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Inciter | applied research
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What I did on my summer vacation

by Jill Scheibler [caption id="attachment_1451" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Hint: It involved both literal and metaphorical roller coasters.[/caption]Today— with suntans fading and schools back in full swing— it's a few days into fall and I can definitely feel it! It's gloomy outside and I'd like nothing more than to revisit my summer vacation.In my role at CRC I wear a number of different “evaluation hats”, and otherwise keep busy throughout the year teaching courses at a local university and directing a small arts nonprofit called Make Studio. When summer rolls around I am very eager to escape my not-quite-9-definitely-later-than-5 schedule for some fresh air and sunshine. Yet I don’t necessarily want to shut off my brain or escape the things that excite me about my work.So, this year I went to summer camp...

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Experimental Design versus Applied Research Design in Evaluations

Experimental design, a major component of pure (i.e. basic) research is considered the gold standard for research. The premise of experimental design is that a group of participants are randomly assigned to treatment or intervention groups. This random assignment is intended to limit differences between groups. Additionally, the participant and/or experimenter are often blind to which group the participant belongs. With this type of design, you can effectively compare the outcomes across groups at the end of a program. Presumably, the group that received your intervention will show the expected outcomes, while the group that didn’t receive the intervention will not. Any conclusions drawn by the experimenter that the intervention worked or didn’t work should be taken as concrete because all other factors that could influence the outcomes were controlled...

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