Personalized Learning

High dosage tutoring – defined as tutoring embedded during the school schedule that ensures students work consistently on individualized instructional content with their tutor throughout the school year – is among the most effective and cost-effective learning interventions studied to date. However, schools still face barriers to bringing high dosage tutoring to all students who could benefit. We work in partnership with school districts to understand whether and how we can scale high dosage tutoring programs to reach tens of thousands more students without compromising effectiveness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated long-standing disparities in educational performance and attainment along race and class lines. Without dramatic intervention, we risk permanently reversing decades of steady, incremental progress in improving student outcomes. More importantly, we risk shortchanging students–primarily Black and low-income students–the opportunity to learn for decades to come. Despite the scale and gravity of the challenge, we know that there is an effective solution to address learning loss: high dosage tutoring. Research by the Education Lab, in partnership with CPS and Saga Education, shows that when done well, this approach can double or even triple the rate of student learning.

The Education Lab, in partnership with MDRC and Saga Education, is helping districts scale and rigorously study high dosage tutoring supports so that more students might benefit.

1-2.5 years

Our evaluation of Saga Education found that students who participated in Saga’s high dosage tutoring program for a single year gained 1-2.5 years of additional learning compared to students who did not.

Related Projects
Personalized Learning Initiative
CURRENT

Personalized Learning Initiative

The Personalized Learning Initiative (PLI) is a moonshot to overcome pandemic learning loss and aims to bring high-dosage tutoring to students nationwide.

Personalized Learning Initiative: Tutor Corps Evaluation
CURRENT

Personalized Learning Initiative: Tutor Corps Evaluation

The University of Chicago Education Lab is partnering with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to scale personalized tutoring in the wake of the pandemic.

Unlocking Literacy Potential: Bridging the Gap for High School Readers
CURRENT

Unlocking Literacy Potential: Bridging the Gap for High School Readers

In 2020, the Education Lab partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to rigorously design, test, and scale the impact of its Structured Literacy program on students’ reading proficiency levels.

Coaching with Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL)

Coaching with Computer-Assisted Learning (CAL)

The Education Lab partnered with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to pilot the Coaching with CAL program, which offers high-dosage tutoring to students through education technology platforms.

Related Resources
NBER Working Paper: Can Technology Facilitate Scale? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of High Dosage Tutoring
Academic Paper

NBER Working Paper: Can Technology Facilitate Scale? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation of High Dosage Tutoring

Jun 2024

This paper outlines results from the Education Lab’s study of a high-dosage tutoring model–what we call “Saga Technology”–which found that substituting some tutor time with educational technology can reduce costs by one-third and halve the number of tutors needed without compromising effectiveness.

Realizing the Promise of High Dosage Tutoring at Scale: Preliminary Evidence for the Field
Report

Realizing the Promise of High Dosage Tutoring at Scale: Preliminary Evidence for the Field

Mar 2024

This technical report outlines preliminary results from the Personalized Learning Initiative showing that high dosage tutoring can be scaled and can work–even when delivered in the aftermath of the pandemic and in diverse academic settings.

Personalized Learning Initiative Research Brief
Research Brief

Personalized Learning Initiative Research Brief

Mar 2024

Overview of the Personalized Learning Initiative, a nationwide R&D initiative to scale the benefits of tutoring.

Overcoming Pandemic-Induced Learning Loss
Academic Paper

Overcoming Pandemic-Induced Learning Loss

Oct 2023

The Education Lab’s faculty co-directors, Dr. Jens Ludwig, professor at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Jon Guryan, professor at Northwestern University, published a paper commissioned by the Aspen Economic Strategy Group for its 2023 policy volume.

Latest Updates

Implementation, and Impact of High-Dosage Tutoring Programs
Press Release
Accelerate
Jul 2024

Implementation, and Impact of High-Dosage Tutoring Programs

Today the national nonprofit Accelerate announced a new initiative that will bring together top education researchers from across the U.S. to develop rigorous research on the impact, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of various high-dosage tutoring programs. The Education Lab is a member of Accelerate’s inaugural Research Learning Community as part of a commitment to helping policymakers and school districts access the high-quality and transparent evidence they need to make informed decisions for their students.

What aspects of teaching should remain human?
Media Mention
The Hechinger Report
Jul 2024

What aspects of teaching should remain human?

Chris Berdik, for The Hechinger Report, highlights Saga Education’s partnership with the Education Lab to scale high-dosage tutoring through the Personalized Learning Initiative, where AI is playing a growing role in the delivery of tutoring.

Study shows technology can help scale tutoring effort
Media Mention
CommonWealth Beacon
Jun 2024

Study shows technology can help scale tutoring effort

A new study from the Education Lab points to a way high-dose tutoring can be scaled more broadly without any loss of its effectiveness.