Randomized Controlled Field Trials: A promising but underutilized approach in Psychology
Professor Ulrich Trautwein
(The University of Tübingen, Germany)
MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2023
Starts at 2 p.m.

WHENMonday, March 20, 2023
TIME14:00-15:00 (Lecture), 15:00-16:00 (Discussion)
WHEREFaculty of Education, Main Building, 1st Floor, 1st Conference Room (教育学部本館一階第一会議室)


Ulrich Trautwein is the Executive Director of the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology at the University of Tübingen. His use-inspired basic research program is based on interdisciplinary collaborations and the usage of robust and innovative research designs, including randomized controlled field trials, artificial intelligence in education approaches, and personal learning agents. In particular, his research focuses on motivation and self-regulation, digital media, teaching quality, and giftedness. According to an analysis by Fong et al. (2022; Educational Psychology Review), Trautwein is one of the most productive educational psychologists worldwide. 

LECTURE (14:00-15:00)

Abstract: Randomized controlled field trials (RCTs) allow us to gauge the effectiveness of educational interventions in real-world learning contexts and thus make a significant contribution to data-based quality development in the education system. At the same time, they have been met with suspicion and criticism and still lead a niche existence in many countries, including in Germany and Japan. Unfortunately, in psychological research, the potential of RCTs for psychological theorizing is often overlooked. In this talk, I will present major design features and quality criteria of RCTs. I will then illustrate the opportunities and challenges of RCTs using research on the Hector Children’s Academy Program, a statewide talent development program with a focus on STEM topics for elementary students which is attended by more than 20,000 students every year. I will summarize key findings from RCTs and highlight their contributions to psychological research and educational practice.

DISCUSSION (15:00-16:00)

Professor Trautwein will describe and discuss the work of the Hector Research Institute of Education Sciences and Psychology which he directs. A key objective of his visit to Japan is to develop collaborative research networks here. This time for discussion will therefore be a good opportunity to talk with Professor Trautwein and explore/consider potential opportunities for collaboration.