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ABSTRACT: Methodologies and study designs relevant to medical education research

Abstract Research is an important part of educational scholarship. Knowledge of research methodologies is essential for both conducting research as well as determining the soundness of the findings from published studies. Our goals for this paper therefore are to inform medical education researchers of the range and key components of educational research designs. We will discuss both qualitative and quantitative approaches to educational research. Qualitative methods will be presented according to traditions that have a distinguished history in particular disciplines. Quantitative methods will be presented according to an evidence-based hierarchy akin to that of evidence-based medicine with the stronger designs (systematic reviews and well conducted educational randomized controlled trials) at the top, and weaker designs (descriptive studies without comparison groups, or single case studies) at the bottom. It should be appreciated, however, that the research question determines the study design. Therefore, the onus is on the researcher to choose a design that is appropriate to answering the question. We conclude with an overview of how educational researchers should describe the study design and methods in order to provide transparency and clarity

via Methodologies and study designs relevant … [Int Rev Psychiatry. 2013] – PubMed – NCBI.

Brian S McGowan, PhD

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Brian is a research scientist and educational technologist. He helped transform Pfizer’s Medical Education Group and previously served in educational leadership roles at HealthAnswers, Inc.; Acumentis, LLC.; Cephalon; and Wyeth. He taught graduate medical education programs at Arcadia University for 10 years. Dr. McGowan recently authored the book "#socialQI: Simple Solutions for Improving Your Healthcare" and has been invited to speak internationally on the subject of information flow, technology, and learning in healthcare.

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