E-Learning tools - invitation to tender

Posted in: Uncategorised

We are developing a suite of e-learning tools for researchers to use to help them with their public engagement work. Can you help?

PDF of this information is available here: E-learning tender public engagement Bath FINAL FOR CIRCULATION


‘Public engagement’ describes the many ways in which the activity and benefits of higher education and research can be shared with the public. It is a term that is that is widely used across variety of sectors, from arts and heritage to science policy and local government. Public Engagement is a two-way process, involving interaction and listening, with the goal of generating mutual benefit. There is a broad church of activities that constitute to public engagement these include patient-involvement, collaborative research, citizen science, participatory arts, lifelong learning, community engagement, and engagement with partners.

Since early 2008 there has been a major focus (reflected in investment) on creating a culture of PE within UK Higher Education. The University of Bath Public Engagement Unit was created in 2012 to help build and sustain institutional capacity for these activities. Consisting of two full-time staff Helen Featherstone (Head of Public Engagement) and Ed Stevens (Deputy Head of Public Engagement), the work of the unit spans three key areas:

  • Public engagement in practice: Promoting opportunities for researchers to engage the public.
  • Professional development: Delivering a range of courses, and offering bespoke one to one advice and coaching.
  • Reward and recognition: Helping celebrate and reward activity, through case studies, newsletters, formal awards and as part of promotions review.

The team work across all departments at the University with researchers at all levels from early career researchers through to senior managers and principle investigators.

In recent years, the Public Engagement Team have noted a surge in demand for two types of support. The first can be described as ‘just in time’ one on one support. This covers a wide range of topics including: (i) what is public engagement, (ii) how to write about public engagement in grant proposals, (iii) how to facilitate an effective workshop, through to (iv) how to evaluate and measure success. This type of support is both bespoke and tailored to the specific needs of the researcher. It is offered through corridor conversations, post meeting chats, telephone calls and formal meetings. The second type of support is to help researchers develop resources from established activities, these can then be used to roll out activities in other departments, or hand over the management of the activity to someone else.

Our Requirements

We are seeking to commission an e-learning consultant and/or consortium to develop a suite of interactive e-learning resources which will complement the professional development support provided by the public engagement team and help address recent changes in demand identified above.

The e-learning materials will be targeted at researchers of any level but who are relatively new to public engagement and/or the areas covered in the resources that will be developed. They will provide introductory and foundational material to get them started, addressing many of the frequently asked questions to the team in an easy to access, simple but interactive format. It is anticipated that the materials could act as a precursor to approaching the Public Engagement Unit for support. The e-learning materials have been broken down into a series of mini-exercises, decision tools and quick guides that a researcher can drop into depending on the problem they are seeking to address. There will also be a section for existing activities which can be adopted or rolled out amongst departments. The Public Engagement Unit can provide a lot of content based on existing workshops and other training materials.

The materials will be developed in Xerte an e-Learning authoring tool for producing engaging, interactive e-learning resources which is currently being used at the University of Bath. We anticipate that the will be hosted within Moodle which is the University’s preferred virtual learning environment (VLE), however we will be seeking advice from the appointed consultant on this. The consultant and/or consortium will have proven track record in using both these platforms for the development of e-learning materials.

Estimated E-learning development levels for this project

Development phase Level of work effort required by provider
Instructional design Moderate to High: Initial scoping has been undertaken by the public engagement team, this has informed the tender. The young researchers tool-kit requires instructional design.
Content research, development, storyboarding etc. Moderate to High: Provider will be required to work with Public Engagement Unit and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) to pull together materials from various sources, research and further develop content. Approximately 40% or less of the content is ready for e-Learning production.
Navigation and structure High: The provider will be responsible for developing the VLE via Moodle and responsible for navigation within mini-modules.

We anticipate using the full interactive capacity of Xerte for example using hotspots, branching, alongside videos, text and images.

Graphic design Moderate: Intermediate level graphic design to match corporate branding, utilising and sourcing both stock and original photos, icons, some custom graphics. Requires some formal training and experience in graphic art/design.
Programming Moderate to Low: Xerte and Moodle require no programming experience. Provider will have experience of using these tools for e-learning and contributing to development via development communities as appropriate.
Cycle of reviews and testing Moderate to high: The provider will work closely with the Public Engagement Unit. We anticipate no more than two rounds of testing, these will be managed by the client with input from the provider.


Specific areas for development

We have identified a need to develop following content. We anticipate the consultant/consortia being able to develop the following areas within the budget allocated. The consultant/consortia will work with us in advance to clarify the learning outcomes for each of the resources that will be developed. We welcome responses for all or part of this tender.

