There are increasing calls within the educational research community to undertake more randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Whilst educational researchers turned away from using the RCT in the last 30 years, health care researchers have adopted the method with vigour. However, there have been many methodological innovations of the RCT, developed by health services researchers, in recent years. Many of these innovations are directly applicable to educational research. In this paper we describe some of the important aspects of trial methodology that educational researchers ought to consider when they design and undertake trials. Specifically, we describe the importance of systematic reviews, the need for a trial protocol, sample size requirements, outcome measures, concealment of the randomisation process from the investigators, intention to treat analysis, and the metric--numbers needed to teach (NNT). Addition ally, we argue that there are considerable similarities between health and education allowing the use of RCT methodological innovations to be directly utilised in educational research.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Oxford Review of Education|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2003|