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ERIC Number: ED561293
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 5
Designing and Conducting Strong Quasi-Experiments in Education. Version 2
Scher, Lauren; Kisker, Ellen; Dynarski, Mark
Decision Information Resources, Inc
The purpose of this paper is to describe best practices in designing and implementing strong quasi-experimental designs (QED) when assessing the effectiveness of policies, programs or practices. The paper first discusses the issues researchers face when choosing to conduct a QED, as opposed to a more rigorous randomized controlled trial design. Next, the paper documents four sets of best practices in designing and implementing QEDs including: (1) considering unobserved variables, (2) selecting appropriate matching strategies for creating comparison groups, (3) following general guidelines for sound research, and (4) addressing the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards. The paper then presents 31 frequently-asked questions related to QEDs meeting WWC standards with reservations and discusses common pitfalls that cause studies not to meet WWC standards. Topics covered in the frequently asked questions section include: study design/group formation, outcomes, confounding factors, baseline equivalence, sample loss and power, and analytic techniques. The paper provides a detailed checklist of issues researchers should consider when designing a strong QED study, and discusses why each issue is important and how it relates to WWC standards. One appendix is included: Checklist for Quasi-Experimental Designs; Study Design Characteristics to Consider.
Decision Information Resources, Inc. 3900 Essex Lane Suite 900, Houston, Texas 77027; Tel: 713-650-1425; Fax: 713-650-1576; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Decision Information Resources, Inc.
IES Funded: Yes
IES Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0057