Evaluating Outreach Work 2022

Access Academy Training

  • Date


  • Time

      10:00 am - 4:00 pm

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 Professor Graeme Atherton (Director, NEON & Head, Centre for Levelling Up, University of West London) and have been designed to cover key elements of the evaluation process.

Thursday 20th January 2022 – 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 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.

Monday 7th February 2022 – 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 1st March 2022 – 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

Tuesday 22nd March 2022 – 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’

Time: 10am until 4pm

Location: online via Zoom

Membership organisation rate: £577 – premium members can use their event credits for a reduced price.
Non-member organisation rate: £895

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.

Dr Graeme Atherton was very engaging and knowledgeable.
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.