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The aim of this subject is to enable students to understand and apply the principles of design and analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) within the educational context. The subject provides a comprehensive introduction to trial design features used to limit bias, essential aspects of trial design, conduct, analysis and reporting, and challenges and solutions for conducting RCTs within the education context. At the end of the subject, it is expected that students will be able to contribute effectively to the planning, conduct and reporting of an RCT within an education context.
Throughout the subject, the emphasis will be on practical issues faced by researchers in the conduct of RCTs in education, and participants will be provided with skills to design and conduct rigorous RCTs in this research area. This subject covers: when is an RCT design appropriate, ethical considerations, principles and methods of randomisation in controlled trials, types of RCTs, allocation to groups, outcome measurements, understanding implementation and process measures, cost-analysis, statistical approaches, data interpretation and reporting.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject, students should be able to:
- Describe and critically evaluate the purpose and role of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education, drawing upon existing theories and professional viewpoints
- Critically review and evaluate the design and findings from existing randomised controlled trials in education settings
- Understand the fundamental features of RCTs, why they exist and how quality of these features is represented during the design, conduct and reporting stages
- Design and communicate the features of RCTs for a specific education intervention/strategy/program
This subject develops the following transferable skills:
- Be critical and creative thinkers, with an aptitude for continued self-directed learning
- Examine critically, synthesise and evaluate knowledge across a broad range of disciplines
- Commitment to professional and academic ethics and excellence
- Ability to set personal targets and plan to achieve them.
- Highly developed independent learning
- Ability to read critically and present material concisely and coherently in relevant written presentations.
Last updated: 10 February 2024