Hi! We are Yazmin Cespedes and Sadman Rahman, interns at The Improve Group, and for this month’s IG-ology we want to share our experience with games in evaluation! Gamification is the concept of applying game elements to non-game contexts. In evaluation, this approach can be helpful in settings where many people are present, such as conferences, meetings, or group forums. Games also make evaluation less scary and create a fun experience, which can increase participation and engagement of more people.
This may sound familiar to you if you were at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Annual Conference earlier this month. To engage the many attendees during this busy conference, we wanted to design data collection activities which were easily accessible, quick to engage with, and that provided valuable information. For example, given that the theme of the conference was “Hope in Times of Disruption,” we designed a game called “Hope Bingo.” Each letter represented a column category, such as the “Nonprofit Sector” or “Organizational Goals.” Conference attendees put a fun sticker on the theme that they were seeing at the conference related to each category. Over time, this illustrated what resonated most with attendees this year. People enjoyed participating in our game and found it visually appealing and interesting—some people even came back just to see the live results! Thanks to all who participated in our games at MCN, and we hope this inspires you to make evaluation less intimidating and more fun! Stay tuned for the full results of our evaluation of the MCN conference.