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Randomised Trials in Educational Research

One-day seminar
Thursday 20th May 2004
Bonhill House, London

TLRP Research Capacity Building Network (RCBN)

** To view the evaluation summary for this event please click here. **

Speakers include : Robert Coe (University of Durham), Diana Elbourne (University of London), Laurence Moore (Cardiff University), Ricky Taylor (Government Chief Social Researcher's Office, The Prime Minister's Strategy Unit) and Carole Togerson (University of York).

The Research Capacity Building Network invite you to a one-day seminar on Randomised Trials in Educational Research.

The aims of this introductory session are to:

  • Discuss the need for well-conducted studies using high quality research designs to identify the effectiveness (or otherwise) of educational interventions.
  • Compare the strengths and weaknesses of quasi-experimental designs with fully randomised controlled trials.
  • Demonstrate the feasibility and value of the randomised controlled trial design, by presenting the design, conduct and results of a number of completed trials of educational interventions.
  • Discuss some of the barriers (potential and actual) to conducting experimental studies in education, and solutions.

It is assumed that participants will have an interest in consuming or undertaking studies using a quasi-experimental or randomised controlled trial design as part of their current or future research.


09:30 - 10:00 Tea and coffee on arrival.
10:00 - 11:00 Introduction and overview followed by:
Ricky Taylor from the Government Chief Social Researcher's Office of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit on the importance of trials and experimental research to policy development, and
Carole Torgerson speaking from a reviewer's perspective about systematic reviews and meta-analyses of RCTs to address questions of effectiveness.

11:00 - 11:15 Tea and coffee.
11:15 - 13:00

Laurence Moore, Robert Coe, and Diana Elbourne presenting examples of their own trials.
Each of these should raise an issue that will be inclued in the discussion during the workshops after lunch, including:

  • Comparing quasi-experimental with experimental designs, why do a trial, the feasibility of trials in educational research, why do a randomised trial over a quasi-experimental design
  • Barriers to / issues in RCTs
13:00 - 13:45 Buffet lunch.
13:45 - 15:15

Workshops facilitated by presenters in previous session - participants to discuss the design and conduct of a trial to evaluate a specific (hypothetical) intervention. These workshops will discuss significant issues that may arise in conducting RCTs, including those identified before lunch as well as the following:

  • The ethics of randomisation,
  • Variability in educational contexts,
  • The implementation of interventions.
15:15 - 15:30 Tea and coffee.
15:30 - 16:30 Discussion on the results of the workshops, with discussants from each.

The cost of the event is free to members of the TLRP, and all travel and other costs can be met by the RCBN for TLRP researchers. For more information about financial support in attending this event please contact the RCBN. For non-TLRP researchers there is a cost of £54 per person. Lunch and refreshments are included.

For information on how to find Bonhill House, please visit the following page and select 'Maps, directions and contacts':

If you are interested in attending this event then please contact the RCBN or complete a booking form

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        This page was last modified: 15th April 2004