Access Academy: Evaluating Widening Access Activities – day four

Access Academy Training

  • Date


  • Time

      10:00 am - 4:00 pm

For both policy makers and practitioners alike, evaluation of widening access activities remains key. It helps us understand the nature, and type, of activities that will best facilitate the transition to higher education, and their success within it for those from underrepresented groups. It is not however a straightforward 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, in collaboration with the East Midlands Widening Participation partnership (EMWPREP) 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 Emma Church (Partnership Manager, EMWPREP and chair of NEON’s Working Group – Establishing evidence and measuring impact) and have been designed to cover key elements of the evaluation process.

Wednesday 17th January 2024 – Location: Online (Microsoft Teams) – Time: 10.00am until 4pm
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 widening access activities?
  • The models and tools available 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.

Wednesday 7th February 2024 – Location: Online (Microsoft Teams) – Time: 10.00am until 4pm
Session 2: The qualitative approach
In this session we will we examining qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis including how to align approaches to the evaluation questions we are seeking to answer. In particular we will focus on:

  • Examining the key principles of qualitative work
  • Understanding different qualitative methods and how they can support evidencing success
  • Steps in analysing qualitative data

Wednesday 28th February 2024 – Location: Online (Microsoft Teams) – Time: 10.00am until 4pm
Session 3: Quantitative techniques
In this session we will look at quantitative evaluative techniques, how we interrogate data and interpret findings, and how we can ensure that what we are saying is rigorous and legitimate. In particular we will focus on:

  • Examining the key principles of quantitative work
  • Controlled trials and their role in evaluating outreach work
  • Different approaches to analysing data
  • Thinking about the claims we can make from data and offering ‘evidence’

Wednesday 13th March 2024 – Location: Online (Microsoft Teams) – Time: 10.00am until 4pm
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’

Membership organisation rate: £490 – premium members can use their event credits for a reduced price.
Non-member organisation rate: £676

If you are unsure if your organisations is a NEON member, please check here.

Regrettably, it is not possible to book on to individual sessions. Delegates must book the complete four session suite. If a PO number is required this must be provided at the time of booking.

The ability to walk away from the training with a clear idea of what and how I should evaluate my outreach projects.
Thank you NEON for an excellent series of workshops. I hope this is repeated next year – I would like to send colleague to the course.