27 February 2018

Access Academy Training – Evaluating Outreach Work (Session 2)


For both policy makers and practitioners alike, evaluation of outreach activities remains key. It helps us understand the nature, and type, of activities that will best facilitate the transition to higher education for those from underrepresented groups. It is not however a straight forward process and brings its own set of challenges. Many practitioners feel in need of continued support to improve their own policies and practice in this area of widening access.

NEON are delighted to continue its programme of four full day training sessions around the evaluation of widening access activities. The events will be facilitated by Dr Graeme Atherton (Director, NEON & Head, AccessHE) and have been designed to cover key elements of the evaluation process.

These training sessions are available to both NEON members and non-members. NEON members can book the whole programme of four sessions at a discounted rate of £499 (38% discount) by completing the booking form at the bottom of this page.

Regrettably, it is not possible to book on to individual sessions. Delegates must book the complete four session suite.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 – Session 1: Setting the evaluation strategy
In this session we will look at the background and context of evaluating widening access work. In particular we will explore:

  • What is the point of evaluating outreach?
  • How to formulate research questions
  • The models and tools available in 2018 on ‘evaluating outreach’ and how we could use them
  • How can we frame impact to achieve operational and strategic goals?

After this session participants will be asked to identify a project in their organisation that they can use to implement what they learn from the course, either as they are on the course or subsequently. They will be asked to discuss these projects in future sessions.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018 – Session 2: Collecting information
In this session we will we explore different data collection approaches and how to, ethically, align approaches to the evaluation questions we are seeking to answer. In particular we will focus on:

  • Understanding and balancing ‘quantitative’ with ‘qualitative’ work including looking at focus groups and interviewing
  • Controlled trials and their role in evaluating outreach work
  • The limitations of different forms of evaluation
  • Ethics, data protection and data collection

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 – Session 3: Analysing information
In this session we will look at the analysis of data, how we interrogate both qualitative and quantitative data and how we understand and how we can ensure that what we are saying is rigorous and legitimate. In particular we will focus on:

  • Different approaches to analysing data
  • Thinking about the claims we can make from data and offering ‘evidence’
  • Issues of rigour, legitimacy and trustworthiness
  • Thinking about cultural sensibilities

Wednesday, 25 April 2018 – Session 4: Making an impact
In this session we will examine how to bring research together in impactful and meaningful outputs for different audiences. In particular we will explore:

  • Building a dissemination strategy
  • Writing up of research for different audiences and how to balance this task
  • Engaging stakeholders in dissemination and having an impact
  • Thinking of the ‘next step’
> Book this event