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Key Questions to Ask Was the research peer reviewed? Peer reviewed research studies have already been evaluated by experienced researchers with relevant expertise. Peer-reviewed research is usually of high quality.
A research consumer, however, should still critically evaluate the study's methodology and conclusions. The Research Connections website indicates whether a study has been peer reviewed.
Can a study's quality be evaluated with the information provided? Every study should include a description of the population of interest, an explanation of the process used to select study subjects, definitions of key variables and concepts, descriptive statistics for main variables, and a description of the analytic techniques.
Research Connections users should be cautious when drawing conclusions from studies that do not provide sufficient information about these key research components.
Are there any potential threats to the study's validity? A valid study answers research questions in a scientifically rigorous manner. Threats to a study's validity are found in three areas: Internal Validity To determine whether a research study has internal validity, a research consumer should ask whether changes in the outcome could be attributed to alternative explanations, which are not explored in the study.
For example, a study may show that a new curriculum preceded a significant increase in children's reading comprehension.
The study must rule out alternative explanations for the increase in reading comprehension, such as a new teacher, in order to attribute the increase in reading comprehension to the new curriculum.
Studies that specifically explain how alternative explanations were ruled out are more likely to have internal validity.
External Validity To assess whether a study has external validity, a research consumer should ask whether the findings apply to individuals whose place, times, and circumstances differ from those of study participants.
A study's external validity is closely related to the generalizability of the findings. For example, a research study shows that a new curriculum improved reading comprehension of third-grade children in Iowa.
As a research consumer, you want to ask whether this new curriculum may also be effective with third graders in New York or with children in other elementary grades. Studies that randomly select participants from the most diverse and representative populations are more likely to have external validity.
Construct Validity To assess whether a study has construct validity, a research consumer should ask whether the study has adequately measured the key concepts in the study. For example, a study of reading comprehension should present convincing evidence that reading tests do indeed measure reading comprehension.
Studies that use measures that have been independently validated in prior studies are more likely to have construct validity.
Research Assessment Tools The purpose of the quantitative and qualitative research assessment tools is to provide Research Connections users with a quick and simple means to evaluate the quality of research studies on our site.
The Research Connections research assessment tools describe the information that should be available in study reports and the key features of high quality study design.Assessment Instruments Participate in Research Our faculty have developed several resources that have become widely used by other researchers and trainees, and access to .
The Office of Research and Assessment for Student Affairs provides leadership and vision in establishing and managing the Division of Student Affairs program evaluation and research efforts to support long-term planning focusing on policy, practice, and program development. “Formative assessment is another line of research related to the research on feedback.
Teachers administer formative assessments while students are learning new information or new skills. In contrast, teachers administer summative assessments at the end of learning experiences, for example, at the end of the semester or the school year.
The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was an exercise undertaken approximately every 5 years on behalf of the four UK higher education funding councils (HEFCE, SHEFC, HEFCW, DELNI) to evaluate the quality of research undertaken by British higher education institutions. Read the final assessment.
Read the executive summary. Read the Hydraulic Fracturing Drinking Water Assessment By the Numbers. Read EPA's blog on the final assessment. View the presentation slides from EPA's December 14, Multi-agency collaboration on unconventional oil and gas research.
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