Dr Debra Evans
Debra has taught at BCU for over 24 years. The principal subjects she teaches are topics related to research and evidence-based practice mainly at Master’s and degree level. Debra is very interested in equipping health students with research skills to evaluate the effectiveness of health care interventions – basically getting students to question anything they do to influence someone’s state of health and finding out what evidence underpins it. During lockdown, this inspired her to write a book: Making Sense of Evidence-Based Practice for Nursing. An Introduction to Quantitative and Qualitative Research and Systematic Reviews which is to be published by Routledge in May 2022.
Debra tries to increase students’ understanding about ‘what works best’ by teaching them about hierarchies of evidence, randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and measures of clinical effectiveness. Removing the ‘fear factor’ associated with quantitative primary and secondary research is often the main hurdle and over the years she has tried to devise activities on her modules to tackle this.
Debra is RGN trained, has a quantitative scientific background from undertaking a PhD and degree in Physiology and has professional recognition as an educator being a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. These, along with various courses, such as a Systematic Review course at Sheffield University, a Clinical Trials course at Edinburgh University, a Cochrane Workshop at Oxford University, and a Statistics Module undertaken with the Open University, have helped underpin her teaching with content validity.
They have also helped with the undertaking and publishing of a Randomised Controlled Trial and Systematic Reviews for Cochrane. These research experiences have contributed to Debra's credibility as a research teacher and supervisor/mentor for her level 7 and level 6 students, as they have to learn about research methods and evidence based practice, prepare primary and secondary research plans and undertake primary research or systematic reviews.
From 2016 to 2018, Debra was given the role of PG Research Education Lead and asked by the Associate Dean to rewrite the module templates for the core 20 credit level 7 Research Methods module and the 60 credit level 7 Dissertation module and create a module template for a new 40 credit level 7 Dissertation module. These were successfully validated to be part of the PG Framework so any existing/future Health MSc courses could utilise these to ensure an equitable PG research education provision across the Faculty.