Course ObjectiveThis elective will introduce students to the possibilities and
challenges of doing research in real-world settings, using education as
the case in point. At the end of the course, students
• Can distinguish between the available different (quasi-)
• Understand the strengths and weaknesses of these methods.
• Can empirically estimate (quasi-)experimental regression
• Can evaluate if studies provide sufficient evidence to allow
conclusions about causality
• Can form an opinion about a number of key debates in the
Course ContentEstimating the causal effects of innovations in the real world is truly
important and difficult: Once one leaves the confines of the lab,
it becomes much more difficult to distinguish causal relations from mere
correlational ones. A case in point is education. A change in an
educational program rarely occurs in isolation, and its consequences are
thus hard to assess.
In the course, you will learn a number of techniques developed to
identify causal effects in educational settings, such as RCTs,
Difference-in-Difference designs, Regression-discontinuity approaches,
natural experiments and statistical matching techniques. These
techniques can also be applied outside of educational sciences, but the
examples given will concern education.
This course provides you with the knowledge and empirical skills
necessary to identify whether educational programs are effective.
Moreover, you will apply these skills in some of the more prominent
debates in educational science to evaluate the evidence presented by
Teaching MethodsLectures, Seminars
Method of AssessmentPresentations, paper
LiteratureR.J. Murnane & J.B. Willett (2011) Methods matter – Improving causal
inference in educational and social science research. Oxford University
Press ISBN: 978-0-19-975386-4.
Van Klaveren, C. & De Wolf, I. (2015). Systematic Reviews In Education
Research: When Do Effect Studies Provide Evidence? In: De Witte, K. ed.
Contemporary education issues from an economic perspective, Leuven
University Press. pp. 1-26
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Fac. of Behavioural and Movement Science|
|Course Coordinator||dr. C.P.B.J. van Klaveren|
|Examiner||dr. C.P.B.J. van Klaveren|
dr. C.P.B.J. van Klaveren
dr. I. Cornelisz
You need to register for this course yourself