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A simple but effective evaluation tool… the dartboard!

Have you ever almost finished running an event, and as people are heading out the door to go home, thought to yourselfI should have checked how that session went? What one simple tool can you use to do this? 

In today’s episode we’re going to explore a simple but effective evaluation tool for the enablers of change toolboxthe dartboard.

As the name suggests the evaluation dartboard uses the picture of a dartboard to ask a few simple questions to determine whether the event missed the mark, met the expectations or exceeded the expectations of those participating. 

So you start by drawing a dartboard on a flipchart or butchers paper. The centre of the dartboard is for the top scores – you really nailed it – while the outer part of the dartboard is where you missed the mark. You then draw lines on the dartboard so that it’s split into quarters. Each part can then be used for a different evaluation question. All you have to do is give out some sticky dots, or have some marker pens handy, and ask them to answer the questions by placing a dot or mark on the sheet. 

Here’s an example template from RMPP and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, that evaluated the change in knowledge (or understanding), the confidence, the workshop process and finally, the motivation to make a change as a result of the workshop. There is a link below to this on the web.

It’s a really easy visual way of receiving feedback and can be used to debrief the activity or as a quick way of providing some feedback to anyone interested in how the activity went. However, there are some things you need to prepare beforehand, so here’s a couple of tips for using a dartboard effectively.

It sounds way too obvious but make sure you have some dots ready to go, or enough marker pens to go around so participants can answer the questions easily on the dartboard! You might laugh but Dense was 10 minutes from starting an event and realised she had left the sticky dots behind and there weren’t enough marker pens! This just increased the time needed for the dartboard activity and may not be a problem, but these things can make a difference to the smooth running of an activity, or at least to our stress levels! 

The second tip is to think carefully about the questions you want to ask beforehand. They need to be able to be answered easily, and make sense on a rating scale. Usually the dartboard is split into quadrants so you have four questions to answer but you could use less, or more by dividing it up like a pizza. But do not overcomplicate it unless you really need the data! For example you could simply ask participants to rate the venue, the catering, the process used during the event and the value of the content delivered. 

The final tip is to remind participants that the closer to the centre of the dartboard the more favourable the response. Again, it sounds obvious but it can make a very big difference to your evaluation results!

There are some great resources out there that give you some example questions and some templates that may be useful, so we will put a link to these below. 

This has been a short post to give you a simple evaluation tool for checking how your event went. And as always, we would love to hear from you! Add a comment below this post and tell us about your experiences with using a dartboard. What tips would you include? What questions have worked well? We don’t want this to be just a one-way conversation – join in by sharing your thoughts and ideas with us! 

Thanks folks for reading this Enablers of change post. Remember to subscribe if you’d like to know when new episodes are available. And if you liked what you heard, please tell your friends so they can join the conversation! All the best until we meet again. 


Some more information on evaluating activities: 

The evaluation dartboard:

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3 years ago

Very nice I like it. I will try it

Hellen Agnew
Hellen Agnew
3 years ago

Hi John & Denise, now that most of us are meeting over MS Teams what do you think are the best quick evaluation tools in the virtual world? I was thinking other than polls?

3 years ago

If only I had a dart board I could show you what I thought! I like the simplicity. Challenge is getting what you need from a simple process.

Sharon Cunial
Sharon Cunial
3 years ago

I really like this evaluation method and I’ve seen something similar used effectively for large groups exiting a seminar. I do wonder whether people are influenced by seeing other people’s feedback, and whether they provide truly honest feedback given the public nature of the scoring board.

Gamer Sets
10 months ago

The evaluation dartboard tool seems like a simple yet effective way to gather feedback and evaluate the success of an event. I appreciate the visual representation of the dartboard and how it allows participants to easily indicate their responses. However, I wonder if participants may be influenced by seeing other people’s feedback, potentially impacting the honesty of their responses. Overall, this evaluation technique seems worth trying, and I will definitely consider implementing it in the future. Thank you for sharing this insightful tool! Nick Jameson

3 months ago

What a fantastic and innovative way to evaluate events! Using a dartboard not only simplifies the feedback process but also adds a fun and interactive element to it. The tips provided ensure smooth implementation, making it a valuable tool for assessing event success. I particularly appreciate the emphasis on preparation and simplicity in formulating evaluation questions. A brilliant addition to any event organizer’s toolkit!

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