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Learning Enhancement and Development

Measuring value and impact for educational developers

Principal investigator: Professor Susannah Quinsee

This project is supported by the Heads of Educational Development Group (HEDG) and is a collaboration between City, Brunel University, Sheffield Hallam University and Southampton Solent University. It is a response to emerging trends and patterns that seek to measure aspects of academic work and the student experience. Educational Development work has not been exempted from this level of scrutiny with units increasingly required to demonstrate value for money and evidence of impact. Such approaches are frequently metric based and rarely meaningfully capture the richness and transformational nature of Educational Development work. Measuring Value and Impact for Educational Developers aims to build on existing scholarship and literature in the field which seeks to measure the impact of Educational Development and, through a grounded theory approach, to explore how current practice might be developed to more meaningfully report on the work that we do.

In Spring 2017 a lively discussion thread on the Heads of Educational Development Group (HEDG) JISC mailing list identified ‘Measuring Impact and showing value for money’ as a hot topic for members who were concerned about institutions foisting inappropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) on their departments. This led to four members of the group meeting at City University of London with 8 other members joining by Skype to engage in a full and frank exchange of views and to share good practice. That meeting provided the impetus for this project bid.

Our methodological approach has been to conduct an in-depth survey which explored how the impact of Educational Development work is currently defined and measured.  We then followed the survey with a series of interviews and focus groups.  We are currently evaluating our findings and intend to develop a conceptual framework informed by scholarly approaches. The framework will include both quantitative and qualitative approaches to evidence gathering, demonstrating value, and the evaluation of impact.