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ERIC Number: EJ1138721
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0158-037X
Accessing and Assessing Appropriate Widening Participation Data: An Exploration of How Data Are Used and by Whom
Holland, Natalie; Houghton, Ann-Marie; Armstrong, Jo; Mashiter, Claire
Studies in Continuing Education, v39 n2 p214-233 2017
When attempting to use data to inform practice and policy, the availability, accuracy and relevance of that data are paramount. This article maps the range of users interested in data relating to the UK widening participation (WP) agenda. It explores some challenges associated with identifying, defining, obtaining and using data to inform decisions about targeting and monitoring WP initiatives associated with student access, achievement and progression. It considers the pragmatic and strategic response by different users of institutional WP data within the UK. We use examples from previous institutional and commissioned WP research and evaluations undertaken over the past decade to illustrate some of the tensions concerning the access and assessment of WP data. We argue that whilst the increasing interest in WP participation data and evaluative feedback is commendable, attempts to establish a causal link between WP activity and changes in student awareness, aspiration, access and achievement are not straightforward. The diversity of producers, uses and users of WP data working in different sectors and institutions produces many challenges. The paper concludes with suggestions on ways data could be improved.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A