Practicing Research: Discovering Evidence That Matters provides research consumers with the skills necessary for discovering evidence that matters.This book is designed for students, practitioners or researchers who are planning to review research for best practices or are actually selecting programs right now. Author Arlene Fink assumes that each person who reads it has a passing familiarity with the idea of research, but no special research expertise is necessary.
The book has eight chapters corresponding to the skills that research consumers need to discover evidence that matters. Fink pays special attention to facilitating student learning by providing over a hundred examples, flowcharts, tables, and checklists as well as an extensive glossary. (Students who are interested in any specific topic can further their knowledge by using the related website, which contains links to other sites as well as additional examples and exercises). All the examples are taken from existing research and programs and grounded in the practitioner's reality.
Provides methods for determining the validity of evidence and how to justify an acceptable level of "proof" based on science, experience, and values
Offers practical frameworks to guide the research process and which take the student from needs assessment to program implementation and evaluation through to implementation of results.
Shows how to engage diverse stakeholders (communities, teachers) in the research process
Contains an Instructor's Resources CD with supplemental studies and exercises for students; some of the studies and exercises are linked to studies on the internet so that students are required to practice the tools and concepts presented in the book.
Arlene Fink (PhD) is Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and president of the Langley Research Institute. Her main interests include evaluation and survey research and the conduct of research literature reviews as well as the evaluation of their quality. Dr. Fink has conducted scores of evaluation studies in public health, medicine, and education. She is on the faculty of UCLA's Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and is a scientific and evaluation advisor to UCLA's Gambling Studies and IMPACT (Improving Access, Counseling & Treatment for Californians with Prostate Cancer) programs. She consults nationally and internationally for agencies such as L'institut de Promotion del la Prevention Secondaire en Addictologie (IPPSA) in Paris, France, and Peninsula Health in Victoria, Australia. Professor Fink has taught and lectured extensively all over the world and is the author of more than 130 peer-reviewed articles and 15 textbooks.