EPPI-Reviewer 4: Software for Research Synthesis

EPPI-Reviewer 3.5: software for research synthesis - …

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In our example review we assessed our studies according to 12 criteria, which were derived from existing sets of criteria proposed for assessing the quality of qualitative research [-], principles of good practice for conducting social research with children [], and whether studies employed appropriate methods for addressing our review questions. The 12 criteria covered three main quality issues. Five related to the quality of the reporting of a study's aims, context, rationale, methods and findings (e.g. was there an adequate description of the sample used and the methods for how the sample was selected and recruited?). A further four criteria related to the sufficiency of the strategies employed to establish the reliability and validity of data collection tools and methods of analysis, and hence the validity of the findings. The final three criteria related to the assessment of the appropriateness of the study methods for ensuring that findings about the barriers to, and facilitators of, healthy eating were rooted in children's own perspectives (e.g. were data collection methods appropriate for helping children to express their views?).

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Fourthly, for policy makers we counsel that they should not throw the ‘baby’ of literacy technologies out with the bathwater of poor results of earlier systematic reviews. Better technologies used in more sophisticated ways to test theory, implemented and supported well can, we think, add visible value to language and literacy learning. This goal awaits further better basic research testing contemporary theories of multimedia, literacy and technology.

University of Cape Town is the Coordinating entity. University of KwaZulu-Natal; Knowledge Translation Unit, UCT, Medical Research Council, University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Cape Town, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Public Health Foundation, India, Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, Nepal, Butabika National Mental Hospital, Uganda, World Health Organization, National Department of Health, North West Provincial Department of Health

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The project is meant to terminate in 2017 but has been extended for another two years by the funder until 2019.

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Alison is a Senior Researcher at the EPPI-Centre, UCL Institute of Education, London. She has over 12 years of experience in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses across a range of policy and practice areas in different disciplines, mostly related to public health and education.

She specialises in developing and testing methods for research synthesis, with a particular interest in quantitative analysis including statistical meta-analysis.

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The focus of most evaluation research on technology has rightly been on implementation trials. Typically these trials are quantitative quasi-experiments or randomized control trials (RCTs) that have as a bare minimum an intervention condition, a control condition and assess change in learning from pre to post-intervention on a respected language or literacy measure with known reliability and validity. Unfortunately, few really well-designed studies of this kind are published in education, and the work on literacy technology is no exception to this pattern. Nevertheless, such studies provide the only rigorous methods for knowing that the use of technology adds value in literacy development.3 Only RCTs provide convincing evidence of causal links from the use of technology to raised reading attainments. Beyond this, the strongest evidence of the reliability and generalizability of such studies comes from carefully undertaken statistical meta-analyses of all such RCTs. Such studies are thus reviewed here.

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; ; ; ; ; ; (2006)Young people, pregnancy and social exclusion: A systematic synthesis of research evidence to identify effective, appropriate and promising approaches for prevention and support. Technical Report. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London., London.