Evidencing the impact of widening participation access programmes for under-16s: assessment within the Higher Education Field Academy

Lewis, Carenza (2017) Evidencing the impact of widening participation access programmes for under-16s: assessment within the Higher Education Field Academy. Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning, 19 (2). pp. 87-112. ISSN 1466-6529

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Abstract

This paper considers the role of assessment within widening participation schemes, particularly those targeting learners under the age of 16 which can struggle to demonstrate impact when university may be three or four years ahead. The Higher Education Field Academy (HEFA) is a cross-curricular scheme in which 13-15-year-old learners work in small, mixed-school teams to complete a two-day outdoor investigation before spending a third 'taster day' in university when they learn about applying to university and analyse their investigation data before writing an assessed project report. HEFA aims not only to raise academic aspirations, but also to equip learners to fulfil those aspirations by enabling them to develop transferrable skills which support their learning and boost confidence. This paper explores how HEFA's design, assessment framework and feedback protocols have been developed in order to help achieve these aims, and how they can identify direct links between intervention and outcomes. It concludes that collecting a detailed, robust elicitation of the attitudes, knowledge and skills that participants gain from widening participation activities, and feeding this back to learners as well as organisers, enables learners to make better use of this gain and evidences the benefit to learners and society.

Keywords:Widening participation
Subjects:L Social studies > L433 Education Policy
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
ID Code:27627
Deposited On:02 Jun 2017 14:43

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