Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

150 hours of focused learning.

Unit rationale, description and aim

It is a professional and pragmatic requirement that all healthcare professionals have the necessary skills to deliver evidence based, critically appraised, best practice. As the practice of all health care professionals in some way relates to the wellness of others, the ability to source and critically consume relevant literature related to practice is critical for optimum outcomes. Skills developed in this unit are required to assist students to start building knowledge which will guide their future practice as a health care professional.

This unit provides foundational knowledge and skills for sourcing, appraising and reflecting on literature and information sources used in the health care environment. To assist health students to deliver evidence based care, approaches to knowledge development in the health disciplines, including the generation of new knowledge, the refinement of practice and the delivery of quality care are explored. The application of research knowledge to the provision of evidence-based health care will be evaluated through a process of critical appraisal. The unit will introduce students to the concept of the 4 A's of research - Awareness, Appreciation, Application and Ability. Students will also develop fundamental skills for accessing information by asking a question, and using that question to search for, find, and evaluate information.

Skills developed in this unit will provide health students with the ability to source credible and appropriate information which they will use to build their discipline specific knowledge across their undergraduate program and take into their future practice as a health care professional.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - identify health care situations and contexts where evidence-based practice can be applied;

LO2 - critically discuss the factors which influence the use of evidence-based practice to deliver best management practices across a range of health care settings; (GA3, 4) 

LO3 - describe the range of information sources and levels of evidence to inform health practice; (GA4, 8) 

LO4 - demonstrate foundational level skills in accessing, appreciating and applying evidence from a range of sources to inform health practice; (GA4, 8, 9) 

LO5- apply information literacy capabilities to the construction of evidence-based practice. (GA10) 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

Identifying and accessing high-quality information  

How to find current, best evidence 

Sources of knowledge  


4 A’s of research (awareness, appreciation, application, ability) and their relevance to evidence-based-practice. 

Awareness: Reflecting, analysing and problem-solving 

Critical thinking 

Clinical judgement (technical and situation based judgement) 

What is appropriate evidence? 

Appreciation: Judging the appropriateness of evidence.  

Types of knowledge, their development and application 

The evidence hierarchies and using them to rank evidence  

Application: using evidence in clinical practice.  

How evidence is used in clinical practice 


The influence of evidence in guiding patient journeys through the health care system 

The influence of online information and popular media on patient choices 

Complementary and alternative therapies 

Considering patient choices when developing evidence-based care 

Ensuring quality, consistent, evidence-based care  


Evidence-based health care 

Identifying the need for information and evidence 

The notion of best available evidence 

Best practice guidelines and Clinical Practice Guidelines 

Continuous quality improvement 

The ethical application of evidence 

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale


This unit requires students to undertake 150 hours of focused learning to achieve the unit learning outcomes. Learning associated with this unit incorporates face-to-face teaching activities (lectures and tutorials), online activities, preparation and generation of assessment items and self-directed study. Students are expected to take responsibility for their individual learning and to participate actively within group activities. 



The on-line mode is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Paramedicine (Professional Entry). 

Learner-centred online resource sessions are used to support your acquisition of content. These help prepare you for the online tutorials in which this content is considered more interactively. Tutorials are therefore used to help you make sense of the materials. Web-based learning and critical thinking activities are offered to help support self-study outside of tutorials and to further the development of your conceptual understanding. 


Students entering university need significant support to transition into a learning and teaching environment where they are required to drive their own learning. To guide students in their learning feedback is required to identify what is being done well, what requires additional work and to identify progress toward required learning outcomes. Located in the first year of the programme, this theory unit includes significant face-to-face teaching hours and a directed online component to introduce students to managing their study off-campus. Lectures are utilised to convey content and its central principles while tutorials deliver interactive learning sessions which include formative feedback to build foundational tertiary study skills while also providing an opportunity to establish group-work and learning community skills. Online materials are introduced to provide students with a foundation for ongoing, directed, self-motivated study.  

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment items consistent with University assessment requirements and policy will be used to ensure students achieve the unit learning outcomes and attain the graduate attributes.  


The online quiz ensures foundational level search skills required for students to locate appropriate literature. The oral presentation ensures sound communication skills which are required for all interactions as a health care professional; it assesses an understanding of search strategies and how evidence based practice would be applied. The written assignment is required to provide the students with an opportunity to demonstrate fundamental skills required for sound appraisal of research. These assessments are required to engage students with content that will build knowledge which, by the conclusion of this programme, will allow the student to graduate as a health care professional who can locate and critically appraise discipline specific literature. This requirement exists because all people deserve to be treated with best practice. 

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes



LO1, LO2, LO3

GA4, GA8 

Oral presentation*

* Online student will record their presentation and upload it to the online student learning platform.


LO1, LO2, LO4

GA3, GA4, GA8, GA9 

Written Assignment 


LO3, LO4, LO5

GA4, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Greenhalgh, T.M., Bidewell, J., Crisp, E., Lambros, A., & Warland, J. (2017). Understanding research methods for evidence-based practice in health. (1st ed.). Milton, Qld: Wiley. Retrieved from 

Hoffmann, T., Bennett, S., Del Mar, C. (2017).  Evidence-based practice across the health professions, (3rd ed.), Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier Australia. 

Jirojwong, S., Johnson, M. & Welch, A. (2014). Research Methods in Nursing and Midwifery: Pathways to Evidence-Based Practice (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press. 

Liamputtong, P. (Ed.). (2016). Research methods in health: foundations for evidence-based practice (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic.: Oxford University Press. 

Melnyk, B., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2015). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice (3rd edn.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer. 

Polit, D., Beck, C.T. (2017). Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice (10th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer/ Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 

Richardson-Tench, M., Taylor, B., Kermode, S., & Roberts, K. (2016). Inquiry in health care. South Melbourne, Vic.: Cengage Learning. 

Schneider, Z., Whitehead, D. L., Lobiondo-Wood & Haber, J. (2016). Nursing and midwifery research: Methods and appraisal for evidence based practice (5th ed.). Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier Australia. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs