BOX 1-1
Characterizing the Strength of Conclusions
Supported by the Evidence Base

A Limited Level of Evidence

•   Few peer-reviewed studies of limited scope with some convergence of findings or convergence with nonpeer-reviewed literature or with practitioner wisdom.

A Moderate Level of Evidence

•   A well-designed study of appropriate scope that has been replicated by at least one other similar study. Often such evidence will include both quantitative and qualitative data OR

•   A few large-scale studies (e.g., across multiple courses, departments, or institutions) with similar results OR

•   A moderate number of smaller-scale studies (e.g., in a single course or section) with general convergence but possibly with contradictory results. If the results are contradictory, more weight might be given to studies that reflect methodological advances or a more current understanding of teaching and learning, or are conducted in more modern learning environments.

Strong Evidence

•   Numerous well-designed qualitative and/or quantitative studies, with high convergence of findings.

postsecondary institutions, disciplinary departments, journal editors, professional societies, and funding agencies can take to support and advance DBER (Chapter 9). Because the fields of DBER have been and will continue to be an important way of improving science and engineering education, our hope is that the findings and recommendations in this report invite and assist postsecondary institutions to increase interest and research activity in DBER.

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