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National Center for Special Education Research

Translating the Statistical Representation of the Effects of Education Interventions into More Readily Interpretable Forms

The primary purpose of this paper is to provide suggestions to researchers about ways to present statistical findings about the effects of educational interventions that might make the nature and magnitude of those effects easier to understand. These suggestions and the related discussion are framed within the context of studies that use experimental designs to compare measured outcomes for two groups of participants, one in an intervention condition and the other in a control condition. This paper is directed to researchers who conduct and report these kinds of education intervention studies. Its purpose is to stimulate and guide them to go a step beyond reporting the statistics that emerge from their analysis of the differences between experimental groups on the respective outcome variables. With what is often very minimal additional effort, those statistical representations can be translated into forms that allow their magnitude and practical significance to be more readily understood by the practitioners, policymakers, and even other researchers who are interested in the intervention that was evaluated.

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