Education has continued to grow in stature and significance as an academic discipline. In addition to world renowned research studies the growth of education has been seen in the methodology and methods underpinning its research. The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research provides a cutting edge account of the research and methodology that is creating new understandings for education research, policy and practice. Over two volumes, the handbook addresses educational research in six essential components: Section 1: Understanding Research Section 2: Planning Research Section 3: Approaches to Research Section 4: Acquiring Data Section 5: Analysing Data Section 6: Reporting, Disseminating and Evaluating Research Featuring contributions from more than 50 of the biggest names in the international field, The BERA/SAGE Handbook of Educational Research represents a very significant contribution to the development of education.

‘True’ Experimental Designs

True Experimental Designs
Carole J. Torgerson David J. Torgerson

Introduction

In this chapter we will give an overview of the key elements of the design and conduct of ‘true’ experiments or randomised controlled trials (RCTs). This will include a discussion of both the main features of the basic RCT design and some of its variants and its main components.

There has been a recent resurgence in the use of RCTs to evaluate novel educational programmes and practices. This is to be welcomed as it is an uncomfortable truth (for some) that, in the presence of good teaching, changes to the curriculum or pedagogy may either have no effect, a small effect or, worst of ...

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