There is increased emphasis on using experimental and quasi-experimental methods to evaluate educational programs; however, educational evaluators and school leaders are often faced with challenges when implementing such designs in educational settings. Use of a historical cohort control group design provides a viable option for conducting quasi-experiments in school-based outcome evaluation. A cohort is a successive group that goes through some experience together, such as a grade level or a training program. A historical cohort comparison group is a cohort group selected from pre-treatment archival data and matched to a subsequent cohort currently receiving a treatment. Although prone to the same threats to study validity as any quasi-experiment, issues related to selection, history, and maturation can be particularly challenging. However, use of a historical cohort control group can reduce noncomparability of treatment and control conditions through local, focal matching. In addition, a historical cohort control group design can alleviate concerns about denying program access to students in order to form a control group, minimize resource requirements and disruption to school routines, and make use of archival data schools and school districts collect and find meaningful. Accessed 12,614 times on https://pareonline.net from June 23, 2014 to December 31, 2019. For downloads from January 1, 2020 forward, please click on the PlumX Metrics link to the right.
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Walser, Tamara M.
"Quasi-Experiments in Schools: The Case for Historical Cohort Control Groups,"
Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation: Vol. 19, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarworks.umass.edu/pare/vol19/iss1/6