Assessing Games for Change and Learning Loops
Posted by Allison Fine on May 28, 2009
I had the privilege of attending a day-long seminar yesterday organized by Games for Change, a terrific nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the dissemination and understanding of video games that are created for the purpose of educating and activating people for social change.
It was quite an august gathering of folk! About forty people attended including Christine Bachen, Associate Professor of Communication, Santa Clara University, James Gee, Professor, Arizona State University, Barry Joseph, Director of the Online Leadership Program, Global Kids, Joseph Kahne, Dean of the School of Education and Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group, Mills College, Dan Schwartz, Professor of Education, Stanford University, Suzanne Seggerman, President and Co-founder of Games for Change, and Valerie Shute, Associate Professor Florida State University, Educational Psychology and Learning Systems.
Our host was Alex Quinn, Executive Director, Games for Change. We saw demos and discussion of assessments for Quest Atlantis and Our Courts (spearheaded by Sandra Day O’Connor!) I’m not a gaming expert and I found it really interesting, if a bit overwhelming, learning about the complicated double challenge of creating video games that are both fun and educational. As Jim Gee said, ‘Games are at root model-based thinking and are by definition an oversimplification of any issue.” but the logic that has to go into designing a game that has sticky and raises awareness, even action, for issues, seemed quite complex and challenging to me — and when done well, really magical.
Alex was kind enough to ask me to share a few thoughts on what Beth and I have been thinking about in regards to assessing social change efforts involving social media. I shared our Listening and Learning Loops model which is built on KD Paine SobCon ROI of Relationships in Social Media. KD’s model illustrates a ladder of engagement that moves people from Social Networks to Engagement to Relationship to Return on Investment. We have adopted this model specifically for social change purposes in which Social Networks generate Social Capital for Social Change with listening as the connective tissue.
Here is an illustration of this progression that our Chair of the Charts Committee (Beth!) whipped up:
WE are trying to illustrate a real-time, lighter assessment process that activists can use to engage their community in developing efforts and make real-time improvements and adjustments. But it only works with constant listening and conversations. At each level of engagement, and again this is not intended to be an entirely linear progression, some people will start at social capital or social change and others will stay at social networks, there are a variety of ways for a social change effort to get feedback and data on how they’re doing. For instance, to measure the size of your social network you can track statistics on your website and blog, links to your site and do social network analysis of your network. To measure an increase in social capital, which we define as an increase in trust and reciprocity within the network, you can look at what others are doing on your behalf, like retweets, comments on blogs and YouTube (for which you can also do content analysis) and blog posts by others about your cause or campaign. And, of course, measuring social change happens largely as it always has, by tracking what people are doing online and talking to them about what they’re thinking and doing on land through surveys, interviews, focus groups, etc.
This is a work in progress and we would appreciate any feedback you have for us!
This entry was posted on May 28, 2009 at 2:22 am and is filed under Social Media. Tagged: beth kanter, Games For Change, KD Paine, Learning Loops. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
One Response to “Assessing Games for Change and Learning Loops”
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.