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Professor Awarded Grant to Study Educational Interventions

April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

UC Merced

psychological sciences
Professor
William
Shadish
has received a grant to develop new statistics for
measuring the effects of educational interventions on individual students.

Beginning May 1, the research will be funded at $974,523 over
three years. The grant is from the Institute of Education Sciences
in the U.S. Department of Education. The
researchwill be
headquartered at UC Merced and will include faculty collaborators
at Northwestern University and at the City University of New York’s
Graduate Center.

“Usually we study the effects of educational interventions in
large experiments with hundreds or even thousands of students,”
Shadish said. “But those large experiments are not always possible
for some kinds of rare or highly variable problems.”

Shadish’s research will focus on an alternative method called a
single-case design. For example, many studies on the effects of
educational or behavioral treatments with children diagnosed with
autism use single-case designs in which one child is studied over
time while treatment is repeatedly introduced and removed.

Statisticians have yet to agree on the best analysis for such
data. Shadish, a quantitative psychologist, proposed a new analytic
method two years ago. He will use the new grant to study its
statistical properties and to create practical tools to allow other
researchers to use the analysis more easily.