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  • Author or Editor: Philip C. Abrami x
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In this article we explore issues in developing an Argument Catalogue as a tool to compile evidence systematically on a topic of interest. A recent review is used to illustrate the steps in undertaking the development of an Argument Catalogue from multiple sources. An Argument Catalogue codebook, which provides categories and values that can be applied in order to classify conjectures, opinions, concerns and expert judgements, is also developed. Arguments are then compared and contrasted in two different ways: by quantifying the predictor and outcome variables described and by summarising qualitatively the major messages in each document.

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The trend towards using research knowledge to improve policies and practices is on the rise. However, despite considerable effort and notable progress in recent years, it seems that school practitioners continue to make little use of research and it is not clear what conditions would facilitate or obstruct this use. This review focuses exclusively on the available empirical1 research about (a) the use of research by school practitioners and (b) the determinants of use, and identifies future directions for research.

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A brief review of evidence is limited in time and/or scope compared to a comprehensive review. However, brief reviews are important not only in meeting the needs of policy makers and practitioners, but also in providing students and researchers with an overview of the evidence. In this paper we summarise and evaluate alternative methods for brief reviews, including: using strict inclusion criteria; reviewing only a sample of evidence and eliminating or reducing steps in the review process. We examine a sample of brief reviews and found that the majority did not meet the methodological standards of comprehensive reviews. We conclude by recommending some methodological standards for brief reviews.

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