EEF Education Database

Overview

The EEF Education Database will be a database of thousands of education research studies from around the world, hosted by the EEF.

The database will focus on studies which measure the impact of education interventions and will be searchable by a range of different factors, including country, pupil age, and type of intervention.

In addition, the database will also record delivery information (such as the frequency and intensity of the intervention) and detailed quantitative impact data.

It is this detailed data which will make the new database unique. It will significantly reduce the time and effort needed to review the impact of different types of interventions, and to analyse the factors that increase or reduce effectiveness. 

The Database and the EEF Toolkit

The first phase of the database project will be complete by 2021, and will feed into an updated EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit and Early Years Toolkit.

The EEF Toolkits are accessible summaries of education research for teachers and decision makers. They present over 40 approaches to improving teaching and learning, each summarised in terms of its average impact on attainment, its cost, and the strength of the evidence supporting it (for more on the Toolkits click here).

The Toolkit impact estimates are currently based on evidence from reviews of education research, making the Toolkits ‘reviews of reviews’. Because the analysis is done at the review level, there are limitations to what the Toolkits can say about how the impacts of different approaches vary between different groups of pupils.

The database will allow the Toolkit analysis to be carried out at the individual study level. This will mean that a teacher will be able to see not just the average impact of, say, collaborative learning, but also how that impact varies depending on their subject, the age of their pupils, and the country they are in. It will give teachers a much better idea of whether an approach that has worked elsewhere can also work for them in their particular context. 

Data Extraction Code Frames

Data Extraction for the Database is undertaken with three data extraction tools:

These data extraction tools have been developed based on a comparison of available and relevant alternative coding frameworks and in consultation with our partners.

The future of the Database

Once the first phase of the work is complete, we will continue to grow and develop the Database. Among our goals for the Database over the next five to ten years are:

  • Inclusion of non-English language studies by EEF partner organisations around the world, allowing the Toolkit to be further tailored to different contexts.
  • National and international partnerships and fellowships, enabling external researchers to use the database for research and analysis which contributes to the global education evidence base.
  • Use of machine learning and artificial intelligence to automatically search for, identify and extract data from new studies, reducing the time and cost of reviewing education research.
  • Automatic live updating of the EEF Toolkit from the database, allowing for the 'living' systematic review to be updated quickly with the most recently published studies.