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This section of the Fair Access Toolkit provides links to a wide range of support materials, guidance documents, frameworks and tools that you can use to help design and deliver evaluations of widening access activities and interventions. The aim is that by signposting useful resources, the Toolkit will help raise awareness of the importance of high quality evaluation and improve understanding of how to achieve this. It is not intended to turn practitioners into professional evaluators – you may still want to get expert help, but we hope that the resources collected here will help practitioners make more confident decisions about if, when and how to evaluate and feel better equipped to design and deliver small-scale evaluations in particular. If you decide you want to commission someone else to carry-out an evaluation for you, the resources here should help you develop your specification and assess proposals.

Some of the materials signposted are designed specifically for evaluating widening access initiatives. Others are more generic good practice guides. Some are designed for other sectors, but are likely to be useful to widening access practitioners.

If you are aware of a resource that you think would be a useful addition to the Toolkit, please get in contact.

Complete Evaluation Guides

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) DIY Evaluation Guide is designed for teachers wanting to undertake small-scale evaluations of interventions. Although the context is different, it provides accessible guidance on all stages of evaluation, including preparation (what questions you want to answer, choice of measures, selecting a comparison group), implementation and analysis and reporting.

The Magenta Book is HM Treasury’s comprehensive guidance on evaluation. It provides general information on what makes a good evaluation as well as more detailed guidance on planning and undertaking evaluations, including data collection and reporting. There is also supplementary guidance on particular types of evaluation, such as designing impact evaluations.

The Higher Education Academy offers a series of toolkits for practitioners on outreach to widen participation in higher education, which includes a volume on Evaluation. Aimed at widening participation managers, the toolkit covers understanding and planning your evaluation, sourcing and analysing data (both new and existing) and reporting findings.

Guides and Toolkits for Evaluating specific types of interventions

The Office for Students’ Financial support evaluation toolkit includes tools to help higher education providers assess the impact of financial support on student success. It includes a set of survey questions, a semi-structured interview framework and a framework for statistical analysis as well as guidance on using the tools and interpreting the results.

The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) have published an evaluation framework and accompanying guidance and worked examples of Evaluating Student Engagement Activity.

Specific intervention guides

The Office for Students’ Financial support evaluation toolkit includes tools to help higher education providers assess the impact of financial support on student success. It includes a set of survey questions, a semi-structured interview framework and a framework for statistical analysis as well as guidance on using the tools and interpreting the results.

The Student Engagement Partnership (TSEP) have published an evaluation framework and accompanying guidance and worked examples of Evaluating Student Engagement Activity.