Getting SMART About Adaptive Interventions in Education – 2019

An IES funded four-day workshop held in 2019 on adaptive interventions and sequential, multiple-assignment, randomized trials (SMARTs) in education.

2019 Workshop Materials

Below you will find PDF files of the didactic modules and background articles from the four content experts for the 2019 Getting SMART About Adaptive Interventions in Education Institute. Click on the links below to download.

What and Why?

What is an adaptive intervention?

Adaptive interventions use a sequence of decision rules that guide whether, how, or when—and, importantly, based on which measures—to make critical decisions about interventions in education settings. This includes whether, how or when to alter the dosage (duration, frequency, or amount), type, or delivery of interventions to students (or organizations). These interventions seek to address the individual and changing needs of students (or organizations) as they progress through an intervention.

What is a Sequential, Multiple Assignment, Randomized Trial (SMART)?

A SMART is a type of multi-stage, experimental design that was developed explicitly for constructing effective adaptive interventions. In a SMART, some or all participants are randomized multiple times over the course of the study. The multiple, sequential randomizations in a SMART enable researchers to efficiently address multiple scientific questions concerning the selection and individualization of intervention options at various decision points of an AI.

Why is this workshop needed?

Despite the critical role adaptive interventions already play (and will continue to play) in various domains of education, experimental research aiming to systematically optimize adaptive interventions in education is still in its infancy. SMARTs are experimental designs that enable scientists to address multiple scientific questions for optimizing a high-quality AI, but because SMARTs are relatively new, most educational researchers have not been exposed to them as part of their formal training. While research on AIs and SMART methods has grown significantly in the past few years, there is currently no comprehensive training in AIs and SMARTs in education. This workshop attempts to fill this gap.

Workshop Photo Gallery


This training institute is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant Number R324B180003 to the Regents of the University of Michigan.