Key issues and strategies for recruitment and implementation in large-scale randomized controlled trial studies in afterschool settings
Under the larger scope of the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning, SEDL funded three awardees to carry out large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCT) assessing the efficacy of promising literacy curricula in afterschool settings on student academic achievement. SEDL provided analytic and technical support to the RCT studies through its Afterschool Research Consortium (ARC), composed of SEDL researchers, key staff from each research project, and experts in the field1. The ARC convened at least twice a year to discuss accomplishments, challenges, and solutions to the implementation of the funded RCT study designs. The ARC has been committed to the dissemination of information to the field about the effective use of rigorous experimental research approaches in applied afterschool settings. This research brief is the second in a series of papers intended to address some of the key challenges faced by awardees in order to provide insights to the research and practice community. The information for this brief includes lessons extracted from ARC discussions and activities, guidance provided by ARC experts, site visits and interviews conducted by SEDL, and the findings described in the larger literature of afterschool research.