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Evidence review (online)

The evidence review course will help you focus on the research question that you want to answer. Using your past research evidence, you will learn a number of tools to help identify the relevant evidence, and to make sense of what you found in terms of quality and how you can pull it together to inform your decision-making.

About this course

Many decisions, especially in public policy and program delivery, need to be evidence-based or evidence-informed. In many instances this involves learning from the existing body of evidence and synthesising to extract important lessons. With the volume of material available, this can be a daunting process. This evidence review course online will guide you through the key steps involved in doing this: focusing your research question; finding the evidence; judging its quality; and drawing it together in effective ways.

Course structure

This online course will be delivered through an interactive live video link where you will have the opportunity to engage with the presenter and other participants. You will be able to bring your ‘live’ research questions you are working on to this online course and work through it during the delivery. This online course will cover the following sequence of topics:

  • Framing and focussing your research question.
  • Finding relevant evidence using online databases and other tools.
  • Documenting your search strategy.
  • Organising what you have found.
  • Judging the quality of evidence using evidence hierarchies and evidence assessment tools.
  • Synthesising evidence and presenting it for effective decision-making.

This online course will combine presentations, including tips and tricks, from the course presenter, interactive discussions with other participants, and the ‘live’ application of the skills to research problems.


Learning outcomes

In this evidence review course online you will gain the skills to effectively draw on research and evidence in your decision-making. In particular, you will

  • Focus your search by articulating clear research questions
  • Use a variety of search strategies and tools
  • Find a range of evidence including peer reviewed research, gray literature, and consultants reports
  • Organize your evidence in a coherent form
  • Understand and apply principles of research quality to help make sense of the evidence
  • Understand the options for synthesising and presenting the review of your evidence

Who is this course for?

This online course will benefit anyone who has to draw on research evidence to inform their decision-making. While the focus is on public sector decision-making, the skills can be applied in a variety of contexts. Some groups who will find this evidence review course online especially useful are:

  • Professionals designing public policy and programs
  • Research and evaluation officers
  • Researchers in higher education or in think tanks
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