Aligning Theory and Design: The Development of an Online Learning Intervention to Teach Evidence-based Practice for Maximal Reach

Louise Delagran, Corrie A Vihstadt, Roni L Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Online educational interventions to teach evidence-based practice (EBP) are a promising mechanism for overcoming some of the barriers to incorporating research into practice. However, attention must be paid to aligning strategies with adult learning theories to achieve optimal outcomes.

Methods: We describe the development of a series of short self-study modules, each covering a small set of learning objectives. Our approach, informed by design-based research (DBR), involved 6 phases: analysis, design, design evaluation, redesign, development/implementation, and evaluation. Participants were faculty and students in 3 health programs at a complementary and integrative educational institution.

Results: We chose a reusable learning object approach that allowed us to apply 4 main learning theories: events of instruction, cognitive load, dual processing, and ARCS (attention, relevance, confidence, satisfaction). A formative design evaluation suggested that the identified theories and instructional approaches were likely to facilitate learning and motivation. Summative evaluation was based on a student survey (N=116) that addressed how these theories supported learning. Results suggest that, overall, the selected theories helped students learn.

Conclusion: The DBR approach allowed us to evaluate the specific intervention and theories for general applicability. This process also helped us define and document the intervention at a level of detail that covers almost all the proposed Guideline for Reporting Evidence-based practice Educational intervention and Teaching (GREET) items. This thorough description will facilitate the interpretation of future research and implementation of the intervention. Our approach can also serve as a model for others considering online EBP intervention development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-9
Number of pages10
JournalGlob Adv Health Med.
Volume4
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2015

Keywords

  • design based research
  • online learning
  • learning theories
  • evidence based medicine
  • Evidence based practice
  • GREET

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