National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

Developing Evidence-Based Products
Using the Systematic Review Process (NCDDR's 2007 Course)

From September 2007 to February 2008, the NCDDR offered an innovative live Web-based training opportunity for NIDRR grantees on Developing Evidence-Based Products Using the Systematic Review Process. This course—at no cost to grantees—was designed for upper-level graduate students and post-docs, early career researchers, as well as other more experienced researchers, to develop skills and products that reflect state-of-the-art approaches to the systematic retrieval, evaluation, synthesis, and interpretation of research evidence. Skills learned in the course can be used to establish cutting-edge research plans in new proposals, identify evidence-based answers to consumer and stakeholder questions, and contribute directly to the growing international mainstream evidence collections.

COURSE INSTRUCTORS: Chad Nye, PhD and Herb Turner, PhD of the Campbell Collaboration's Education Coordinating Group served as primary instructors, along with colleagues from the Campbell Collaboration: Bob Bernard, PhD; Julia Lavenberg, PhD; Carole Torgerson, EdD; and Anne Wade, MLIS. The instructors are available to review drafts as teams develop a final written product, which is due by the end of September 2008.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Participants learned to identify and produce a range of evidence-based products including systematic reviews, rapid evidence assessments, and scoping reviews. The course focused on the rationale, processes, and products of systematic reviews that can serve as the basis for informed disability and rehabilitation research, practice, and policy decisions. The course participants developed:

  1. understanding of intervention research and clinical practice as the basis for informed professional practice and evidence-based decision-making in disability and rehabilitation and related fields,
  2. analytical skills to assess the quality of evidence in published and unpublished research, and
  3. techniques to effectively and efficiently manage data collected from the systematic review process.

COURSE LOGISTICS/TIMELINE: The live Web-based instruction began on September 26, 2007, and ended on February 5, 2008. There was no charge for the course, however, we asked for a commitment to participate in all activities and to work with a team to develop a final written product, to be completed by September 2008. We recruited 27 participants, in 9 teams of 2-4, for the first cohort. A minimum team of 2 from any NIDRR project was needed to participate.

Download: 2007 COURSE SYLLABUS     76kb

COURSE FORMAT: The format of the course was a combination of lecture, group projects, and individual assignments. Training covered the steps in the systematic review process through seven 2-hour online sessions and two 1-hour online sessions (16 contact hours). Lectures were delivered in live, interactive 2-hour Web-based sessions, utilizing Live Meeting™ software. Teleconferences and email exchange were incorporated between lectures.

COURSE OUTPUTS: Course participants committed to developing, in a team, one of three written products within 12 months of initiating coursework (September 2008):

For additional information, please contact: or call (800) 266-1832.

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NCDDR is funded by the
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
Project Number: H133A060028
U.S. Department of Education