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Engaging with teachers: an evidence and impact case study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen Wareham


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The Culture Durham Learning Team at Durham University works with a wide range of learners via a programme of targeted activity at the University’s cultural venues. The programme includes: formal curriculum-linked workshops aimed at schools; dedicated under-5s sessions; informal family activities and events; talks, lectures and workshops for lifelong learners; introductions to research for sixth formers; CPD activities for teachers; and support for both under- and post-graduate teaching. This activity is included in the University’s Fair Access Statement and, consequently, the team experiences similar pressures to colleagues engaged in widening participation work about data collection and impact. Evaluation has long been part of the Learning Team’s work with much based on the Inspiring Learning for All framework, however this system has outgrown its usefulness and purpose. A new multi-purpose evaluation framework was needed to ascertain whether the team was meeting its strategic objectives and satisfying teacher and student needs, and could also incorporate indicators of best practice such as the 2015 quality principles published by Arts Council England (ACE). Working with researchers at the University’s Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM), the team developed an online feedback and information system which helps collect data more efficiently and offers the capacity to follow up with teachers about their visit and potential educational outcomes. The system was implemented at the start of academic year 2016/17 and initial results are already proving useful, with changes to practice already adopted based on teacher feedback. The collaboration between learning staff and researchers has also proven beneficial: Learning Team members have developed evaluation skills and staff at CEM has gained practical insights for their evaluation work. In this presentation, we will share further details of how this collaboration was initiated, how the system was developed, and some initial outcomes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wareham H, McCarrison K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: Widening Access in Higher Education – Are we there yet?

Year of Conference: 2017

Print publication date: 01/06/2017

Acceptance date: 01/03/2017

Publisher: National Education Opportunities Network