Evaluation plan

Project name

Evaluation of the effectiveness of the Oxford Brookes Inclusive IDEAS model in supporting an integrated approach to inclusive practice development and access and participation initiatives in the curriculum and wider learning culture.

Aims of the IDEAS model

The IDEAS inclusive curriculum model is intended to be a ‘travelling companion’ model designed to support programme teams with developing inclusive teaching, learning and curriculum from the planning of a module through to delivery, reflection and reviewing (programme lifecycle). 

The model aims to promote a whole university community approach to inclusive practice and to progress the commitments and milestones set out in our APP. The model is informed by sector-wide best practice, and the ‘what works’ literature on inclusive learning design, equalities duties and considerations, and reducing attainment differentials in student outcomes.

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Aim of the evaluation

The aim of the evaluation is to evaluate the effectiveness of the IDEAS model in addressing differential experiences and outcomes including those relating to ethnicity, disabilities and learning differences, gender, sexual orientation, age and socioeconomic background. This recognises that students have multiple identities and therefore may often face multiple barriers. The evaluation will evaluate the effectiveness of the IDEAS model in supporting a more inclusive approach to delivering the curriculum, supporting every student to succeed and ultimately reducing attainment gaps. 

In addition the model will support the university to ensure equality duties are met. Inclusivity is a key part of the 2035 University Strategy. This evaluation will therefore evaluate the impact of the IDEAS model on the following areas:

  • Enhancing staff awareness, knowledge and confidence to implement inclusive teaching relating to access and participation initiatives, inclusive practice development, and the Equality Act and the Public Sector Equalities Duty.
  • Engaging all staff involved in learning and teaching to support every student to succeed and to address the barriers under-represented groups at Oxford Brookes University and Associate College Partners can experience.
  • Supporting a whole-programme approach to planning.
  • Empowering staff to identify actions to take forward in order to support inclusion.
  • Creating a community in which every student belongs, where all students thrive, and where they feel included, valued, supported, seen and understood by lecturers and peers.

In addition to a summative focus, the evaluation will also include a formative focus which will explore staff experiences of using the IDEAS model at various stages in the programme lifecycle. 

Methodological design

In order to understand the effectiveness of the model, the broad methodological approach for gathering evaluation data will focus on impact on students and academics at various stages in the lifecycle of the IDEAS model implementation. The evaluation will take place during a three year period (Sept 2022-Sept 2025) and will centre on impact on staff practices and also impact of students experiences of their course where the model has been implemented. The broad methodological approach is:

  • Reflective discussions with staff about how the IDEAS has changed their practice. They will be given the opportunity to bring along key course documents (e.g. sample course handbook) to show the changes they have made as a result of the IDEAS framework.
  • Two qualitative staff surveys - the first survey will be sent to staff shortly after using the model and the second survey a year on. This will capture immediate experiences of using the model but also the more reflective, longer term insights into how the model may have influenced their knowledge, awareness and confidence implementing inclusive teaching relating to access and participation initiatives, inclusive practice, and the key equality legal duties. Also staff will be asked to reflect on what they think the impact of the model has been on students.
  • Challenging Questions action research projects.

In terms of understanding the impact of the model on students, this is the more problematic strand of the evaluation as students won’t be in a position to compare before model implementation with now although we will be able to triangulate insights from staff with student insights. 

The broad methodological approach will therefore consist of:

  • Interactive student workshops - taking a collaborative participatory approach which will disrupt the usual hierarchies between students and staff. We will identify 3-5 programmes where the IDEAS framework has been applied (ideally with a high WP student profile) and encompass creative methods (e.g. Lego, collage). These will be delivered by a current student – probably a Student Ambassador.
  • Attainment data for particular courses where the IDEAS model has been applied will be compared with pre IDEAS implementation to understand whether the introduction of the IDEAS model has resulted in quantitative changes.
  • Look at responses to student measures that come from the NSS and Brookes Student Survey (especially the Learning Community and Student Voice question sets). 

Reporting on evaluation insights

Whilst the IDEAS model is not going to be formally launched to the whole university until September 2022, an initial evaluation report will be produced for July 2023, allowing one full cycle of the initiative. Further reports will be produced during the first three years of implementation to provide summative and formative insights, supporting possible reiterations of the model where necessary.