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Evidence-Based Practice: Where Are We?

December 10, 2012

Teacher and Student In A Classroom At School

A while back I posted to Linkedin and a link to an article about making online classroom more personable. The link was from Learning Solutions Magazine who has started a new initiative to bring research to practitioners in hopes of providing practical and useable article summaries on recent research in a user friendly format. Learning Solutions Magazine’s hope is to “[…] present short summaries of academic research that may be of interest to eLearning designers.” Their initiative is a clear example of knowledge mobilization, or the process of connecting researchers, policy makers, and practitioners in education to promote evidence-based practice. In providing this link and opening up discussion on Linkedin I received several comments. One comment by a practitioner, I thought in particular fit the sentiments of many educators, “This project sounds helpful for time-crunched folks working in new territory – helping us both access and filter information impacting practice.”

Presently, there is a push in education to implement evidence in practice. However, this push is easier advocated for than accomplished. The Internet contains a plethora of information to sift through before educators can even hope to locate some usable empirical studies or research, then once they locate the research they are still faced with the dilemma of translating often generalized and basic research into applied practice. While at the same time, the hope of finding a summary of research with clear plan for implementation into practice is a far off dream. Consequently, I did some research of my own in an essay, which you can download here. My findings were minimal in relation to helping practitioners in education find an easier way to instill evidence-based principals in their practice. Knowledge mobilization or user-friendly accessibility to evidenced-based practice is still emerging. However, I have included some helpful links below that can help educators in their search for research that can supplement practice.

What do you think? What is your experience or thoughts in relation to evidenced-based practice in education? How can educators collaborate in promoting research to guide practice? What do you or would you find useful to help share knowledge within the field?

Additional Resources:

  1. Hi Yvonne, Your essay was very thought provoking! Thank you for a great read. It is a complex problem, yet I see the value in pursuing research in this area. Policy is based upon research, yet the policies are often created with so many stakeholders with different demands, I often wonder how a policy can be truly effective. For example NCLB. However NCLB is on a large scale.

    Though for online learning, implementing evidence based practices certainly has potential given the proliferation of social platforms as you mentioned. I believe it can be done. For example, I just came across a group, (The Evidence Based Hub) that is organized with the intent of coordinating and working on research for Open Education Resources together, globally.

    I would be interested in participating in something like this for online learning. Perhaps one already exists. I’ll do some research and see what I find.

    Thanks for a great post!

    • Thank you Debbie for a great resource! The Evidence Hub is a perfect example of knowledge mobilization in action. Not just that, they are using collaboration in an effort to not just promote evidenced-based practice, but also to explore and create new ideas in how we can bring these ideas to all parties involved! I am also formulating ideas and looking around for where I can contribute in research on knowledge mobilization and advocating for evidenced-based practice. I will share with you anything I find, maybe we can work on something together if we don’t find what we want. This is definitely the direction I am taking with my dissertation. Thank you for more pennies!! 🙂

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