Evaluating Outreach Work

Access Academy Training

  • Date


  • Time

      9:30 am - 4:00 pm

On the 6th of October the Office for Students (OfS) issued its consultation on a new approach to regulating equality of opportunity in English higher education. The Director of Fair Access and Participation, John Blake, said: “We want to see better evaluation of access and participation work at universities and colleges”.

In order to support NEON members to ensure they are able to meet the expectations of the OfS and demonstrate the steps they are taking to improve the research skills and capacity of their teams, NEON is holding a new four-day Access Academy course, “Evaluating Outreach Work”. The course will run on the following dates:

  • 7th December 2022
  • 18th January 2023
  • 14th February 2023
  • 8th March 2023 *NEW DATE*

This course is being facilitated by Emma Church, the Partnership Manager of the East Midlands Widening Participation Research and Evaluation Partnership (EMWPREP), and the Chair of NEON’s own “establishing evidence and measuring impact” working group. Emma has over twelve years of experience in the monitoring and evaluation of interventions designed to widen access and support student success and is an experienced facilitator.

Wednesday 7th December 2022 – Online – Time: 10am 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 outreach?
  • 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 18th January 2023  – Online – Time: 10am 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

Tuesday 14th February 2023 – Online – Time: 10am 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 8th March 2023 – Online – Time: 10am 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: £480 – 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.

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.