MEDIC ST 3104A - Research and Critical Appraisal Part 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Through a program of case-based tutorials lectures and assignments, students will further develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles of the research, evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning that underpin the practice of medicine.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MEDIC ST 3104A
    Course Research and Critical Appraisal Part 1
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites MEDIC ST 2000A/B, MEDIC ST 2101A/B, MEDIC ST 2102A/B, MEDIC ST 2103A/B, MICRO 2506 and an approved level II elective; or by approval of the Dean of Medicine
    Restrictions Available to MBBS students only
    Course Description Through a program of case-based tutorials lectures and assignments, students will further develop their knowledge and understanding of the principles of the research, evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning that underpin the practice of medicine.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Simon Koblar

    Course Coordinators

    1. Prof Simon Koblar
    Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience
    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    Adelaide Medical School
    University of Adelaide

    2. Prof Andrea Yool
    Professor of Physiology
    Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
    University of Adelaide

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Lectures for theis course are delivered as part of the integrated Year 3 MBBS Program.

    Students will need to work in small groups outside the scheduled program to meet the course requirements.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. To understand the role of research to inform excellence in clinical practice.
    2. Learn the principles, practices and processes of scientific enquiry.
    3. Plan a research project involving experimental design or qualitative research methodologies where relevant.
    4. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of a published paper, and its relevance to clinical pratice or medical science.
    5. Learn how to keep up-to-date with research.
    6. Carry out independent learning and work effectively both alone and in a team.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Online core skills modules and assessment resources are provided on the course MyUni site. There are no additional required resources for this course.
    Recommended Resources
    Research Design Resources

    Bordage, G & Dawson, B 2003, “Experimental study design and grant writing in eight steps and 28 questions’, Medical Education, vol. 37, p. 376-385.

    Grimes DA & Schulz KF, 2002, “An overview of clinical research: the lay of the land.” The Lancet, vol.359, issue 9300, p. 8.

    Hansen, E 2006, Successful qualitative health research: a practical introduction, Allen and Unwin, Crows Nest.

    Moher, D, Schulz, KF, Altman, DG 2001, ‘The CONSORT statement: revised recommendations for improving the quality of reports of parallel group randomised trials. BMC Medical Research Methodology, vol. 1, p. 2

    Riegelman, RK 2000, Studying a study and testing a test, 4th edn. Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia PA.

    Rossenfeldt, FL, Dowling, JT, Pepe, S & Fulleton, M 2000, ‘How to write a paper for publication’, Heart Lung and Circulation, vol. 9, p. 82-87.

    Critical Appraisal resources

    Introductory paper: “How to critically appraise an article” by Young and Solomon

    Site with checklist style worksheets for the critical appraisal of different types of research

    Elwood, M 2000, Critical appraisal of epidemiological studies and clinical trials, OUP, Oxford, New York.

    Greenhalgh, T 2010, How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine. Wiley BlackwellPublishing, Oxford.

    Research Ethics

    Emanuel, EJ, Wendler, D & Grady C 2000, ‘What makes clinical research ethical?’, Journal of the American Medical Association, vol 283, p. 2701-2711.


    Ethical issues checklist for human research:

    Ethical requirements in animal, genetic and human research:

    Indigenous health:

    Regulations on the procurement and use of human tissue/ cadavers:

    Informed consent, use of case notes, de-identification, confidentiality and privacy:

    Examples of Research Ethics approval committees and their requirements:

    Group Work and Peer Assessment

    Group Work:

    Peer Assessment:

    Statistics Resources

    Bland, M 2000, An introduction to medical statistics, 3rd edn, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

    Campbell, MJ & Machin, D 2000, Medical statistics: a commonsense approach, John Wiley & Sons, New York.

    Dawson-Saunders, B & Trapp, RG 1994, Basic and clinical biostatistics, Appleton & Lange, Norwalk.

    Gore, SM & Altman, DG 1991, Statistics in practice, British Medical Association, London.

    Petrie, A & Sabin, C 2009, Medical statistics at a glance, 3rd edn, Wiley-Blackwell, New Jersey.

    Referencing Style

    The University of Adelaide’s Harvard Referencing Style:

    Endnote guide

    The University of Adelaide library’s guide to Endnote:

    How to export from PubMed into Endnote, especially see section on how to convert to full Journal titles

    Online Learning
    There are a range of online resources available in the recommended resources.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    There are two main components of this course: The Research Proposal and the Critical Appraisal.  Both activities have a strong focus on working collaboratively in teams.  Each component is supported by a series of lectures.

    Research Proposal
    Students work in small groups under the supervision of a Academic staff member or Clinical titleholder to produce a research proposal.  Students will form their own Research Proposal Groups (comprising 4 students), approach potential supervisors, and work with the identified supervisor to develop and coordinate their research project proposal.

    Critical Appraisal
    Students work in pairs to critically appraise a published research paper with respect to scientific rationale, methodology, interpretation of results, conclusions, and contribution to medical knowledge or clinical practice


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    Provided students work systematically through the two activities within their groups, the workload for this course is manageable.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The primary mode is small group learning for the development of the Research Proposal and the Critical appraisal.  Students will need to demonstrate the ability to self direct their learning with support, and time manage their projects.

    Further details will be provide in the Course Handbook.
    Specific Course Requirements
    The course requires students to participate in small groups for both the research proposal and critical appraisal task.  These tasks cannot be completed individually.
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Working in a small group with a supervisor on the Research Proposal meets the requirements of a small Group Discovery Experience
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    The final mark (out of 100) is based assessments carried out over the full year (in Part 1 and Part 2).

    10      Core Skills online modules (5 at 2 marks each),
              Ethics, Scientific method, Finding information, Writing communication skills, and Oral communication skills.
      0      Formative assignment for Research Proposal
      0      Formative preparation for Critical Appraisal

    50      Final research proposal (written paper)
    25      Critical appraisal (10 min oral presentation)
      5      Groupwork log
      7      Supervisor assessment (individual mark)
      3      Peer assessment (via Splat)


    Assessment Related Requirements

    A marking grid will be privided to all students which indicates how their final overall band will be determined.

    The final individual band is based on their final proposal band, groupwork ( satisfactory, borderline, unsatisfactory) and Supervision Attendance (group Work Logs)

    Students attendance and contribution is an important element of the assessment.

    Details of the assessment grids are provided within the course.
    Assessment Detail
    Complete assessment requirements for the MBBS Program and this Course  are set out in the year level assessment documents distributed at the start of each year.
    Details of the submission requirements will be provided in the Course.  Students may be required to submit the work through Turnitin.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    NOG (No Grade Associated)
    Grade Description
    CN Continuing

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Students will be provided with formative feedback on progress at the end of semester 1.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Students should familarise themselves with the University Policy on Additional Assessment/Replacement Assessment.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

    The MBBS Program has a regular program of evaluation.  In addition, student representatives are appointed to MBBS committees and are encouraged to report on issues of importance to students.
  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.