National Center for the
Dissemination of Disability Research

NCDDR's 2009 Course: Conducting Systematic Reviews of Evidence-Based Disability and Rehabilitation Research

The NCDDR is offering a free Web-based distance education course on Conducting Systematic Reviews of Evidence-Based Disability and Rehabilitation Research. To identify potential teams of course participants we invited disability and rehabilitation researchers and others who have expressed an interest in the Campbell Collaboration's Education Coordinating Group (C2-ECG), abandon link 4-211) and specifically, the Disability Subgroup. We also invited Advanced Rehabilitation Research Training (ARRT) projects and other grants funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR).

An orientation session held on September 10, 2009 provided an overview of Campbell systematic reviews and topic selection. Copies of PowerPoints are available for download. View the recording of the Live Meeting session in the ARCHIVE section of the Orientation page (NOTE: PC is required; does not function properly with a Mac):

The course is designed for upper-level graduate students, post-docs, and early career researchers, as well as more experienced researchers. Participants will learn the steps in the systematic review process as implemented by the Campbell and Cochrane Collaborations. We are recruiting up to 4 teams, with 2 to 5 members per team. The course content will be presented from September 2009 through April 2010. There is no charge for the course, however, we ask for a commitment to participate in all activities and to work with a team to develop a systematic review by November 2010.

The lead instructors are Dr. Chad Nye, who serves as co-chair of the C2-ECG and Dr. Oliver Wendt, who is chair of the C2-ECG Special Education subgroup. Other instructors include colleagues from the C2-ECG: Bob Bernard, PhD; Carole Torgerson, EdD; and Anne Wade, MLIS.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: The course is designed to develop skills needed to conceptualize, prepare, and submit a completed systematic review to the Campbell Collaboration ECG's Disability Subgroup. Participants will learn the following skills:

  1. To understand the rationale and processes of intervention research and systematic reviews as the foundation for informed clinical practice and evidence-based decisionmaking in disability and rehabilitation and related fields,
  2. To develop techniques to effectively and efficiently manage data collected through the systematic review process, and
  3. To use analytical skills to assess the quality of evidence in published and unpublished research.

COURSE FORMAT: The format of the course will be a combination of lecture, group projects, and individual assignments. Lectures will be delivered in 7 interactive 90-minute Web-based sessions utilizing Live Meeting software. Each course module is devoted to an in-depth examination of a particular step in the Campbell Collaboration's systematic review process. Teleconferences and email exchange will also be incorporated between lectures. Participants will work cooperatively with one another on review teams. NOTE that dates are tentative and will be confirmed with teams accepted to participate.
(Download draft Course Syllabus)     

COURSE OUTCOMES: We anticipate providing a small stipend ($1,000) to each review team that completes each of the phases of the systematic review:

APPLICATION PROCESS: Prospective teams need to identify a tentative topic for their systematic review and submit an application by 9/25/09. Teams will be notified of acceptance by 9/30/09. Final team selection:

Background information on systematic reviews is available: Resources to Prepare for 2009 Online Course, including materials from the NCDDR's first online course offering in 2007.

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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