On the feasibility of conducting randomised trials in education: case study of a sex education intervention

Moore, L. , Graham, A. and Diamond, I. (2003) On the feasibility of conducting randomised trials in education: case study of a sex education intervention. British Educational Research Journal, 29(5), pp. 673-689. (doi:10.1080/0141192032000133712)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0141192032000133712


This article reports on the conduct and results of a randomised controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a teacher-led intervention to improve teenagers' knowledge of emergency contraception. The trial was successfully conducted in 24 mixed-sex state secondary schools in Avon, South-west England. The intervention was popular with both teachers and pupils, and significantly improved pupils' knowledge of emergency contraception. The article uses the emergency contraception trial to demonstrate the feasibility of conducting large-scale randomised trials in schools. The article focuses particularly on study design, specification of research question, recruitment of schools and method of randomisation to highlight methodological choices that can maximise the feasibility and value of such trials to answer questions regarding the effectiveness of complex educational interventions. The article also highlights the importance of using theory and mixed research methods both to thoroughly develop an intervention before it is tested in a trial, and also to evaluate factors affecting its success within a trial.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moore, Professor Laurence
Authors: Moore, L., Graham, A., and Diamond, I.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:British Educational Research Journal
ISSN (Online):1469-3518

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