EEX 6051 – Evidence-Based Practices Assignment

This assignment is designed to help you become familiar with journals and current research in the field of special education with a focus on a critical analysis of an educational strategy or technique. It is also designed to help you further develop your skills of analyzing and synthesizing research, concise writing, and APA formatting.

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Assignment Steps (Please be very specific)

1. Select a research-based instructional strategy or procedure designed to serve students with exceptionalities and conduct a review of the professional literature using the UWF library databases. You must select a specific technique/strategy and not a comprehensive program or broad group of strategies.

a. Your text is a great resource for selecting a strategy. If you are unsure of your selection, please check with the instructor before finalizing your decision.


· Inappropriate topic (too broad) – “Effective communication techniques”

· More appropriate topic (more specific, but still needs to be refined) – “Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). (NOTE: PECS is off limits, please choose other strategies.)

o When I searched “PECS” in the library database for peer-reviewed articles, I had 100 results (too many). I added “speech” to narrow the focus and locate articles that researched PECS to improve speech (results were 24 articles). While this is better, I still narrowed by adding “autism” (results were 22 articles). After reviewing the returns, I noticed that there were 4 articles that were meta-analyses (reviews of multiple studies). I decided to narrow my topic to ”the use of PECS to increase speech for individuals with autism”. I could focus on the 4 meta-analyses and include other appropriate research articles as needed to support my thesis and main discussion points in the synthesis matrix.

2. Develop a thesis and 2-3 main ideas based on the research articles related to your strategy

a. A thesis is more than just a presentation of the professional literature about the topic. It is a one-sentence statement that is an argument or claim about the research findings on the strategy/technique based on a thorough level of analysis of the professional literature. Before finalizing your thesis, be sure that there is enough research in the professional literature to support it.

b. Your main ideas are two to three ideas or conclusions represented across the studies you have reviewed. It is also appropriate to focus one of your main ideas on critical gaps or points of disagreement in the research. The main ideas must be supported by at least three of the studies you have selected.

3. Complete the synthesis matrix using the format provided in the assignment area. Please be sure to review the grading rubric (separate document found at the eLearning assignment link) prior to completing the assignment. This synthesis matrix includes: (PAGES 4-6)

a. Notes describing the findings in each research article that support your main ideas (thus supporting your thesis). It is best to write these notes in your own words so that you can avoid plagiarizing the authors’ works.

b. Summary paragraphs written in your own words describing the support for each main idea. In your summary paragraphs, you should avoid summarizing each article separately. Your goal is to identify common themes/conclusions across articles related to your main ideas and, if appropriate, to identify any points of disagreement across articles.

Submission guidelines:

o Your assignment must be formatted in the Synthesis Matrix Template (provided at the end of this document)

o Your strategy description and summary paragraphs must be written in APA 7th edition format (formatting, in-text citations, and a reference page). You do not need a title page or abstract for this assignment. Use the Synthesis Matrix Template.

o Use peer-reviewed research studies from the library databases to support your thesis and main ideas. Use APA in-text citations in your summary paragraphs.

o NO direct quotes allowed. Summarize in your own words.

o Submit your assignment and a pdf copy of all articles referenced in the paper to the appropriate assignment links in the course. There are separate links for the assignment and the supporting articles.

***Synthesis Matrix template will be provided***

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