One hundred years of education trials

2019 represents a momentous year in education research, marking the 100th anniversary of the first recorded randomised control trial (RCT) used in an educational setting. 

Our Trials Unit is one of several research groups that carry on the tradition of randomisation today, generating robust evidence to inform the education community’s decision making.

In this Spotlight, you can explore more about the use of RCTs in education and how NFER plans to mark the centenary of the first education trial.

 

Tes: Celebrating the centenary of the education RCT

Tes: Celebrating the centenary of the education RCT

As preparations get under way to mark the 100th anniversary of the first education RCT, Ben Styles and Carole Torgerson look back at the history of the ‘gold standard’ of pedagogical research and consider the vital role teachers have to play in securing its future.

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100 years of education trials: no significant difference?

100 years of education trials: no significant difference?

On 23 September, NFER together with the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) are bringing together leading figures in the field of education research to celebrate the contribution trials have made to understanding what works in education, and to consider how they can have more impact in improving outcomes for learners.

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What are randomised controlled trials?

What are randomised controlled trials?

RCTs are widely used as a medical sciences research tool and seen as the ‘gold standard’ for evaluating the effect of medical treatments. However RCTs are increasingly being used in the education sector to evaluate the impact of interventions.

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Case Study: Code Club UK

Case Study: Code Club UK

Code Club is a nationwide network of free after-school clubs that provides projects and materials to support the teaching of Scratch, HTML/CSS, and Python. NFER was commissioned to robustly assess the impact of attending Code Club on children’s computational thinking and attitudes towards computers and coding.

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Interested in running an RCT?

Interested in running an RCT?

If you want to discover what makes a difference to educational, social or emotional outcomes for a group of pupils, class or school, or evaluate the impact of an intervention, the NFER Education Trials Unit can design and deliver an evaluation bespoke to your objectives. Get in touch with our Trials team for more information.

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