Single Case Experimental Design as an Alternative to the Conventional Approach


  • Alvin C. Burns
  • Jeanne H. Burns


The authors note the relative infrequency of rigorous experimental design studies in our literature. In an explanation of why, five troublesome issues are described: (1) ethical concerns, (2) generalizability problems, (3) administration difficulties, (4) use of average analyses, and (5) statistical significance versus meaningful change. From here, the individual nature of learning is reviewed and the subsequent need for an individually-based assessment technique claimed. Single Case Experimental Design (SCED), a method widely adopted by clinical psychologists, is described. It is pointed out how this approach overcomes the aforementioned Conventional Approach problems. Considerations associated with SCED are discussed, and a call is made for business education researchers to try SCED.