The use of randomised controlled trials (RCTs), most commonly a medical sciences research tool, is a hotly debated topic in Education. This book examines the controversial aspects of RCTs in Education and sets out the potential and pitfalls of the method. Drawing on their own extensive experience of running RCTs, the authors provide a thorough practical introduction to the use of randomised controlled trials in education. Using real data sets, chapters equip the reader with all of the key knowledge and skills required to design, run, analyse and report an RCT. Coverage includes: • Step-by-step guidance on analysing data • How to assess the reliability and validity of results • Advice on balancing the demands of various stakeholders Essential reading for postgraduate and more experienced researchers, as well as teachers and educationalists seeking to increase their knowledge and understanding of the use of such methods in education.

What RCTs Can and Cannot Tell Us

What RCTs Can and Cannot Tell Us

Introduction

One of the issues which has faced education policy over much of the last century is the pace of change. A range of different educational interventions continues to come and go. Fashions and fads within education are rife and while most may have some common-sense appeal, many have little evidence supporting them as effective pedagogical practices. While most people working in the field of education have good intentions, there remains a lack of robust evidence on the range of different pedagogical practices and whether they are actually effective in improving learning and skills among all or different subsets of learners.

RCTs within education offer the possibility of developing a cumulative body of ...

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