• Building motivation, achievement and progression online: evaluating Brightside's approach to online mentoring

      Hooley, Tristram; Hutchinson, Jo; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby, iCeGS (iCeGS, University of Derby, 2014-08)
      This report sets out the findings of an independent evaluation of Brightside conducted by the International Centre for Guidance Studies. Brightside is a charity that seeks to raise young people’s aspirations and awareness about education and career pathways and enhance their capability to achieve those aspirations. A mixed methods approach to evaluation was taken which combined interviews with Brightside staff and partners (representatives of organisations that used Brightside) with analysis of existing web statistics collected by Brightside, an online survey of mentees and a detailed content analysis of a sample of online mentoring conversations. Overall the evaluation found that Brightside is well regarded by its partners, and provides a tool which delivers high quality mentoring and clear impacts for participants (mentees). It is particularly effective in helping young people to transition to higher education by helping them to think about which university they want to apply to, and supporting them through the application process.
    • Building motivation, achievement and progression online: evaluating Brightside's approach to online mentoring. Executive Summary.

      Hooley, Tristram; Hutchinson, Jo; Neary, Siobhan; University of Derby, iCeGS (iCeGS, University of Derby, 2014-08)
      This report sets out the findings of an independent evaluation of Brightside conducted by the International Centre for Guidance Studies. Brightside is a charity that seeks to raise young people’s aspirations and awareness about education and career pathways and enhance their capability to achieve those aspirations. A mixed methods approach to evaluation was taken which combined interviews with Brightside staff and partners (representatives of organisations that used Brightside) with analysis of existing web statistics collected by Brightside, an online survey of mentees and a detailed content analysis of a sample of online mentoring conversations. Overall the evaluation found that Brightside is well regarded by its partners, and provides a tool which delivers high quality mentoring and clear impacts for participants (mentees). It is particularly effective in helping young people to transition to higher education by helping them to think about which university they want to apply to, and supporting them through the application process.
    • Evaluation of outreach interventions for under 16 year olds: Tools and guidance for higher education providers.

      Harrison, Neil; Vigurs, Katy; Crockford, Julian; McCaig Colin; Squire, Ruth; Clark, Lewis; International Centre for Guidance Studies (Office for Students (OfS), 2018-12-13)
      During 2017-18, OFFA commissioned research that aimed to understand the nature of outreach activities for under 16 year olds (which were funded through access and participation investment) and how these were evaluated. This document, developed from the research, is intended to act as a resource for pre-16 outreach practitioners and evaluators, drawing both on the data collected by this project and the wider literature around evaluation and outreach. It seeks to recognise the complexity of pre-16 outreach work and eschews a prescriptive approach in favour of establishing important principles and actions that are likely to underpin good practice. Our discussion is broadly positioned within a ‘social realist’ worldview (Archer, 2008; Pawson, 2013) that seeks to understand the fuzzy nature of the cause-and-effect relationships that exist within complex social fields, where individuals construct their own realities in reference to those around them. There is a particular focus on epistemology – the pathways to creating dependable, if contingent, knowledge – as a vehicle for making meaning from data that is usually incomplete, compromised or mediated through young people’s emergent constructions of their worlds. Fundamentally, outreach is predicated on the ability of practitioners to influence young people in a planned way, albeit that the plan will not always work for every young person in every cohort. An important element in this epistemology is that it is not concerned with finding single ‘solutions’ that exist outside time and context. Rather, it is concerned with understanding how young people are influenced by their life experiences – not ‘what works’, but what works in a given context and, importantly, why. It is only through understanding the latter element that practices can become robustly effective in the long-term and potentially transferable to other contexts. This is particularly appropriate to pre-16 outreach work due to the lengthy time lag between activity and application to higher education (HE).
    • An evaluation of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme: interim evaluation.

