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Can behavioral tools improve online student outcomes? Experimental evidence from a massive open online course

Richard Patterson ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2018, vol. 153, issue C, 293-321

Abstract: In order to address poor outcomes for online students, I leverage insights from behavioral economics to design three software tools including (1) a commitment device, (2) an alert tool, and (3) a distraction blocking tool. I test the impact of these tools in a massive open online course (MOOC). Relative to students in the control group, students in the commitment device treatment spend 24% more time working on the course, receive course grades that are 0.29 standard deviations higher, and are 40% more likely to complete the course. In contrast, outcomes for students in the alert and distraction blocking treatments are statistically indistinguishable from the control.

Keywords: Education; Self control; Commitment devices; Reminders (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:153:y:2018:i:c:p:293-321

DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.06.017

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Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization is currently edited by Houser, D. and Puzzello, D.

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