UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Language and Cognition Seminar - Dr Matthew Inglis

20 November 2019, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Language and Cogniiton Seminar series logo

Wednesday 20 November, 1-2pm, Chandler House G10. "What do we learn from large-scale RCTs in education?"

Event Information

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Gwen Brekelmans – Language and Cognition

What do we learn from large-scale RCTs in education?

There are a growing number of large-scale randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in education. Since 2011 the Education Endowment Foundation (funded by the UK government) has spent £110m conducting such trials. Considering their expense, it is important to reflect on what we’ve learned from this investment. In this talk I will report a study which assessed the magnitude and precision of effects found in all large-scale educational RCTs commissioned by the Education Endowment Foundation and its U.S.-based equivalent, the National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance (totalling 141 RCTs; 1,222,024 students). The mean standardised effect size from these trials was remarkably small, and the observed effects typically sat within relatively large confidence intervals. Furthermore, a Bayesian analysis indicated that a large proportion of the EEF's and NCEE's trials were uninformative. I conclude by discussing what might be going wrong with education research, and what methodological reforms might help.

About the Speaker

Matthew Inglis

at Mathematics Education Centre Loughborough University

More about Matthew Inglis