      Hanson, Jill; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2018-10-24)
      The Context The National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) was developed to support the Government in meeting three goals: 1. Double the proportion of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in higher education (HE) by 2020 2. Increase by 20 per cent the number of pupils in HE from ethnic minority groups 3. Address the under-representation of young men from disadvantaged backgrounds in HE. In the East Midlands the NCOP consortia is the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Collaborative Outreach Programme (DANCOP) which is a progression of NEMCON (North East Midlands Collaborative Outreach Network) and is comprised from several universities and colleges of further education. DANCOP’s initial two goals were: 1. Raise learners’ motivation to work hard and their understanding of the importance of education in their future: 2. Equip learners to plan for progression and make appropriate choices for post-16 study and HE. Aim/Methods This interim report includes an extensive review of literature on widening participation, collaboration and networks and details a formative evaluation undertaken by The International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS) using data collected from February 2017 to March 2018. It reports on the progress made by DANCOP up until March 2018 with respect to: 1. The development of an effective collaborative network 2. The extent to which schools have been engaged 3. The nature of student feedback received so far and distance travelled with respect to knowledge/attitudes/intentions pertaining to future options and in particular higher education 4. Innovations in collaborative working and widening participation The formative evaluation has so far captured data from surveys, interviews and focus groups from DANCOP team members, management group members, students and third party providers. Key Findings 1. The network is well established amongst the HEIs, external stakeholders and some FE colleges 2. FE colleges are facing an unprecedented upheaval with significant changes to the sector, pressures on staff to meet targets, mergers and redundancies. In this difficult and uncertain climate some of the college partners have been unable to engage effectively in the partnership. 3. It has taken a long time to establish the central and hub teams, primarily because of the policies and processes inherent in HEIs and FECs. Additionally it takes a long time to build awareness in schools and develop good working relationships so that WP activities can be delivered. The project life span needs to be extended for its full potential to be realised and for impacts to be properly evaluated. 4. DANCOP could work more quickly if legal issues and executive sign off could be facilitated. Dealing with the implications of GDPR has taken a lot of capacity. 5. Collaborative work has been supported by: a. Representation of key partners across different management groups b. The structural and physical location of teams and individuals c. An agile Steering Group d. ‘Blended Professionals’ who have significant experience, knowledge and skills and are able to cross boundaries to get work done 6. DANCOP has been able to engage with a large number of learners although these have tended to be located in a small number of schools. At March 2018 the majority of interactions had been delivered through the third party provider IntoUniversity. Year 11 students were the year group who have had the most engagement with activities. 7. Innovative approaches to WP can be seen already but some may not be eligible for the funding or able to demonstrate specific impacts which may be at a cost to pupils. 8. Initial feedback, both quantitative and qualitative, from pupils indicates that activities are perceived positively. The activities, in the short term at least, have a favourable impact on levels of knowledge, confidence, intentions to attend and motivation to work hard Recommendations 1. That the lifespan of the initiative is increased significantly in order to meet targets and evaluate long term impact. 2. That NCOP provides legal advice and support regarding elements such as data sharing agreements. 3. That there is more efficacious system for executive sign off on contracts for projects. 4. That colleges and hubs consider how to integrate their team members both within the institution (i.e. located structurally and physically within appropriate departments) and with each other to facilitate support, communication and collaboration. 5. That DANCOP produces a shared calendar of events for hubs and central team members. There might also be an internal online forum for all partners and members of teams to access in order to share best practice, challenges and develop resolutions. The Final Report Will include data from more students, teaching and SLT staff, Governance Board members, all third party providers and follow ups with the DANCOP team. Additionally it will include analyses of the CFE survey data from October 2017 and September 2018 to examine shift in knowledge, attitudes and intentions over time. Finally it will include case studies on innovative widening participation activities
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Evaluation.

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      The toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four . They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and Glossary. This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Overview

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      The toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four (see links to right). They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and glossary.This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Partnership.

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      The toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four.They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and glossary.This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Programmes.

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      The toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four.They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and glossary.This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Resources and glossary.

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      These toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four. They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and glossary.This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Higher Education outreach to widen participation: toolkits for practitioners. Targeting.

      Dent, Phil; Garton, Elizabeth; Hooley, Tristram; Leonard, Christopher; Marriott, John; Moore, Nicki; University of Derby (Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), 2013-12)
      The toolkits are a distillation of the learning, methods and resources developed by Aimhigher and the Lifelong Learning Network programmes to support the effective strategy, management and delivery of outreach work to encourage progression to higher education for under-represented groups. The toolkits recontextualise the learning from these programmes to fit the current higher education environment. The toolkits form a suite of four. They include: • Toolkit 1 Partnership • Toolkit 2 Targeting • Toolkit 3 Programmes • Toolkit 4 Evaluation • Resources and glossary.This is the second and updated edition, the first edition of the Toolkits was published in December 2012.
    • Understanding the evaluation of access and participation outreach interventions for under 16 year olds.

      Harrison, Neil; Vigurs, Katy; Crockford, Julian; McCaig Colin; Squire, Ruth; Clark, Lewis; University of the West of England; University of Derby; University of Sheffield; Sheffield Hallam University (Office for Students, 2018-12-13)
      The project team was asked to address the following six research questions and these were used to guide the project: 1. What are the intended outcomes for current outreach interventions directed at under 16 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds where the long-term aim is to widen access to higher education (HE)? 2. What types of outreach intervention activity or activities are institutions using in relation to intended outcomes? 3. What evaluation tools, methods and metrics are being used to measure the intended outcomes? 4. What are the perceived and actual challenges and barriers for different stakeholders to effective evaluation of long-term outreach? 5. What do different stakeholders consider most effective evaluation practice and why? 6. How valid and suitable are the evaluation tools, methods and metrics (identified through the research) that are commonly used? The project was constructed around six interlinked work packages: 1. A quantitative analysis of what higher education providers (HEPs) say about their pre-16 outreach activities (and their evaluation) in their 2017-18 access agreements (as the most recent available). 2. An online survey of HEPs to gather information about the pre-16 outreach activities delivered during the 2016-17 academic year and their evaluation, as well as the structure of their evaluation resources and challenges faced. 3. Case studies of four HEPs identified as demonstrating elements of good practice through their access agreements and the online survey, derived from telephone interviews with key staff and documentary analysis. 4. Telephone interviews with 11 third sector organisations (TSOs) to explore their practices and the evaluation of their activities, providing a counterpoint to the data collected from higher education institutions (HEIs). 5. A synthesis of the four preceding work packages to explore elements of good practice, determine a basis for assessing the quality of evaluations and highlight challenges for the sector and OFFA. 6. An invited participatory workshop for evaluators from HEPs and TSOs identified as demonstrating elements of good practice through the online survey and telephone interviews, to act as a sounding board for the emerging conclusions and recommendations.