Boyer and Glassick's broad definition of and standards for assessing scholarship apply to all aspects of education. Research on the quality of published medical education studies also reveals fundamentally important elements to address. In this article a three-step approach to developing medical education projects is proposed: refine the scholarly question, identify appropriate designs and methods, and select outcomes. Refining the scholarly question requires careful attention to literature review, conceptual framework, and statements of problem and study intent. The authors emphasize statement of study intent, which is a study's focal point, and conceptual framework, which situates a project within a theoretical context and provides a means for interpreting the results. They then review study designs and methods commonly used in education projects. They conclude with outcomes, which should be distinguished from assessment methods and instruments, and are separated into Kirkpatrick's hierarchy of reaction, learning, behavior and results.
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