Welcome to the learning object on evidence based practice. It is intended to be particularly helpful to those studying at Level 7 and Level 9 of the Practice Learning Award but may well be of interest to those studying at levels 9 and 10 too. The object is also designed to be used by facilitators of learning together with their learners. It is open to all so please feel free to browse!
In Section One ‘Types of Knowledge’ we explore two kinds of evidence used in practice: the evidence provided by our own experience and the evidence provided by research. Personal experience is very valuable but research provides a more objective and universal form of knowledge. This section begins with a simple exercise that helps us to explore some of these differences further.
In Section Two ‘Attitudes to Research’ you are firstly asked to identify with one of three statements that most closely approximates to your own attitude to research. Then we explore the implications of these statements by listening to audio clips of practitioners explaining their views. This section will help you to clarify your own views on the value of research and prepare you to work with people with differing perspectives.
In Section Three ‘Quantitative Research Live!’ we take you through a simulated example of research. This section will allow you to grasp some basic statistical techniques. We hope to show the essential simplicity of the research process and thereby remove some of the mystique associated with it. By the end you should be able to define the terms: ‘mean’, ‘median’, ‘standard deviation’ and ‘sampling’.
In Section Four ‘Qualitative Research’ you are introduced to the second main branch of research. Where quantitative research is concerned with counting and measuring, qualitative research explores the quality and significance of social experience. This section briefly illustrates these differences while emphasising that the two approaches are often complementary.
Finally, Section Five ‘Searching for Evidence’ will help you find the research evidence you need by taking you on a guided database search. You will find tips on how to design a search strategy, how to narrow or expand your search as appropriate and how to use a range of search features to home in on the articles you need. You will have the opportunity to search the NHS Scotland e-Library and compare the results of your search with ours.
This object aims to help those studying at Levels 7 and 9 to meet the following learning outcomes:
Use knowledge of current good practice in a social services learning environment to support learners. (Unit F2VC 34, learning outcome 1)
Support a learner to explore appropriate research into evidence based practice. (Unit F2VC 34, learning outcome 4)
Collaborate in the development of a learning environment which promotes a culture of effective practice (F2VH 36, learning outcome 3)
Support learners to develop effective practice (F2VH 36, learning outcome 4)
Author and Copyright
© 2009 Scottish Social Services Council. This material was written for the SSSC by Neil Henery. This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 UK : Scotland License. This means you are free to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work; and to make derivative works on condition that you credit SSSC and do not use the work for commercial purposes. For full details of the licence please visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/scotland/