SEDL Program Associate, Sarah Caverly, Attends IES Training

October 20, 2009
Austin, Texas

Laura Shankland
Communications Associate
Phone: 512-391-6556

SEDL Program Associate Dr. Sarah Caverly attended the Institute of Education Sciences’ (IES) Training Institute on Cluster-Randomized Trials this summer. Caverly was selected through a competitive application process: all attendees were required to  have a doctoral degree and experience conducting research relevant to education. Only 30 applicants were selected. The institute took place from June 21 to July 3 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the third year IES has held the institute.

Course sessions provided intensive training on planning and conducting cluster randomized trials. In these experiments, groups like classrooms or schools , rather than individuals, are randomly assigned  to study intervention conditions. Participants also attended hands-on data analysis sessions and learned to use several different advanced  statistical analysis software packages.

Lead faculty at the institute included David Cordray, professor of public policy and professor of Psychology at Vanderbilt University; Larry Hedges, board of trustees professor of statistics and policy research and faculty fellow at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University; and Mark Lipsey, director of the Peabody Research Institute at the Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University.

“The institute provided a great opportunity to learn from some of the top researchers in the field and see what the trends are,” Caverly says. Caverly will apply what she learned in the institute to projects like SEDL’s research study on SRA/McGraw-Hill’s Imagine It! reading and language arts program and the evaluation of the Bright Futures Early Reading First Program in Madison Parish, Louisiana.


About SEDL

SEDL (formerly Southwest Educational Development Laboratory) is a nonprofit corporation based in Austin, Texas. SEDL is dedicated to solving significant education problems and improving teaching and learning through research, research-based resources, and professional development. For more information about SEDL, visit