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PED 357-01-Organization and Administration of Physical Education: Search Strategy

This guide serves as a starting point for students researching Organization and Administration of Physical Education

Planning Your Research


Planning your research saves you time.

Translating your research topic into a "PICO" question will help you figure out how to search for your topic in a database. The first step is figuring out search terms for your Population/Problem, Intervention, Comparison, and Outcome.


Using the PICO Format

P  Patient, Population, or Problem of Interest


I   Intervention, Exposure, Prognostic Factor (treatment, diagnostic test, risk factor, etc.)


C Comparison (implicit or explicit)


Outcome of interest (positive or negative)


You are working with a third grade class with a high rate of obesity and many students at risk for type 2 diabetes. You want to incorporate regular exercise into their daily schedule but you need to be able to justify starting an after-school physical activity program to the school administration.

This is a HOW question - you are looking for a solution to a problem.


 How will daily exercise decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes in elementary students?


For more information about PICO check out this tutorial: PICO:Research Questions for the Health Sciences!



Role of the 5 W's



Who, What, When, Where, Why (and How)

Researchers in most fields are looking for one of two things:

  • A cause for a problem (Why) or
  • a solution to a problem (How).

The Why or the How then becomes the I element of the PICO formula.

The P element of the PICO formula is typically the Who or the What


Put your topic in the form of a question

Putting your topic in the form of a question will help you focus on what type of information you want to collect:  who, what, where, why and how.

Writing a one sentence research question will help you narrow your search and focus your topic.

Narrow your search by using limiters.  You may limit:

by the  geographical area:

Example: What environmental issues are most important in the Southwestern United States?

by culture:

Example: How does the environment fit into the Navajo world view?

by time frame:

Example: What are the most prominent environmental issues of the last 10 years?

by discipline:

Example: How does environmental awareness effect business practices today?

by population group:

Example: What are the effects of air pollution on senior citizens?