Narrowing in: Second round of screening in the scoping review

Published by Heather Woods on

Photo by Mark Arron Smith from Pexels

Apologies for the radio silence the last couple of weeks. I was sidetracked with grading for a course I teach on SEL and trying to get through the first round of screening for this scoping review. The good news is I have completed round one of the scoping review!

This means that we will move on to the second round of screening for exploring how researchers conceptualize and enact social and emotional learning within Canada. However, my second round may look slightly different than a typical second round.

Slight detour

If you remember, the second round of screening should include a full-text screen for relevance. However, part of scoping reviews is to develop the inclusion and exclusion criteria as you screen articles. Therefore, I don’t think I had a fully formed idea of my inclusion/exclusion criteria until that last article I screened.

To me, this means that I clicked ‘maybe’ a lot throughout the screening process. Not wanting to overlook a potentially relevant article, or what if I should include x, y, z…

Now that I have gone through all the articles once. I will go back through the remaining 913 articles that were marked as ‘yes’ or ‘maybe’ and screen the title and abstracts with a more concrete inclusion/exclusion criteria. I think this step is key for scoping reviews (as opposed to systematic reviews), as your criteria will evolve as you see what is out there.

Screened articles Flagged for second review Irrelevant Remaining
24,022 913 23,109 0

The concrete path

The following inclusion criteria will drive this second round of title and abstract screening:

  • Canadian research
  • Researchers must discuss SEL practices, not just measure social and emotional competencies.
    • This is to focus in on the learning that is occurring
  • General population; No specialized populations
  • Focus on elementary school students

While this doesn’t seem all that different from before, there were times when I wondered about some of the studies that focused on adults’ competencies or studies that focused on measuring competencies only.

Next steps

From here, I will be sifting through the scoping review articles once more. Although this time, the number of articles is significantly less.

Additionally, tomorrow we will be releasing the recruitment campaign for the second phase of the study. This will involve recruiting Canadian educators and administrators to discuss their SEL practices and experiences.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please feel free to email me at:

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