Early thoughts on Leapfrog tools final evaluation

While a mixture of design and research activity continues in Leapfrog, final evaluation interviews are underway to discover how people have been using Leapfrog tools, how their tool-​usage may have impacted their engagement work, and influenced decisions, other people or ways of working. 

Our interviewees range from partners who have been involved with Leapfrog since 2015, to others who have recently heard about Leapfrog tools, and are using them for the first time. Some people have taken part in the tool co-​design projects, some have attended sharing events, and others might only know of Leapfrog through the tools they have downloaded.

Bringing to mind the phrase, “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us” (Culkin, J.M., 1967), its very interesting to hear how people adopt the tools, and what they discover and subsequently change through using them. One Leapfrog partner has stopped conducting focus groups in favour of workshops. They frequently use Make It Stick  and Target Control  to frame workshops activity because they can rely on the way these tools enable lively interaction with the whole group that generates the data they need. Using the tools allowed participating community members to work together autonomously whilst including all voices in the group. Another partner discussed how using emoji stickers included in Everybody  sparked a valuable debate in the group they were working with, about the different ways in which people interpret signs, and see the world differently and the need for understanding around this issue. It was both valuable for that group and showed the engagement practitioner that they had been inadvertently making assumptions about how participants would interpret particular ideas.

In both interviews, the practitioners talked about the range and depth of information using the tools allowed them to collect. They discussed the clear advantages from obtaining rich information to report on supported by tool-​usage, but discussed how including them requires more time. This is additional time for exploration during engagement and further time for data analysis after engagement. The benefit of spending the extra time sees a better a set of results to use for informing decisions but this may not always be possible when time and resource is scarce.

We are aiming to conduct 200 evaluation interviews which will feed into creative engagement workshops. We look forward to insights continuing to emerge from this work.