Q & A with Wei Li, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the School of Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education
What basic questions does your research seek to answer?
I am a quantitative researcher. My research centers on the development and application of experimental and quasi-experimental methods to address issues in education and policy studies. Currently, my methodological work focuses on the design and analysis of longitudinal interventions and multilevel cost-effectiveness studies. My substantive work encompasses research on class size effects, teacher effects, and the effectiveness of online learning and teaching. I am also interested in the evaluation of education and policy issues in China.
What makes your work interesting?
My methodological work helps applied researchers design rigorous educational interventions. For example, when educational researchers plan their experimental studies, they need to decide what the minimum required sample sizes (e.g., numbers of students, classroom, schools, etc.) are needed to identify the treatment effects with confidence. My work provides methods and free, user-friendly tools for applied researchers to compute the sample sizes when they design longitudinal experiments and multilevel cost-effectiveness studies. In particular, my work on cost-effectiveness analysis might be of interest to some researchers who are working on Institute of Education Sciences grant applications, which now require cost or cost-effectiveness analysis in the proposals.
I also serve as a quantitative methodologist on several intervention/evaluation studies. Working with my collaborators, we are using advanced quantitative methods (e.g., multilevel models, mediation and moderation analyses, experimental and quasi-experimental methods, etc.) to evaluate the causal effects of educational interventions, programs, and policies on student achievement and non-cognitive skills.
What are you currently working on?
Currently, I have several methodological and applied projects in progress. Read more →