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Strategy Submission

Introducing Evidence-Based Practice Using a Common Referent: Internet Shopping


Katie Morales



Associate Professor



University of West Georgia Tanner Health School of Nursing


Competency Categories:

Evidence-Based Practice

Learner Level(s):

Graduate Students, Pre-Licensure ADN/Diploma, Pre-Licensure BSN

Learner Setting(s):


Strategy Type:

General Strategy

Learning Objectives:

Objectives: Knowledge 1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the purpose of the literature search. 2. Identify qualitative and quantitative evidence to be synthesized. 3. Synthesize the evidence to inform the practice. Objectives: Skills 1. View the instructor-created video posted in the learning management system. Objectives: Attitude 2. State the integral value of evidence-based practice in decision-making.

Strategy Overview:

This teaching strategy uses simple language and a common referent to convey complex concepts practically to facilitate students’ application. Following Knowles Adult Learning Theory, the course faculty developed this teaching strategy to make the content relevant and practical using a common referent to help students build on previous knowledge and experience. The course faculty found evidence-based practice (EBP) can be overwhelming to both undergraduate and graduate students. To help ease students fears, the course faculty related EBP to a teaching strategy intuitive to the students (online shopping). Students were asked to view a 5-minute instructor-created video posted in the learning management system. The course faculty demonstrated the following actions related to a practical problem (buying a running shoe). 1. The course faculty performed an internet search. The search terms included “best running shoe.” To help address the course faculty’s limitations on time, money, and effort in life as well as in practice, she introduced the use of filters for the search. 2. The course faculty identified biased and unbiased results. She discussed the importance of the literature search and how scholarly searches identify scholarly sources. Because sites from shoe manufacturers were likely to be biased, she identified and selected an unbiased site (such as those posted by The Buyer’s Guide). 3. The course faculty briefly reviewed the literature from the non-biased sources. 4. The course faculty interpreted the qualitative and quantitative data. When the course faculty clicked on the “buy at Amazon button, “she saw the number of ratings (sample size). She discussed how much more reliable findings are if there are data from 4,029 reviewers versus 4 reviewers. Quantitative data were reported in the star ratings and qualitative data were reported in the comments. The quantitative data were reported in numbers, and the qualitative data were reported in words. The course faculty stressed that students may prefer one over the other and that is acceptable. Both forms of data are valuable and useful. 5. The course faculty briefly interpreted data to inform the shopping decision. After the brief review, the course faculty selected a shoe to purchase. This demonstrated the role of evidence to determine the best clinical practice.

Submitted Materials:

Additional Materials:

No funding was received for this teaching strategy. The equipment used for this teaching strategy included a computer which was required for the course and required no special adaptation of equipment. This teaching strategy has been presented to undergraduate (BSN) and graduate (MSN, EdD) students, receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback from each.

Strengthening QSEN Competencies in Nursing Education
The strategy strengthened the QSEN (2020) competency of EBP as it developed students’ knowledge of the basic characteristics of literature search and qualitative and quantitative research. Classroom activities and discussion included comparing and contrasting the basic characteristics of qualitative and quantitative research.

In conclusion, the course faculty found this teaching strategy is an effective learning strategy to introduce students to EBP. The course faculty applied a common referent to help students grasp the basic characteristics of literature search, qualitative research, and quantitative research.

Discussion Questions
Discussion questions focused on the QSEN (2020) competencies of EBP such as:
What are the basic characteristics of a literature search?
How could funding affect confidence in results?
How does sample size affect confidence in the reported findings?
What are the basic characteristics of qualitative research?
What are the basic characteristics of quantitative research?

Knowles, M. (1990). The adult learner. A neglected species, 4th Edition. Houston: Gulf
Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. (2020). QSEN Competencies.

Evaluation Description:

Evaluation of the teaching strategy was accomplished via discussion for content comprehension. Because this strategy was not designed as a research project, Internal Review Board approval was not obtained, and no additional data were collected. Overall, students demonstrated higher content comprehension after this teaching strategy, with students consistently referring to qualitative and quantitative characteristics correctly throughout the semester after the teaching strategy. Discuss with students: How does the body of evidence inform their shopping decision (equivalent to practice in EBP)? Students’ Self-Report of Content Comprehension Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. From a graduate student: I also genuinely appreciate the video feedback, and the course faculty did not consider any of it too elementary. Unfortunately, I do not always comprehend written information thoroughly, and it greatly helped my understanding of the content to hear you break it down in the feedback video.
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