Credit points




Unit rationale, description and aim

The creation of effective learning environments involves designing for learning. Designing for learning requires consideration of learning processes and the learning context. Learning processes comprise strategies that directly impact on the student experience of learning. Some examples include, teaching, multimedia presentations, learning activities, and assessment rubric design. The learning context comprises strategies and practices that indirectly impact on the student experience of learning. These interact with direct approaches to create the holistic learning experience. Examples of indirect approaches include initiatives to enhance student engagement, well-being, purpose and belonging.

To ensure create effective learning environments, educators in higher education need empirical evidence about what works, how to interpret evidence, and how to apply evidence to their own teaching practice. The focus of this micro-credential is on the direct approaches, strategies and techniques that impact on the student experience of learning. The micro-credential UNMC582: What works in higher education: Evidence-based teaching practices that surround the classroom focuses on the indirect teaching practices that contribute to student learning.

In this micro-credential, students will learn skills related to sourcing, interpreting and applying evidence-based teaching practices within the ‘classroom’. Students will first learn about evidence-based practice including what it is, and the different forms of evidence. Students will then learn how to find, critique, and interpret evidence relative to their context. Finally, students will learn how to translate evidence into practice. This will include balancing highest-level evidence alongside information from other sources.

The aim of this micro-credential is to help UNMC581 students to learn about evidence-based practices in ways that will help them enhance their teaching within the classroom to support student learning.

Learning outcomes

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

Differentiate between evidence-based and non-evidence-based practices used within higher education ‘classrooms’ (GA4, GA8, GA9)

Justify decisions about teaching practices within the ‘classroom’ by using evidence-based approaches (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Apply evidence-based practices in action within the ‘classroom’ (GA3, GA5, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

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:

  • Evidence-based practice
  • Biases
  • The hierarchy of empirical evidence
  • Locating, critiquing, and interpreting evidence
  • Highest-level evidence pertaining to (for example):
  • Blended, face-to-face, and online delivery
  • Multimedia presentations
  • Problem-based learning
  • Technology for learning
  • Group work
  • Formative and summative assessment design
  • Weighing evidence alongside professional expertise and stakeholder preferences
  • Strengths and limitations associated with highest-level evidence

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This micro-credential is designed for academics from various backgrounds, with diverse experiences, and with widespread knowledge. As such, it is designed to be flexible by offering academics the choice to select when you participate and what you focus on. That is, the topics and assessments are designed in a way that they can tailor them to their context, background, and expertise (e.g., educators who teach online can design their learning differently to those who teach face-to-face, who can design their learning differently to those who are clinical educators, and so on). The micro-credential is also sequenced to scaffold learning progressively.

To start, UNMC581 students will be introduced to a rationale for evidence-based practice, build an understanding of highest-level evidence, and develop skills related to locating, critiquing, and interpreting evidence. They will then build on this knowledge by using it to explore specific ‘classroom’ teaching practices in higher education and the evidence for and against them. To finish, they will assimilate their general and specific knowledge of evidence-based practice to make decisions about their teaching practices and showcase these decisions in action. Additionally, as this micro-credential is about what works in higher education, the learning is designed to reflect evidence-based practice. That is, the learning for this micro-credential applies a number of strategies and approaches that UNMC581 students will learn about.

Assessment strategy and rationale

There are two assessment tasks for this micro-credential. They have been purposefully designed, scheduled and sequenced to help UNMC581 students achieve the learning outcomes. The assessments also ensure that UNMC581 students receive feedback to reflect on their work and thus help them self-direct their study efforts most efficiently and effectively. These assessments actively support learning by applying it to UNMC581 students' particular contexts – that is, the assessment is conceptualised “as learning” not simply “for” or “of” learning.

The first assessment task involves differentiating between evidence-based and non-evidence-based practice examples in higher education ‘classrooms’. As part of this assessment, UNMC581 students will review simulated examples that include practices that are both consistent and inconsistent with the highest-level evidence and identify those that are more likely to bring about beneficial student outcomes. For those that do not benefit students, UNMC581 students will be asked to propose alternative approaches and justify these suggestions using evidence. The purpose of this assessment is to guide and support UNMC581 students with learning how to review several different practices – good, poor, and indifferent – across a variety of ‘classroom’ settings and to recommend evidence-based alternatives when appropriate.

The second assessment task involves UNMC581 students applying evidence-based teaching practices in their own teaching and justifying why they used them. The purpose of this assessment task is to use assessment “as” learning – specifically, by requiring UNMC581 students to showcase their learning from across the micro-credential and giving them feedback about their evidence-based teaching practices.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1: Differentiating evidence-based and non-evidence-based practice within the ‘classroom’

The purpose of this assessment is to develop UNMC581 students' knowledge of evidence-based teaching practices in the classroom. They will achieve this by reviewing several different teaching practices across a variety of ‘classrooms’ and recommending evidence-based alternatives when appropriate. This is a written assessment.


LO1, LO2 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2: Applying evidence-based teaching practices in your own teaching

The purpose of this assessment task is to develop UNMC581 students' abilities to apply evidence-based teaching practices in their own teaching by actually doing it. Thus, the assessment is used as a learning experience in which they will be guided. In this assessment, UNMC581 students will provide an example of evidence-based teaching practices (e.g., recorded mock lectures, screenshots of learning websites, PowerPoint slide decks) and justify their decisions using evidence, expertise, and stakeholder preferences.


LO1, LO2, LO3 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Representative texts and references

Adesope, O. O., & Nesbit, J. C. (2012). Verbal redundancy in multimedia learning environments: A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(1), 250–263.

Dochy, F., Segers, M., Van den Bossche, P., & Gijbels, D. (2003). Effects of problem-based learning: A meta-analysis. Learning and Instruction, 13(5), 533–568.

Forrest, J. L., & Miller, S. A. (2001). Enhancing your practice through evidence-based decision making. Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice1(1), 51-57.

Ginns, P. (2006). Integrating information: A meta-analysis of the spatial contiguity and temporal contiguity effects. Learning and Instruction, 16(6), 511–525.

Ginns, P., Martin, A. J., & Marsh, H. W. (2013). Designing instructional text in a conversational style: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 25(4), 445–472.

Johnston, A. L., Baik, C., & Chester, A. (2020). Peer review of teaching in Australian higher education: a systematic review. Higher Education Research & Development, 1-15.

Noetel, M., Griffith, S., Delaney, O., Sanders, T., Parker, P., del Pozo Cruz, B., & Lonsdale, C. (2021). Video improves learning in higher education: A systematic review. Review of Educational Research, 91(2), 204–236.

Schneider, S., Beege, M., Nebel, S., & Rey, G. D. (2018). A meta-analysis of how signaling affects learning with media. Educational Research Review, 23, 1–24.

Schroeder, N. L., Nesbit, J. C., Anguiano, C. J., & Adesope, O. O. (2017). Studying and constructing concept maps: A meta‐analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 30(2), 431–455.

Sundararajan, N., & Adesope, O. O. (2020). Keep it coherent: A meta-analysis of the seductive details effect. Educational Psychology Review, 32, 707-734.

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