The use of hierarchical ANCOVA in curriculum studies

Show Mann Liou*, Chao Ying Joanne Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many educational studies are carried out in intact settings, such as classrooms or groups in which individual data were collected before and after a treatment. Researchers advocate either the use of individual scores as the unit of analysis or class means. Both approaches suffer from conceptual and methodological limitations. In this article, the use of hierarchical ANCOVA for analyzing quasiexperimental data including baseline measures is designed and promoted. It is illustrated with a real-world data set collected from a curriculum study. Results showed that the hierarchical ANCOVA is a conceptually and methodologically sound approach, and is better than ANCOVA based on individual scores or ANCOVA based on class means. The potential of using hierarchical ANCOVA designs for curriculum studies is discussed in terms of statistical power and congruence with study plans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-247
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Adolescent students
  • Civic dispositions
  • Civic education
  • Civic skills
  • Educational research methodology
  • Hierarchical ANCOVA
  • Project Citizen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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