ERIC Number: EJ898302
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
Reflections on Experimental Research in Medical Education
Cook, David A.; Beckman, Thomas J.
Advances in Health Sciences Education, v15 n3 p455-464 Aug 2010
As medical education research advances, it is important that education researchers employ rigorous methods for conducting and reporting their investigations. In this article we discuss several important yet oft neglected issues in designing experimental research in education. First, randomization controls for only a subset of possible confounders. Second, the posttest-only design is inherently stronger than the pretest-posttest design, provided the study is randomized and the sample is sufficiently large. Third, demonstrating the superiority of an educational intervention in comparison to no intervention does little to advance the art and science of education. Fourth, comparisons involving multifactorial interventions are hopelessly confounded, have limited application to new settings, and do little to advance our understanding of education. Fifth, single-group pretest-posttest studies are susceptible to numerous validity threats. Finally, educational interventions (including the comparison group) must be described in detail sufficient to allow replication.
Descriptors: Medical Education, Investigations, Intervention, Educational Research, Pretests Posttests, Educational Researchers, Validity, Research Methodology
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A