NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alexey Makarin

Northwestern University
Department of Economics
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2016Can Online Off-The-Shelf Lessons Improve Student Outcomes? Evidence from A Field Experiment
with C. Kirabo Jackson: w22398
There has been a proliferation of websites that warehouse instructional materials designed to be taught by teachers in a traditional classroom. While this new technology has revolutionized how most teachers plan their lessons, the potential benefits of this innovation are unknown. To present evidence on this, we analyze an experiment in which middle-school math teachers were randomly given access to high-quality “off-the-shelf” lessons. Only providing teachers with online access to the lessons increased students’ math achievement by 0.06 of a standard deviation, but providing teachers with online access to the lessons along with supports to promote their use increased students’ math achievement by 0.09 of a standard deviation. Benefits were much larger for weaker teachers, suggesting that ...
 
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