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For Quasi-Experiments on EdTech Products, What Counts as Being Treated?

Fri, April 13, 2:15 to 3:45pm, New York Marriott Marquis, Floor: Fifth Floor, Westside Ballroom Salon 3

Abstract

Edtech products are becoming increasingly prevalent in K-12 schools and the needs of schools to evaluate their value for students calls for a program of rigorous research, at least at the level 2 of the ESSA standards for evidence. This paper draws on our experience conducting a large scale quasi-experiment in California schools where the nature of the product’s wide-ranging intensity of implementation presented a challenge in identifying units that had used the product adequately that it would be recognized by other schools as having been treated. This requires moving beyond unexamined criteria offered by the developers and providing a systematic, quantitative way to draw a line designating the treatment group.

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