Testing Optimizations to Phone-Based Education Delivery

Country: Kenya and Sierra Leone | Topic Area: Participation & Messaging

A primary school student and their caregiver receive a maths lesson over the phone/Credit: Youth Impact
Project summary

Our research will build on a growing literature on ‘low-tech’ platforms to support remote learning. We will conduct randomized controlled trials in Kenya and Sierra Leone, both of which have high mobile penetration rates and have made attempts to implement remote learning during the recent pandemic period.

In Kenya, our research will focus on optimisations to phone-based tutoring platforms and understanding the specific mechanisms that lead to learning gains seen in successful phone tutoring programs. In Sierra Leone we will study methods to boost engagement with educational radio and the potential benefits that radio engagement can have for student learning.

Research questions
  • Is hyper-targeting programming to meet individual student needs more effective than a traditional linear approach to content delivery?
  • Do programs have system-level effects on teacher mindsets and instructional practice?
  • Are there long-term benefits to learning 6-12 months after program delivery?
  • How effectively can phone calls encourage uptake for educational radio?
Key partners

NewGlobe: NewGlobe has a record of quality evidence generation for programs run within the Bridge Academy school network, which includes a study conducted in 2020 on low-tech remote interventions. NewGlobe will provide implementation of the research and will lead content development and procurement of government permissions and IRB approvals. 

Rising Academies: Rising Academies will lead implementation of the research agenda in Sierra Leone. They will lead efforts to secure ethics approvals, develop educational content and design survey tools for data collection. 

Study contacts:

Noam Angrist Contact Noam

Moitshepi Matsheng Contact Moitshepi

Peter BergmanContact Peter

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