invention

Engaging Data Collection Tools

by Thicket Labs

Published on June 23, 2015

Last week, the team at Thicket Labs gathered for a two-day hackathon to brainstorm and prototype creative data collection tools for a community mapping project with students. littleBits inspired our team to design playful data collection experiences that engaged users in more hands-on ways.

One of our most common tools for data collection is the Likert scale. You’ve probably seen it on a million forms as a scale of multiple choice options from “completely” to “not at all.” If you have five options, the Likert scale converts those options to five numerical values: 0%, 25%, 50% 75%, and 100%.

We discovered that we could hack the slide dimmer bit to deliver a more precise quantitative value than the Likert scale, but with equal ease for survey takers.

For example, imagine asking students how they feel about their future career goals. If a student wants to express that they feel confident most of the time, and discouraged sometimes, they could slide the dimmer towards confident, and then slide to a lower value for discouraged. Then, we can convert those slider values using the number bit to 85% confident and 22% discouraged. Not only is it easier for the young survey taker than reading all the answer choices, but it has the potential to be more accurate too! Not to mention fast and fun: The novelty and playful quality of littleBits can help overcome the survey fatigue that comes with the barrage of paper and digital surveys we take these days.

We’ve got some ideas about how to keep using littleBits to make surveys more fun and effective, so stay tuned!

Credits: Daniel Udell Deepthi Welaratna Jacob Hernandez Limassol Zok Lukas WinklerPrins Sam Hutch

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