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ERIC Number: EJ1142050
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3108
Evaluating Outreach Activities: Overcoming Challenges through a Realist "Small Steps" Approach
Harrison, Neil; Waller, Richard
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, v21 n2-3 p81-87 2017
Practitioners are being placed under increasing pressure to evaluate the success of their outreach activities, both by government and by their own universities. Based in a reductionist doctrine of "evidence-based practice", there is a desire to demonstrate the effectiveness and value-for-money across activities that now account for around £175 million per year across England. This article examines some of the difficulties in evaluating the complex social world of outreach and suggests a "small steps" approach to overcome some of these. This uses the idea of a transformative "theory of change" as a framework for understanding the particular contribution made by discrete activities within a wider portfolio, providing a more reliable form of inference than attempts to "prove" impact over longer timeframes.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A