The Dominican Republic ranks among the lowest in student learning assessments, including globally in PISA 2015 and regionally in TERCE 2016. In addition to a comprehensive reform, the Ministry of Education is interested in identifying low-cost, scalable approaches to increasing student effort in day-to-day learning. Using data from a nationwide 9th grade diagnostic learning assessment, this evaluation will test the impacts of behaviorally-informed interventions to improve student motivation and effort, including an external (non-cash) incentive; growth-mindset exercises in which students learn that putting in effort, rather than fixed and immutable talent, can lead to high scholastic achievement; and self-affirmation exercises, in which students reflect on what is important to them and what about themselves makes them feel proud.
|Study title:||Nudging Student Effort to Accurately Measure Student Ability: Maximizing the Value of Assessment Data through Nimble Interventions.|
|Research question:||What is the impact of growth mindset and self-affirmation exercises, conducted 8 weeks and 1 week before a national assessment, on test scores and students’ perceptions of their ability?|
|Policy problem:||Poor student performance on learning assessments, potentially stemming from low effort on both learning and the assessments.|
Treatment 1 School director and 9th grade language teacher(s) receive a growth mindset package that includes exercise materials and instructions 8 weeks before the national diagnostic learning assessments.
|Data sources:||Administrative data and survey data.|
|Researchers:||Melissa Adelman, Juan Baron|