Positive Results in Bajhang: Baseline-Midline Comparison of 20 schools
June 2017 | Bajhang
Background: OLE Nepal’s laptop program was introduced in 20 schools in Bajhang in September 2015 with the deployment of laptops and installation of network in the schools. All the teachers from the schools participated in a three-stage training program designed to develop their skills and confidence in using technology in classrooms. In addition, two volunteers were placed at each school for a period of two months to support teachers.
In order to check the effectiveness of the program on student learning (specifically in mathematics, science and English subjects), we had conducted two sets of surveys, with the baseline survey done in September 2015 (before the introduction of digital resources and laptops at the schools), and the midline survey in February 2017 (one and a half year of program launch).
Methodology: The baseline survey was conducted amongst students from grade two to grade four of all 20 program schools. A group of 15 students in all three subjects from each grade were randomly picked to take the survey, and subgroup of 5 students for each subject. If there were less than 15 students in a class, all the students were equally divided into 3 groups. Students were allowed an hour to complete the survey questions that consisted of multiple choice questions. Students from younger grades were guided by the enumerator or the teachers. They read the questions to the students as they might have had problems in reading the instructions. They were also given examples on how to mark the answers of their choice from the set of multiple choice questions. The baseline survey was jointly administered by the respective school teachers and the OLE Nepal volunteers. Similarly, after one and half year, a midline survey with the same set of questions was conducted amongst students of the same grades. The midline survey was conducted by the respective school teachers and OLE Nepal field staff. In total, 583 students in baseline and 566 students in midline were surveyed from all 20 schools. Among them, around 47% were girls and 53% were boys. Altogether, 1149 surveys were taken by the students in all schools from grade 2 to grade 4.
Data analysis: There was varied number of students according to the grade and subjects. So, while dividing equal number of students in each subjects, we have excluded or minimized extra number of students in analysis were randomly done on the basis of serial number (not relevant with obtained marks). For instance, if surveyor took the test of 13 students, then there is difference in number for different subjects at that time. In such cases, we have excluded one person from analysis to balance equal number (4 students) in each subjects. There were 9 to 45 students chosen from each school depending on the total number of students.
The students for the midline survey were also picked randomly. Students were chosen randomly without looking at their performance level. Since the assessment of the baseline and midline was conducted by different persons with same/different students, it is unavoidable that certain degree of difference in student performance can be found. In order to assure manageability of the collected data, survey instruments used only multiple-choice items and did not include open-ended response items. All the tests papers were checked and scores were compiled for both the baseline and the midline surveys in excel sheets. These scores were then tabulated on excel, compared, and graphs were generated for easy comparisons. The following graphs show the comparison of average scores obtained by students in baseline and midline surveys.
Findings: In a grade and subject wise comparison, the average score of baseline survey was around 40-50 %, and the average score of midline survey was around 50-70%. Overall, there has been an increase of 16% in average scores. Some schools have made significant improvements (Mahadev Primary School’s average scores have gone up by 43%).
Conclusion: The comparison of baseline and midline survey results revealed that, students in 18 out of 20 schools have made significant improvement in English, science and math. Though we are aware that many factors contribute to the improvement in student learning, students were able to learn concepts at a pace that would not have been possible with the traditional way of learning. As the graphs indicates, student performances in all schools in three subjects have increased significantly and laptop program has had a positive effect on the student’s performance.