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The effect of supplemental instruction on academic performance: An encouragement design experiment

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) or PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) has been widely offered to students at tertiary institutions in many countries with the aim of improving academic performance. The SI/PASS evaluation literature is extensive, but it has not adequately addressed potential selection bias. We evaluate an SI/PASS program at an Australian university through a randomized-encouragement-design experiment. A randomly selected subgroup of students from first-year courses (N = 6954) was offered large incentives (worth AUD 55,000) to attend PASS which increased attendance by an estimated 0.47 hours each. This first-stage (inducement) effect did not vary with the size of the incentive and was larger (0.89) for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Instrumental-variable estimates suggest that 1 hour of PASS improved grades by 0.065 standard deviations, which is consistent with the non-experimental literature. However, this estimate is not statistically significant, reflecting limited statistical power. The estimated effect is largest for students in their first semester at university.

UOW Authors


  •   Paloyo, Alfredo
  •   Rogan, Sally G. (external author)
  •   Siminski, Peter M. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Paloyo, A. R., Rogan, S. & Siminski, P. M. (2016). The effect of supplemental instruction on academic performance: An encouragement design experiment. Economics of Education Review, 55 57-69.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84986570849

Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 57

End Page


  • 69

Volume


  • 55

Abstract


  • Supplemental Instruction (SI) or PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) has been widely offered to students at tertiary institutions in many countries with the aim of improving academic performance. The SI/PASS evaluation literature is extensive, but it has not adequately addressed potential selection bias. We evaluate an SI/PASS program at an Australian university through a randomized-encouragement-design experiment. A randomly selected subgroup of students from first-year courses (N = 6954) was offered large incentives (worth AUD 55,000) to attend PASS which increased attendance by an estimated 0.47 hours each. This first-stage (inducement) effect did not vary with the size of the incentive and was larger (0.89) for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Instrumental-variable estimates suggest that 1 hour of PASS improved grades by 0.065 standard deviations, which is consistent with the non-experimental literature. However, this estimate is not statistically significant, reflecting limited statistical power. The estimated effect is largest for students in their first semester at university.

UOW Authors


  •   Paloyo, Alfredo
  •   Rogan, Sally G. (external author)
  •   Siminski, Peter M. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Paloyo, A. R., Rogan, S. & Siminski, P. M. (2016). The effect of supplemental instruction on academic performance: An encouragement design experiment. Economics of Education Review, 55 57-69.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84986570849

Number Of Pages


  • 12

Start Page


  • 57

End Page


  • 69

Volume


  • 55