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.
Chapter 3: Research Designs for RCTs
Research Designs for RCTs
This chapter focuses on the key steps involved in designing an RCT. It sets out a range of key designs used in education that involve either the random allocation of individuals (simple RCTs) or the random allocation of classes or schools (cluster RCTs) to intervention groups or control (often ‘treatment as usual’) groups. The principles of different methods of randomisation are discussed and how these are done using SPSS is illustrated. The chapter concludes by explaining how to calculate the sample size required for a particular research design and provides step-by-step guidance on how to do this using the freely available software package Optimal Design. The need to link this to proposed analysis is also discussed. Throughout ...