Table of Contents

Does Active Learning Improve Student Performance? A Randomized Experiment in a Chilean University

Pilar Alcalde, Universidad de los Andes, Chile
Juan C. Nagel, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, ApplEcon, LLC


"Does Active Learning Improve Student Performance? A Randomized Experiment in a Chilean University" Free Download

PILAR ALCALDE, Universidad de los Andes, Chile
JUAN C. NAGEL, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, ApplEcon, LLC

We study the causal effect of an active learning teaching method on grades. We designed a randomized experiment with students at an undergraduate business and economics program in Chile. Two groups were taught by the same professor: the control group used traditional lectures, while the treatment group used an active learning method. Treated students failed the class less but the effect was not significant. They also had significantly better grades at the end and during the semester. The treatment effect was larger for males and students with high application scores. The effect does not appear instantaneously, and appears to fade away at the end of the semester. Results suggest students allocate effort differently across both groups, and this interacts with the treatment effect.


About this eJournal

This eJournal is devoted to advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning economics encouraging contributors to combine ideas in economics with current ideas about teaching and learning, in a way that is public, open to critique, and in a form on which others can build in a timely manner. Unlike refereed journals, this electronic journal does not subject submissions to review but will publish abstracts as works in progress with links to the full-text working papers in the SSRN database. Eligible submissions could provide descriptions of innovative courses, case studies, student activities and other teaching materials and information related to the manner in which economics is taught or its teaching assessed at the post-secondary level. (Note: Suitable material submitted to the Journal of Economic Education ( will be considered automatically for inclusion in Economics Educator, thus, giving potential JEE authors worldwide visibility for their work during the extensive JEE refereeing and editorial process.)

Editor: William Walstad, University of Nebraska at Lincoln


To submit your research to SSRN, sign in to the SSRN User HeadQuarters, click the My Papers link on left menu and then the Start New Submission button at top of page.

Distribution Services

If your organization is interested in increasing readership for its research by starting a Research Paper Series, or sponsoring a Subject Matter eJournal, please email:

Distributed by

Economics Research Network (ERN), a division of Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP) and Social Science Research Network (SSRN)



Social Science Electronic Publishing (SSEP), Inc., Harvard Business School, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

Please contact us at the above addresses with your comments, questions or suggestions for ERN-Sub.

Advisory Board

Economics Educator: Courses, Cases & Teaching eJournal

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Nebraska at Lincoln - Department of Economics

Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY Oswego - Department of Economics

Dean, Kelce College of Business, Pittsburg State University, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Mississippi State University - College of Business

Professor of Economics, University of Richmond - E. Claiborne Robins School of Business

Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education, Purdue University - Department of Economics