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Tips for Using the Database

The NIFDI database contains summaries of hundreds of articles and books related to the efficacy and history of Direct Instruction (DI). The database consists of publications listed in the NIFDI comprehensive bibliography and is constantly being updated to include all of the entries from the bibliography as well as new publications. The database is designed to allow users to search for specific publications, specific authors, types of publications, and publications featuring specific curricula, types of students, and locations. Below is a list of tips for navigating the database.

Filter By Search Box

The “filter by” search box on the left side of the webpage allows users to search for specific titles or keywords within the database. When conducting a search the database will provide results for all entries containing those words. Quotation marks can be placed around keywords or groups of words to search the database for specific phrases or words (e.g. “Students with learning disabilities” or “Reading Mastery”).

Narrowing Your Search

You can narrow your search by using any of the additional filters: Year, author, and research areas. These filters can also be used on their own to search for publications of a specific author or within a specific area of research.

Search Terms

Over the past fifty years, common terms used to describe different types of students and student abilities have changed greatly (e.g. mentally retarded students, trainable mentally retarded students, disadvantaged students, special education students, students with disabilities, students with learning disabilities). Sometimes these terms are used within titles of articles as well as descriptions of these articles. These various terms often describe the same type of students, but have been described in different ways over time (e.g. English Language Learners, English as a Second Language students, students with Limited English Proficiency). To enhance your search results for specific populations you should consider broadening your search terms. Additionally, using similar search terms for similar student populations may result in locating additional useful publications. For example, if you are looking for evidence of DI programs helping students who are performing below grade level catch up with their peers, you may consider looking at studies of students with learning disabilities or special education students. Typically all of these students are performing below grade level and need a program to increase the efficiency of instruction in order to catch up with their age peers.

Not Finding the Results You Are Looking for?

The breadth of research on DI covers a wide variety of students and different settings. If you do not find the results you are looking for, consider revising your search terms, search the NIFDI bibliography, which is more comprehensive, and, if you are unable to identify relevant research, please contact the NIFDI office of Research and Evaluation research@nifdi.org.

 

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