Members of the medical profession seem reluctant to value research into the effectiveness of educational interventions.1 One reason for this reluctance may be that there is a fundamental difficulty in addressing the questions that everyone wants answered: what works, in what context, with which groups, and at what cost? Unfortunately, there may not be simpleanswers to these questions. Defining true effectiveness, separating out the part played by the various components of an educational intervention, and clarifying the real cost:benefit ratio are as difficult in educational research as they are in the evaluation of a complex treatment performed on a sample group of people who each have different needs, circumstances, and personalities.
- Health professionals are often reluctant to value research into the effectiveness of educational interventions
- As in clinical research, the need for an evidence base in the practice of medical education is essential
- Choosing a methodology to investigate a research question in educational research is no different from choosing one for any other type of research
- Rigorously designed research into the effectiveness of education is needed to attract research funding, to provide generalisable results, and to elevate the profile of educational research within the medical profession