Procedures and Standards Handbook. Version 2.1. What Works ClearinghouseReport as inadecuate

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With its critical assessments of scientific evidence on the effectiveness of education programs, policies, and practices (referred to as "interventions"), and a range of products summarizing this evidence, the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an important part of the Institute of Education Sciences' strategy to use rigorous and relevant research, evaluation and statistics to improve our nation's education system. The mission of the WWC is to be a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for what works in education. Without a service like the What Works Clearinghouse, it can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly for educators to access the relevant studies and reach sound conclusions about the effectiveness of particular interventions. Educators who want to know whether a particular intervention is effective can read a WWC Intervention Report and know that it represents both a thorough review of the identified research literature on that intervention and a critical assessment and summary of the evidence reported by the study authors. In this version of the Handbook, pilot standards for judging the conditions under which studies using regression discontinuity or single-case designs meet WWC standards for causal validity have been added. As the WWC continues to refine processes, develop new standards, and create new products, the Handbook will be revised or augmented to reflect these changes. Chapter I describes the roles of those who contribute to the topic area reviews, along with details on participating organizations and conflicts of interest. Chapter II provides guidelines for identifying topic areas, research and interventions to develop intervention reports. Chapter III explains the review process. Chapter IV describes the types of intervention reports, the process of preparing the report, components of the intervention report, the rating system used to determine the evidence rating, and the metrics and computations used to aggregate and present the evidence. Appended are: (1) Assessing Attrition Bias; (2) Effect Size Computations; (3) Clustering Correction of the Statistical Significance of Effects Estimated with Mismatched Analyses; (4) Benjamini-Hochberg Correction of the Statistical Significance of Effects Estimated with Multiple Comparisons; (5) Pilot Standards for Regression Discontinuity Designs; (6) Pilot Standards for Single-Case Designs; (7) Intervention Rating Scheme; (8) Computation of the Improvement Index; and (9) Extent of Evidence Categorization. [See ED503772 to view previous version of this guide.]

Descriptors: Standards, Access to Information, Information Management, Guides, Research Methodology, Role, Intervention, Reports, Evaluation Methods, Attrition (Research Studies), Effect Size, Computation, Statistical Significance, Statistical Analysis, Comparative Analysis, Regression (Statistics), Case Studies, Rating Scales, Classification, Randomized Controlled Trials, Quasiexperimental Design

What Works Clearinghouse. P.O. Box 2393, Princeton, NJ 08543-2393. Tel: 866-503-6114; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Author: What Works Clearinghouse


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