Learning from failure: A context‐informed perspective on RCTs

COLDWELL, Michael and MOORE, Nicolas (2024). Learning from failure: A context‐informed perspective on RCTs. British Educational Research Journal.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3960


Discussions of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education that do not show an impact regularly focus on the intervention and how it failed to impact on expected measures, with typologies identifying persistent critical points of failure. This paper uses one such RCT—the Integrating English programme—to exemplify the application of a new model to explain failure in RCTs. To do so, the paper develops a set of categories of context drawing on the wider social evaluation field: backdrop, design, operation and interpretation. Thus, the paper exposes critical weak points in the commission and interpretation, as well as the implementation, of an RCT. Our aim is to work towards more robust evaluations by demonstrating that it is not simply the programme design, implementation and evaluation that can contribute to a lack of impact; there can be more fundamental system issues at play.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** Article version: VoR ** From Wiley via Jisc Publications Router ** Licence for VoR version of this article: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ **Journal IDs: issn 0141-1926; issn 1469-3518 **Article IDs: publisher-id: berj3960; society-id: cber-2023-0173.r2 **History: published_online 08-01-2024; accepted 13-12-2023; submitted 18-03-2023
Uncontrolled Keywords: programme development, randomised controlled trials, selected contextual issues
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3960
SWORD Depositor: Colin Knott
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2024 12:58
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2024 10:45
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/32955

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