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Using Randomised Controlled Trials in Education

Using Randomised Controlled Trials in Education

First Edition
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August 2017 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

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.


1 What RCTs Can and Cannot Tell Us
2 Logic Models and Outcome Measures
3 Research Designs for RCTs
4 The Fundamentals of Analysing RCT Data
5 Dealing with the Analysis of More Complex RCT Designs
6 How to Report RCTs and Synthesise Evidence from Different Trials

This is essential reading for anyone getting to grips with running an RCT in schools. It demystifies the statistical analysis of trials data. Coverage of the historical controversy surrounding the method, in conjunction with guidance on reporting, provides a measured view of the role of experiments in education research.

Ben Styles
Head of NFER Education Trials Unit

This is a well written text which offers a babbled view of the use of Randomised Controlled Trails (RCTs) in education highlighting the uses and the pitfalls if they are applied badly. There is a drive at the moment for development of positivist paradigms so this is an important text to have access to for educational researchers.

Mr Paul Hopkins
Faculty of Education (Hull), Hull University
September 4, 2018

Sample Materials & Chapters


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This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.