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Education: Systematic Reviews

Guide to help you find information on education-based research and teaching materials.

Resources

Articles

 

Books

Introduction

"A systematic review attempts to identify, appraise and synthesize all the empirical evidence that meets pre-specified eligibility criteria to answer a given research question. Researchers conducting systematic reviews use explicit methods aimed at minimizing bias, in order to produce more reliable findings that can be used to inform decision making."  Source: Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

 

Key characteristics of a systematic review are:

  • a clearly defined question
  • an explicit, reproducible methodology with clear inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies
  • a systematic search that attempts to identify all studies that would meet the eligibility criteria;
  • an assessment of the validity of the findings of the included studies, for example through the assessment of risk of bias; and
  • a systematic presentation, and synthesis, of the characteristics and findings of the included studies, which includes the search methodology.

Process

PRISMA Flow Diagram:

Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG, The PRISMA Group (2009). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and MetaAnalyses: The PRISMA Statement. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000097. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed1000097

Steps:

Margaret Bearman , Calvin D. Smith , Angela Carbone , Susan Slade , Chi Baik , Marnie Hughes-Warrington & David L. Neumann (2012) Systematic review methodology in higher education. Higher Education Research & Development 31(5), 625-640. doi: 10.1080/07294360.2012.702735