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The internal validity of the school-level comparative interrupted time series design: evidence from four new within-study comparisons

Sims, Samuel; Anders, Jake; Zieger, Laura; (2022) The internal validity of the school-level comparative interrupted time series design: evidence from four new within-study comparisons. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness 10.1080/19345747.2022.2051652. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Comparative interrupted time series (CITS) designs evaluate impact by modeling the relative deviation from trends among a treatment and comparison group after an intervention. The broad applicability of the design means it is widely used in education research. Like all non-experimental evaluation methods however, the internal validity of a given CITS evaluation depends on assumptions that cannot be directly verified. We provide an empirical test of the internal validity of CITS by conducting four within-study comparisons of school-level interventions previously evaluated using randomized controlled trials. Our estimate of bias across these four studies is 0.03 school-level (or 0.01 pupil-level) standard deviations. The results suggest well-conducted CITS evaluations of similar school-level education interventions are likely to display limited bias.

Type: Article
Title: The internal validity of the school-level comparative interrupted time series design: evidence from four new within-study comparisons
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/19345747.2022.2051652
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/19345747.2022.2051652
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Comparative interrupted time series; randomised controlled trials; withinstudy comparisons; internal validity
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144364
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