Impact evaluation of Young Entrepreneurs Schemes (YES)
- University of Nottingham
- Date first submitted:
- 26 Nov 2009
- Date last modified:
- 25 Mar 2011
- Evaluation of training impact
- Heads of researcher development units, YES competition stakeholders
Rationale, aims and outcomes
What is the rationale for doing this?
How does it fit with institutional strategy?
What are the main features of the provision?
What are the aims and expected outcomes?
For many years the Graduate School has offered a range of enterprise skills development interventions. These have been popular and well-received amongst a small section of the researcher community. ‘Engineering Yes’ and ‘Sustainability YES’ seek to build on current offers by offering researchers a cross institutional or cross faculty opportunity to develop an awareness of the needs of industry in respect to the breadth of skills that an employer is seeking.
Both competitions has been designed to help researchers further understand the processes involved in bringing new ideas to the marketplace, and is based on a highly successful competition run for the biotechnology sector. The inaugural competitions were held in 2009 and evaluated by a postgraduate research student.
This development fits with our overall vision of providing a range of opportunities for research students across the University. It also helps with getting Schools, via their research students, directly involved in the evaluation of training delivery on our research training programme.
The practice aims to improve these new training provisions, by giving postgraduate Sctudents an opportunity to learn more about how training interventions are designed, developed, delivered and evaluated. The evaluation process helps to develop a range of facilitation skills which include communication, personal effectiveness, networking and teamworking.
Are there any pre-requisites for engagement, e.g. levels of skill, years of experience, essential pre-activities?
How many participate in each 'activity'?
Each YES competition is evaluated by a single evaluator
Participation is limited to postgraduate research students who have received facilitation skills training and have at least 12 months experience of training delivery. Well developed oral and written communication skills are essential. Potential evaluators are likely to be approaching the later stages of their research degree and will either be drawn from a discipline related to the YES competition theme or have demonstrated an interest in the topic /subject/discipline.
Evaluators are expected to make themselves available for a least 50% of the competition period.
Evaluation: benefits, challenges and next steps
How do you monitor effectiveness?
Who do you seek feedback from?
Do you have benchmarks?
There are at least three groups who have benefited from evaluating the impact of the YES competitions. Firstly the YES steering groups are interested in feedback that will aid continous improvement. Secondly the facilitaors and trainers who are seeking to maximise the value of the intervention for participants. Thirdly the performance of the competition contributors can be influenced by the direction provided by the course convenor as a result of evaluation data collected and the subsequent analysis
The primary challenge is the recruitment of appropriately skilled evaluators.
The success of this initiative has encouraged us to recruit more postgraduate research student evaluators and possibly build this provision in to be a standard part of our operational procedures.