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Study Overview

Title:
Evaluating the impact of Southern New Hampshire University’s blended learning program on learning outcomes (South Africa)
Study is 3ie funded:
No
Study ID:
RIDIE-STUDY-ID-5ceb8900c7db4
Initial Registration Date:
05/27/2019
Last Update Date:
05/24/2019
Study Status:
Ongoing
Location(s):
South Africa
Abstract:
The Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)/Kepler university program was established in Rwanda to develop a high quality, low-cost model of higher education. The program uses a blended learning model of online courses and in-person instruction with a focus on improving job market outcomes for students. The learning program has since expanded to other locations. In 2018, the first cohort of students - primarily international - enrolled in the SNHU program in South Africa. IDinsight is conducting a prospective evaluation of the program's impact on their cognitive and non-cognitive skills compared to their counterparts enrolled in other local universities.
Categories:
Education
Additional Keywords:
Secondary ID Number(s):

Principal Investigator(s)

Name of First PI:
Rebecca Bier
Affiliation:
IDinsight
Name of Second PI:
Inez Dawoodjee
Affiliation:
IDinsight

Study Sponsor

Name:
Southern New Hampshire University
Study Sponsor Location:
United States

Research Partner

Name of Partner Institution:
Southern New Hampshire University; Scalabrini Centre
Type of Organization:
Research institute/University
Location:
United States
Intervention

Intervention Overview

Intervention:
The Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)/Kepler university program was established in Rwanda to develop a high quality, low-cost model of higher education. The program uses a blended learning model of online courses and in-person instruction with a focus on improving job market outcomes for students. In 2018, SNHU collaborated with its on-site partner, the Scalabrini Centre, to expand the learning program to Cape Town, South Africa, primarily targeting students who hold refugee or asylum seeker statuses.
Theory of Change:
Students receive a curriculum specifically tailored to application and core competencies, as well as a bachelor's degree from SNHU upon successful completion of the program. This system of tertiary education, focusing on application and providing more flexibility through the blended model, can have a positive impact on students' learning outcomes, specifically on their (1) critical reasoning skills (2) computer literacy, and (3) English comprehension skills. The program can also have long run effects on students’ employment prospects via better cognitive skills formation.
Multiple Treatment Arms Evaluated?
Yes

Implementing Agency

Name of Organization:
IDinsight
Type of Organization:
NGO (International)

Program Funder

Name of Organization:
Southern New Hampshire University
Type of Organization:
Research Institution/University

Intervention Timing

Intervention or Program Started at time of Registration?
Yes
Start Date:
02/01/2018
End Date:
11/30/2019
Evaluation Method

Evaluation Method Overview

Primary (or First) Evaluation Method:
Difference in difference/fixed effects
Other (not Listed) Method:
Additional Evaluation Method (If Any):
Other (not Listed) Method:

Method Details

Details of Evaluation Approach:
IDinsight is conducting a difference-in-differences evaluation to measure relative changes in learning outcomes for treatment vis-a-vis comparison groups between baseline and follow up rounds of data collection. Students, primarily international, enrolled in the SNHU program make up the treatment group. The comparison group is composed of similar students entering their first year of tertiary education at South African higher education institutions.
Outcomes (Endpoints):
We are measuring students' cognitive and non-cognitive skill outcomes. Cognitive skills are measured through a series of tests which produce quantitative learning scores for students. Non-cognitive skill outcomes will be measured using the Anchored Big Five Inventory (ABFI) tool. This is a soft-skills assessment appropriate for multiple country contexts.
Unit of Analysis:
Individuals/ Students
Hypotheses:
How much are SNHU students in Cape Town learning, compared to peer migrant students at local South African universities? How does the SNHU program impact students’ professional skills and employability, as compared to the counterfactual options available to similar migrants?
Unit of Intervention or Assignment:
Individuals/Students
Number of Clusters in Sample:
Number of Individuals in Sample:
300
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:
150 students in treatment, 150 students in comparison

Supplementary Files

Analysis Plan:
IDinsight-SNHU Pre-Analysis Plan RIDIE Registry.pdf
Other Documents:
Data

Outcomes Data

Description:
A primary dataset will be generated to measure outcomes. Contributions to this dataset will come from students' academic tests, a demographic survey and a non-cognitive skill measurement tool.
Data Already Collected?
No
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Treatment Assignment Data

Participation or Assignment Information:
Yes
Description:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Previously Used?
Data Access:
Data Obtained by the Study Researchers?
Data Approval Process:
Approval Status:

Data Analysis

Data Analysis Status:

Study Materials

Upload Study Materials:

Registration Category

Registration Category:
Prospective, Category 1: Data for measuring impacts have not been collected
Completion

Completion Overview

Intervention Completion Date:
Data Collection Completion Date:
Unit of Analysis:
Clusters in Final Sample:
Total Observations in Final Sample:
Size of Treatment, Control, or Comparison Subsamples:

Findings

Preliminary Report:
Preliminary Report URL:
Summary of Findings:
Paper:
Paper Summary:
Paper Citation:

Data Availability

Data Availability (Primary Data):
Date of Data Availability:
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Access procedure:

Other Materials

Survey:
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Program Files:
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External Link:
External Link Description:
Description of Changes:

Study Stopped

Date:
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