder: w21013
In an effort to improve breastfeeding, the Oregon WIC Program tested whether a relatively low-cost telephone peer counseling initiative to support breastfeeding could increase the initiation and duration of exclusive breastfeeding among its participants. They conducted a large randomized field experiment (RFE) with over 1900 women from four WIC agencies in the state. In this study we use data from the RFE along with administrative data from the rest of the state to assess whether the results from the RFE can be extended to other agencies in the state. We find small or non-existent effects of peer counseling in the non-experimental settings, which suggest that the experimental estimates may reflect Hawthorne effects. We present evidence of selection into RFE in that exclusive breastfeedi...
|March 2014||Does Classroom Time Matter? A Randomized Field Experiment of Hybrid and Traditional Lecture Formats in Economics|
with Theodore J. Joyce, Sean Crockett, David A. Jaeger, Stephen D. O'Connell: w20006
We test whether students in a hybrid format of introductory microeconomics, which met once per week, performed as well as students in a traditional lecture format of the same class, which met twice per week. We randomized 725 students at a large, urban public university into the two formats, and unlike past studies, had a very high participation rate of 96 percent. Two experienced professors taught one section of each format, and students in both formats had access to the same online materials. We find that students in the traditional format scored 2.3 percentage points more on a 100-point scale on the combined midterm and final. There were no differences between formats in non-cognitive effort (attendance, time spent with online materials) nor in withdrawal from the class. Comparing o...
Published: Joyce, Ted, Sean Crockett, David A. Jaeger, Onur Altindag, Stephen D. O'Connell "Does Classroom Time Matter?" Economics of Education Review, 46:64-77 (June 2015).