An innovative approach to teaching research and evidence in health sciences

ERICKSON, Shane, HODGKIN, Suzanne, KARASMANIS, Sharon and MURLEY, George (2019) An innovative approach to teaching research and evidence in health sciences. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S07 - Health and Biosciences Libraries. In: International and local development that enhance scholarly communication in the biomedical and social sciences, 23 August 2019, Athens, Greece.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


An innovative approach to teaching research and evidence in health sciences

Purpose: This paper reports the development and trialling of a suite of online modules for teaching evidence based practice (EBP), to support introductory EBP teaching for university students undertaking a health science degree, and review the transition to final publication as an open access etextbook. Setting/Participants/Resources: College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University. First year health sciences students studying a common, core first year subject: ‘Research and Evidence in Practice’. Brief Description: Evidence based practice and research methods are widely entrenched in the curricula of tertiary level health science degrees. Yet frequently students report a lack of confidence and competency in learning the content, and fail to see its relevance to clinical practice. With increasing availability of new technologies to support teaching education practices, educators should consider ways of making learning about EBP and research methods more effective. The online modules were written in a deliberate conversational and engaging style, and included figures, tables, diagrams and videos. Modules included the what, why and how of EBP; research design: methods, bias, validity and reliability; and measurement and analysis; and were the major teaching resource for this subject, negating the need for students to purchase a textbook. Results/Outcomes: Initial feedback and evaluation was received from 220 students and six expert EBP educators. Further analysis of quantitative and qualitative data indicated students and educators viewed the content as high quality, interactive and engaging, whilst successfully achieving pedagogical goals. A comprehensive review of the content was undertaken in 2018 to consider how the modules had supported teaching practice over the previous six years. The reviewed content was published in 2018 as an open textbook, by the University Library’s eBureau publishing program This completes this work as a professional and innovative method of teaching content, critical for health professionals in training, and ensures that students continue to have access to this important resource, which is now open access, and contributes to international open educational resources. ‘Research and evidence in practice’ is available at

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