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I. The randomized controlled trial: What it is, and why it is a critical factor in establishing "strong" evidence of an intervention's effectiveness.

Well-designed and implemented randomized controlled trials are considered the "gold standard" for evaluating an intervention's effectiveness, in fields such as medicine, welfare and employment policy, and psychology. This section discusses what a randomized controlled trial is, and outlines evidence indicating that such trials should play a similar role in education.

A. : Randomized controlled trials are studies that randomly assign individuals to an intervention group or to a control group, in order to measure the effects of the intervention.

B. : It enables you to evaluate whether the intervention itself, as opposed to other factors, causes the observed outcomes.

C. There is persuasive evidence that the randomized controlled trial, when properly designed and implemented, is superior to other study designs in measuring an intervention's true effect.

3.comparison-group studies can be valuable in generating hypotheses about "what works," but their results need to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials.

D. Thus, we believe there are compelling reasons why randomized controlled trials are a critical factor in establishing "strong" evidence of an intervention's effectiveness.

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For example, suppose you want to test, in a randomized controlled trial, whether a new math curriculum for third-graders is more effective than your school's existing math curriculum for third-graders. You would randomly assign a large number of third-grade students to either an intervention group, which uses the new curriculum, or to a control group, which uses the existing curriculum. You would then measure the math achievement of both groups over time. The difference in math achievement between the two groups would represent the effect of the new curriculum compared to the existing curriculum.

In a variation on this basic concept, sometimes individuals are randomly assigned to two or more intervention groups as well as to a control group, in order to measure the effects of different interventions in one trial. Also, in some trials, entire classrooms, schools, or school districts - rather than individual students - are randomly assigned to intervention and control groups.

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Design for Action
Collaboration
From the September 2015 Issue
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Tom Froese

As business buzzwords go, “collaborate” and its derivatives are surely modern favorites. Applying for a job? Emphasize your collaboration skills. Courting customers? Promise a collaborative relationship. Wooing new hires or investors? Talk up your collaborative culture.

Academics, practitioners, and especially consultants seem to be obsessed by these terms—and rightly so. Any business works better when its employees, teams, divisions, and leaders share ideas and resources to pursue a common goal. But how do we turn the ever-present lingo into everyday reality? Four new books offer advice.

You’ll find the most interesting case studies—of organizations getting collaboration right and of those felled by the lack of it—in The Silo Effect, by Gillian Tett, an editor at the Financial Times (where—full disclosure—I once worked). Drawing on her background in anthropology and decades as a reporter, Tett shows us how Sony missed the digital music revolution because its competing divisions couldn’t agree on products, platforms, or strategy; how UBS, the venerable Swiss bank, lost billions through lack of coordination between its New York and London credit derivative desks and its three risk departments (credit, market, and operational), which left everyone clueless about the enterprisewide threat; and how tribalism among the world’s leading economists blinded them to the causes of the most recent global financial crisis. On the flip side, Tett explains how Facebook uses a hierarchy-free orientation program, frequent job rotations, and regular “hackathons” to encourage cooperation among project groups; how the Cleveland Clinic reorganized its medical staff into teams that focus on ailments rather than their own skills to improve patient outcomes; and how data crunchers infiltrated bureaucratic police departments to reduce crime rates in New York and Chicago.

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Writing a good conclusion is important for at least two reasons. First, it is the last, and perhaps most important, impression your reader will have of your paper. The conclusion representsthe reader'sfinal thoughts onyour paper’s clarity, style, and overall feeling or tone. There’s nothing worse than reading through a stellar paper to find that the conclusion is lackluster. Second, the conclusion provides the opportunity for you to remind the reader about what you have just argued and some of the implications or applications of that argument.

Strategies for an effective conclusion :

Conclusions to avoid :

Summarize your main idea Pose a question for future study or inquiry Offer advice or propose a solution Make it memorable Remember to ask yourself, “So what?” The “Here’s something that didn’t fit in the body” conclusion The “I’m sorry” conclusion The “Just kidding” conclusion The “Life is beautiful” conclusion

Effective Conclusion provides concrete illustrations of Sartre’s existential philosophy through the actions and dialogues of the titular brothers. As the novel unfolds, we can see some of the practical consequences of Existentialism, especially in Ivan’s struggles with religion and social expectations. Even if we reject the possibility of a truly authentic life, both Sartre and Dostoevsky’s novel provide a clear call to reclaim responsibility for our own actions and take an active role in the project of living.

Why is it effective? It provides a concise summary of the main point; briefly touches on key points of the argument; and provides an answer to the question "So what?"

Ineffective Conclusion Sartre and Dostoevsky give us a lot to think about in regards to our own freedom, including what it means to be responsible for that freedom and how to relate to other, free agents. We might also ask ourselves whether or not freedom is an illusion or an actual phenomenon, but that question is outside the scope of this paper. Instead, we should ask ourselves whether or not Sartre’s Existentialism is possible in the world and, if so, how Dostoevsky’s novel might give us examples of both the benefits and the pitfalls of such a life.

Why is it ineffective? It begins in a vague and unhelpful manner; addresses an idea that is not in the body of the paper; fails to provide any closue by not addressing key points in the essay; and does not give the reader a reason to care about the paper.

Consists of a series of self-paced instructional modules designed to introduce students to important research concepts and to guide them in the use of the UNC Libraries.

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