Developing Optimized Adaptive Interventions in Education

Hedges (2018) encourages us to consider asking new scientific questions concerning the optimization of adaptive interventions in education. In this commentary, we have expanded on this (albeit briefly) by providing concrete examples of scientific questions and associated experimental designs to optimize adaptive interventions, and commenting on some of the ways such designs might challenge us to think differently. A great deal of methodological work remains to be done. For example, we have only begun to consider experimental design and analysis methods for developing “cluster-level adaptive interventions” (NeCamp, Kilbourne and Almirall, 2017), or to extend methods for comparing the marginal mean trajectories between the adaptive interventions embedded in a SMART (Lu et al., 2016) to accommodate random effects. These methodological advances among others will propel educational research concerning the construction of more complex, yet meaningful, interventions that are necessary for improving student and teacher outcomes.