Getting SMART About Adaptive Interventions in Education

A multi-day workshop on adaptive interventions and sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials (SMARTs) in education.

2021 Virtual Workshop Details

Date of Training

The Getting SMART 2021 Workshop is going Virtual!

The 2021 Virtual Getting SMART About Adaptive Interventions in Education Workshop will take place from Wednesday, November 10, 2021 to Friday, November 19, 2021.

All spots for the virtual SMART workshop have already been filled. Please check back frequently for announcements of other workshops and for online training materials.

View AGENDA for the 2021 Virtual Workshop.

View the 2020 Scholars and Content Experts (rescheduled to 2021) HERE.

SMART Workshop Application Details

Who Should Apply?

Applications to the 2020 institute were due in December 2019 and applicants were notified by the end of January 2020. These scholars were invited to take part in the 2021 virtual Getting SMART workshop to be held in November 2021.


Each scholar should: (a) have a graduate doctoral degree; (b) be working in early intervention, education, or special education; and (c) be a citizen or non-citizen national of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., valid I-551, or other legal verification of such status).

Fee or Costs

There is no registration fee. However, scholars who are accepted must arrange for their own travel expenses (e.g., transportation, lodging in Ann Arbor). A limited number of travel scholarships will be awarded to scholars who are unable to fund their own travel; scholars can apply for scholarships after they are notified of their selection.

For questions or to request additional information, click here.


The goal of this four-day training is to promote ongoing professional development among education scientists interested in conducting research on adaptive interventions. This includes training in the design, conduct and analysis of sequential, multiple assignment, randomized trials (SMARTs). Format time will be spent in lecture, discussion, Q&A, brainstorming sessions, small group work (practicum) and software demonstration. Lectures are provided by methodological scientists who are experts in research on adaptive interventions, and by intervention scientists (guest experts) who have conducted studies of adaptive interventions in education.


Enrollment is limited to approximately 30 scholars.

Topics Covered

  • Adaptive Interventions
  • Sequential, Multiple Assignment, Randomized Trials
  • SMART Case Studies
  • Analysis of Data Arising from a SMART
  • Preparing for a SMART
  • Pilot SMART
  • Other Experimental Designs in Research on Adaptive Interventions

2021 Workshop Information (Rescheduled from 2020)

Below you will find PDF files of the didactic modules and background articles from the four content experts for the 2020 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?

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.


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.