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Title: Rigorous large-scale educational RCTs are often uninformative: Should we be concerned?
Authors: Lortie-Forgues, Hugues
Inglis, Matthew
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: SAGE Publications © AERA
Citation: LORTIE-FORGUES, H. and INGLIS, M., 2019. Rigorous large-scale educational RCTs are often uninformative: Should we be concerned?. Educational Researcher, doi:10.3102/0013189X19832850.
Abstract: There are a growing number of large-scale educational Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs). Considering their expense, it is important to reflect on the effectiveness of this approach. We assessed the magnitude and precision of effects found in those large-scale RCTs commissioned by the EEF (UK) and the NCEE (US) which evaluated interventions aimed at improving academic achievement in K-12 (141 RCTs; 1,222,024 students). The mean effect size was 0.06 standard deviations (SDs). These sat within relatively large confidence intervals (mean width 0.30 SDs) which meant that the results were often uninformative (the median Bayes factor was 0.56). We argue that our field needs, as a priority, to understand why educational RCTs often find small and uninformative effects.
Description: This paper was published in the journal Educational Researcher and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X19832850.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.3102/0013189X19832850
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/36789
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.3102/0013189X19832850
Related Resource: https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4421087
ISSN: 0013-189X
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Mathematics Education Centre)

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