Jonas Sylvester Kasperen
Jonas stumbled upon Actionbound in Hungary at a Training Course organised by Salto Youth. The app was used to teach young participants about the the opportunities for applying to Erasmus + programs. Since that day, his mind was flowing with thoughts on how to use Actionbound as a research tool. It took some time before he found the way to put it into action… Half a year later, we organized an open house event in Medellín, Colombia. We were brainstorming about how to organize the event and Ping! Jonas’ lightbulb light up.
We utilized Actionbound to organize a treasure hunt to learn from our 30+ guest about their relationship to social innovation. We set up the treasure hunt on the Actionbound app, sent our guests up and down our house-office scanning QR codes. At each station they were asked to do a different research-related challenge to advance with the treasure hunt. At the end of the night we could enjoy and laugh at all the pictures and videos automatically stored in the Actionbound platform.
Since then, we are using Action Bound as a research tool for our projects such as Bathroom Research and Plata, Cultura y Cambio. We also utilized the app to evaluate the participants’ experience during Magnify 2016.
It all depends on how you use the app. At each stage of the treasure hunt you can integrate a different research activity (e.g. a questionnaire, a focus group, an art based research activity, etc.). This is particularly suited for exercises that can be done in teams of 4 to 6.
Utilizing Actionbound can also help facilitate a conversation about group behaviours, trust building, relationship to public spaces, work under pressure, as well as relationship to technology. Just get creative with it!
Young people are the most frequent users of technology. Can we use technology to interact with public spaces in a dynamic way?
We have used Actionbound in three different stages: Trust Building, Data Collection and Evaluation. By allowing participants to design their own hunts, the app can also be used to make the group feel more ownership in the process and experiment with the techniques they want.
Define the objective of the treasure hunt. Do you want to integrate the group? Evaluate a program? Gather data around a specific topic?
Now, explore the platform to get familiar with the interface. It's quite easy! When you have more or less an idea of the different features the application offers (see Tips and Traps), go back to the drawing table to do a brainstorm.
Do a brainstorming session on which activities you could use (HINT: check out the other techniques in the lab). We have used tools such as painting (asking participants to upload a photo of their drawings), theater (asking participants to act out their perceptions of a phenomena), or audio (to record interviews or focus group discussions). Basically, there are no limits!
Great, now you will probably have a lot of creative ideas. Depending on your objective, you can arrange the ideas to make sure that the teams get integrated before diving into more technical tasks. Upload all the instructions to your online platform. Make sure that the instructions are easy to understand and that there is cohesion between each station. Remember you can upload pictures and audio to make the hunt more dynamic and easier to understand.
This is a very important step, especially if you use QR codes. Print out the codes from the Actionbound website (as all the codes are very similar it can be a good idea to assign them a number according to the order during the hunt). Download the Actionbound App and go to test mode on your computer, to test every step and all the QR codes. If you plan to do the treasure hunt in an unfamiliar place, it is a good idea to check out the space in advance to plan the different stations.
Make sure to mention to the participants, whether there will be a ‘competition’ or not according to your purpose with the hunt, as this can affect the group dynamic. Also make sure that all phones used can scan the QR codes. If you have no internet connection during the hunt, you will need to download the hunt before-hand on each of devices you will be using. Finally, it is very important that you mention to the participants, that they cannot close the application until the end of the hunt.
Participants usually need more support until they are familiar with the application (it doesn’t take long). Afterwards, it's quite a smooth process as you have already added all the instructions in the hunt and you will just need to be available if the participants have any doubts. It is a good idea to assign a person as an observer in each station of the hunt. This will allow you to complement the data collected digitally with more descriptive data, especially if the activity requires some minimal facilitation.
Congratulate the participants on having completed their journey! Depending on the group you are working with, you can also consider having a prize to reward teams. Remind the participants not to close the application and remember to upload the results as soon as you have an internet connection. Debrief with the participants just after the hunt and when you have uploaded all the results. You can now review the data submitted by logging into actionbound.com and selecting 'Results'.
The main benefit is that all the data created by the participants such as photos and videos are automatically stored for you to access anytime, when the treasure hunt has been completed.
It is also a great way to combine technology with research allowing the participants to explore “the world” by themselves or in groups in a very dynamic way. In the same way, you can make the participants explore environments or communities related to the area of research. For example exploring a permaculture farm if your research is related to agriculture or at the office of an organization if you are researching organizational culture. Finally, it can also be a good way of having community members design their own workshops.
Actionbound is very adaptable, as you can choose the length, the topic, and the mediums used with the hunt according to your needs.
Here is a blog we wrote on our experience using Actionbound:
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