The following are targeted at researchers of any level who are relatively new to public engagement.

Resource type Description Approximate time to complete
Decision trees

A triage tool to help a researcher navigate where to go next in relation to a specific commonly asked question.

Is this Public Engagement with Research? Helping researcher’s identity who, in professional services they should be talking with. 2 mins
I want to work with a creative. (i.e. you want your research to look more aesthetic, new forms of collaborative research, engaging the public). This is to help people to work out if they should be commissioning a designer, data visualizer etc. or if they are looking for a genuine collaboration with artist /creative. 2 mins

Stand-alone exercises.

What motivates you to engage the public with research? Leads to suggest certain activities based on a researcher’s personal motivation. 5 mins
Quick start guides

These are more extensive interactive mini-modules which cover key content currently delivered through formal training.



Getting started Navigates the researcher through three key questions. Why do they want to engage the public? What activity do they want to do? Who do they want to engage? 15 mins
Where next? (i.e. you have an activity – do you want to develop resources, sustainability, scale up, make it better). This is to help researchers to think about different ways they can build on existing activity. 10 mins
Managing public engagement Covers foundational practical knowledge such as event planning, photo consents, MOUs, communications plans and legacy. 25 mins
Working in partnership Covers the ethics of collaboration, how to develop effective partnerships. 10 mins
Evaluating public engagement Introduction into monitoring and evaluation and how it can be used. 10 mins
Facilitating a workshop How to host an event and read a room. 5 mins

We anticipate the e-learning materials will consist of:

  • Instructional text;
  • Audio/visual prompts and questions;
  • Interactive exercises;
  • Links to existing resources and background reading.

Taking advice from the consultant we anticipate the Moodle will contain a discussion forum, and an introduction to the resources with clear information to help users navigate the exercises including details about learning outcomes and length of time to complete the exercises. The Moodle will be moderated by the public engagement team in the first instance. We anticipate that some exercises may prompt users to post comments on the Moodle to promote discussion and further reflection.

Relevant Links

Public Engagement




Key Deliverables

  • A project proposal based on tender submission incorporating a detailed map of the e-learning materials (i.e. content, exercises, linked resources)
  • Identification and further development of the resources from the young researcher’s programme.
  • The development of a VLE for researchers embarking on public engagement or looking to support others within their department to do so.
  • Recommendations for how the VLE can be managed and further developed and a positive learning environment fostered.

Key Deadlines

We have some flexibility with delivery dates and would value a recommendation for realistic delivery timings in the proposal. The table below outlines our provisional expectations.

Action Completed by
Project inception meeting 30 June 2018
Detailed project proposal including learning outcomes, resources to commission, content required. Mid July 2018
Testing July and August 2018[1]
Final product September 2018



Quotations in the region of £15,000 (Inc. VAT) are sought for the delivery of the above

work. Quotations should be accompanied by a budget breakdown.

Timeline for procurement

Action Completed by
Invitation to tender circulated 18 May 2018
Deadline for expression of interest and receipt of questions 23 May 2018
Responses to all questions circulated 25 May 2018
Deadline for tender submission 8 June 2018
Telephone interviews 13 June 2018
Appointment made 15 June 2018 

Content of Tender

The tenderer is required to submit a tender (maximum six sides of A4, minimum pt11 font) describing how they will meet the requirement set out in the specification having regard to each of the evaluation criterion.

In addition to the tender submission you are invited to enclose full CV’s for key individuals who would be providing a service as part of this contract.

Proposals will be assessed using the criteria below using a panel of experts in public engagement and e-learning.

Any successful bid would be required to go through the University’s procurement process if they are not already a supplier to the University.  Once appointed, we will aim to meet with the successful supplier to finalise and agree the terms of reference within one week of this notification.

Scoring Criteria

Mandatory criteria  
Response to tender is well written, coherent and addresses all points requested
Cost proposed does not markedly exceed the maximum figure stated in the invitation to tender.
Responses on the supplier questionnaire are satisfactory to the University.
Scoring criteria Weighting
Understanding of the brief / requirements 10%
Sector expertise in supporting a culture of public engagement with research. 20%
Proven track record in developing e-learning resources in higher education or related field. 40%
Ability to take on and support the entire development process including instructional design, content development, graphic design, testing, copy writing and editing etc. 20%
Value for money and ability to deliver within the timeframe 10%


Please send your expression of interest to Helen Featherstone (Head of Public Engagement) h.featherstone@bath.ac.uk by 23 May 2018. Any queries should also be directed to Helen.

[1] This may be difficult to achieve, if needed, we can extend the delivery date.

Posted in: Uncategorised


  • (we won't publish this)

Write a response