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Teaching meta-analysis using MetaLight.

Thomas, J. and Graziosi, S. and Higgins, S. and Coe, R. and Torgerson, C. and Newman, M. (2012) 'Teaching meta-analysis using MetaLight.', BMC research notes., 5 . p. 571.

Abstract

Background: Meta-analysis is a statistical method for combining the results of primary studies. It is often used in systematic reviews and is increasingly a method and topic that appears in student dissertations. MetaLight is a freely available software application that runs simple meta-analyses and contains specific functionality to facilitate the teaching and learning of meta-analysis. While there are many courses and resources for meta-analysis available and numerous software applications to run meta-analyses, there are few pieces of software which are aimed specifically at helping those teaching and learning meta-analysis. Valuable teaching time can be spent learning the mechanics of a new software application, rather than on the principles and practices of meta-analysis. Findings: We discuss ways in which the MetaLight tool can be used to present some of the main issues involved in undertaking and interpreting a meta-analysis. Conclusions: While there are many software tools available for conducting meta-analysis, in the context of a teaching programme such software can require expenditure both in terms of money and in terms of the time it takes to learn how to use it. MetaLight was developed specifically as a tool to facilitate the teaching and learning of meta-analysis and we have presented here some of the ways it might be used in a training situation.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Meta-analysis, Research synthesis, Systematic review, Teaching, Teaching resource, Software.
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-5-571
Publisher statement:© 2012 Thomas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Record Created:19 Jul 2013 10:20
Last Modified:06 Jul 2016 14:25

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