Research Evidence Management System
In 2005 the British Government published proposals for a radical reform of the education system for 14-19 year olds - the 14-19 Reform. At the time the Qualifications & Curriculum Agency (QCA) was the public body tasked with this redevelopment of the curriculum, qualifications and their assessment. The reforms were being introduced into schools, colleges and training centres between 2008 and 2013. The work to achieve this was being undertaken by strand teams within QCA and a range of other Government agencies. Each team was undertaking research, evaluation and monitoring activities to ascertain the extent to which their work was meeting the aims.
REMS was designed to make strategic use of the evidence produced on the 14-19 Reform, to influence and inform policy development and ensure it was evidence-based. NVivo is used to store, classify and code reports relating to the Reform. The evidence was analysed and trends and key messages were reported to stakeholders.
A specification for the project describes the goals and plan for the project.
REMS contained strategic objectives, policy documents, monitoring, research, evaluation reports and commentary and media articles, from both internal and external stakeholders. Wherever possible the documents were imported in their original format including graphs, tables and diagrams.
Cases and attributes
There was a case for each source and attributes record information such as the author, date and research rating.
Nodes and coding
The coding framework (part 1 & part 2) was designed so that each item of evidence is coded to 4-6 nodes. As this was secondary data coded by a team of coders a detailed manual described the coding process.
An analysis manual provided guidance on how to access the REMS data. A report is produced each quarter (eg Quarter 1) describing the current content of REMS and emerging trends.
The REMS project was presented at the Merlien Computer-Aided Qualitative Research Conference in Utrecht 2009 and is included in the companion website to ‘Handling Qualitative Data’ by Lyn Richards, Sage 2020.