Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



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 indirect approaches and strategies that impact on the student experience of learning. The micro-credential UNMC581: What works in higher education: Evidence-based teaching practices within the ‘classroom’ focuses on the direct teaching practices that contribute to student learning.

In this micro-credential students will learn skills related to sourcing, interpreting and applying evidence-based practices relating to teaching and learning in 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 facilitate understanding about evidence-based practices in ways that will help educators create the conditions that surround the ‘classroom’ that foster effective learning.

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:

Differentiate between evidence-based and non-evidence-based practices that surround the ‘classroom’ to provide support to student learning (GA4, GA8, GA9)

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

Apply evidence-based practices in action that surround 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):
  • Self-regulatory learning
  • Motivational climates
  • Technology
  • Service-learning/community engagement
  • Career development and employability
  • Transitioning into higher education
  • Reflective practices
  • 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 UNMC852 students the choice to select when they participate and what they focus on. That is, the topics and assessments are designed in a way that UNMC852 students 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, UNMC852 students will be introduced to a rationale for evidence-based practice, build an understanding of the 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 teaching practices that support learning 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 how they can support student learning 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 UNMC852 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 UNMC852 students achieve the learning outcomes. The assessments also ensure that UNMC852 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 UNMC852 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 practices that support student learning. As part of this assessment, UNMC852 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 a practice that does not benefit student learning outcomes, UNMC852 students will be asked to propose alternative approaches and justify these suggestions using evidence. The purpose of this assessment is to guide and support UNMC852 students with learning how to review several different practices – good, poor, and indifferent – across a variety of contexts and to recommend evidence-based alternatives when appropriate.

The second assessment task involves UNMC852 students applying evidence-based practices in action to their own teaching practices that surround the ‘classroom’ and justifying why they used them. The purpose of this assessment task is to use assessment “as” learning – specifically, by requiring UNMC852 students to showcase their learning from across the micro-credential and giving them feedback about their evidence-based practices that are designed to support student learning.

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 that surrounds the ‘classroom’

The purpose of this assessment is to develop UNMC852 students' knowledge of evidence-based teaching practices that support student learning (i.e., the indirect conditions that allow and promote learning). They will achieve this by reviewing several different teaching practices across a variety of contexts and recommending evidence-based alternatives when appropriate. This is a written assessment.


LO1, LO2

GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10 

Assessment Task 2: Class presentation and learning activities 

The purpose of this assessment task is to develop UNMC852 students' abilities to apply evidence-based teaching practices that surround the ‘classroom’ to support student learning 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, UNMC852 students will provide an example of evidence-based practices designed to support learning (e.g., recorded mock lectures, screenshots of learning websites, descriptions of student-facing initiatives) and justify their decisions using evidence, expertise, and stakeholder preferences.


LO1, LO2, LO3

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

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

Jansen, R. S., van Leeuwen, A., Janssen, J., Jak, S., & Kester, L. (2019). Self-regulated learning partially mediates the effect of self-regulated learning interventions on achievement in higher education: A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 28, 100292.

Nabi, G., Liñán, F., Fayolle, A., Krueger, N., & Walmsley, A. (2017). The impact of entrepreneurship education in higher education: A systematic review and research agenda. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 16(2), 277-299.

Robbins, S. B., Oh, I., Le, H., & Button, C. (2009). Intervention effects on college performance and retention as mediated by motivational, emotional, and social control factors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(5), 1163–1184.

Salam, M., Iskandar, D. N. A., Ibrahim, D. H. A., & Farooq, M. S. (2019). Service learning in higher education: A systematic literature review. Asia Pacific Education Review, 20(4), 573-593.

Slemp, G. R., Field, J. G., & Cho, A. S. (2020). A meta-analysis of autonomous and controlled forms of teacher motivation. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 121, 103459.

Vo, H. M., Zhu, C., & Diep, N. A. (2017). The effect of blended learning on student performance at course-level in higher education: A meta-analysis. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 53, 17-28.

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