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USING GIVING GAMES TO DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL AND
INTERCULTURAL CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS
Dorn Van Dommelen, Judith Owens-Manley, University of Alaska Anchorage
What are Giving Games?
2
Activity designed to encourage thinking and debate about charitable
donations
Preset amount to donate
Participants discuss and debate merits of organizations
Pre-selected organizations
Participant nominated organizations
Voting or evaluation leads to selection
What do Giving Games do?
3
 Develop critical thinking about philanthropic giving
 Third party ratings
 Use of empirical evidence in evaluation
 Effectiveness in altruism
 Experiential learning and reflection
 Negotiation and compromise
 Discussion of values – in philanthropy, in development
 Intercultural exploration
 Empirical support is just emerging
CEL A392: Fall Semester, 2015
4
 Civic Engagement seminar in “Learning by Giving”
 Preceded by partnership with Technical Writing Class (Spring)
 Potential agencies screened then meet with class
 Students write grant proposals (in groups) and send to agencies
 Agencies submit chosen proposal to UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning
 CEL A392 students learn about:
 History of philanthropy & philanthropic giving
 Three sector economy & non-profit management
 State of the state & state of the city
 Grant assessment & creating rubrics
 Grant decisions & giving awards
GEOG A390A: Spring Semester, 2016
5
 Global Geography Seminar in “Effective Development and Altruism”
 Students had $1000
 Semester-long game
 Students nominated and spoke in behalf of organizations at the end of a weekly seminar
focused on effectiveness in international development
 Weekly voting saw rise and fall of 20+ organizations until five were chosen in a final “giving
tournament”
 Final presentations were made to the “donors” and the class and donors negotiated final
contributions
 Spring, 2017 plans
 Foundation account to expand donor base
 Pre- and post-surveys to measure effectiveness of the game
Other games
6
 GEOG A101: Lecture and vote
 In-class comparison between two representative development agencies
 Heifer International (holistic, agricultural development)
 Give Directly (focused, direct giving development)
 Discussion of Charity Navigator and GiveWell ratings
 Discussion of values and arguments (NPR comparison)
 Vote via-Socrative
 GEOG A101: Discussion and vote
 Lecture and discussion on microfinance
 Exploration of Kiva.org loan options
 Class selection of loan
Learning outcomes and anecdotes
7
 Formal assessment
 CEL A392: Underway in current semester!
 GEOG A390A: Students effectively communicated critical thinking about values, attitudes,
and practices in the area of effective altruism
 Anecdotal evidence of success and engagement CEL A392
 Students self-report learning to think critically and expanding knowledge base about
community and state level problem-solving.
 Four local foundations now strongly connected to project
 Integration of local organizations as guest speakers/co-teachers highly successful
 Financial support is solid
 Student interest in philanthropy as career path and participation as active citizens
Learning outcomes and anecdotes
8
 Anecdotal evidence of success and engagement (continued)
 GEOG A390A
 Exceptionally well-received by students
 Course was cited as success during department peer-review of instructor’s teaching
 Student interest in effectiveness in development clearly piqued
 Efforts to expand course to include outside donors and careful assessment of student
learning are underway
Your turn!
9
 Form groups of 4-5 people
 Examine written information on four possible organizations to support with a $200 donation
 Discuss, considering at least the following:
 Are the values of the organization aligned with your interests as a donor?
 Are these organizations transparent in their finances?
 Do donations made to this organization largely go to programs or to overhead?
 How do these organizations demonstrate effectiveness? In other words, are they able to
prove that the work they do does what it’s supposed to do?
 How effective are these organizations? What sort of value do you get for a donation?
 Reach a consensus, as best as you are able, as to which organization to support.
 Prepare to briefly report your decision and why you made it.
Reflection and Evaluation
10
 Reflection possibilities
 Quick written responses via Socrative-like software.
 Group reflection discussions
 Short speeches on personal values and philanthropy.
 Personal reflection assignment on philanthropic giving – a philanthropic autobiography.
 Evaluation thoughts
 Be as clear in evaluation as you demand them to be in evaluating charities
 Rubrics that measure student effectiveness, reflecting rubrics that measure charitable
effectiveness
Possibilities and Problems
11
 Opportunity to explore the local vs. the global
 Difficulties in student understanding of effectiveness
 Grant proposals that are “apples and oranges” for the community. As students create rubrics,
how to rate them fairly, since we haven’t specified domains that we fund and those we don’t.
Resources
12
 Learning By Giving Foundation
 The Life You Can Save – Giving Games
 GiveWell – Giving Effectively
Student Quotes
13
CEL A392
“In the beginning when classes first started, I
said that philanthropy is “giving stuff away.” It
includes the ability to forge bonds with other
humans and the community. In the process of
philanthropy, you begin to learn how to be
selfless and how to make the world a better
place. . . This class opened me up to a whole
new world I haven’t even thought about.”
GEOG A390A
“This class has truly been enlightening and eye
opening …the material really needs to be
available to everybody…because it is so eye
opening and it encouraged me to become a
better global citizen. The topics we covered in
this class should be dominating mass media,
but unfortunately they aren’t. This class was
crucial to helping me determine what I will do
after I graduate and how to become an
effective citizen and human being.”
THANK
YOU

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Developing Critical Thinking on Philanthropy Through Giving Games

  • 1. USING GIVING GAMES TO DEVELOP INTERNATIONAL AND INTERCULTURAL CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS Dorn Van Dommelen, Judith Owens-Manley, University of Alaska Anchorage
  • 2. What are Giving Games? 2 Activity designed to encourage thinking and debate about charitable donations Preset amount to donate Participants discuss and debate merits of organizations Pre-selected organizations Participant nominated organizations Voting or evaluation leads to selection
  • 3. What do Giving Games do? 3  Develop critical thinking about philanthropic giving  Third party ratings  Use of empirical evidence in evaluation  Effectiveness in altruism  Experiential learning and reflection  Negotiation and compromise  Discussion of values – in philanthropy, in development  Intercultural exploration  Empirical support is just emerging
  • 4. CEL A392: Fall Semester, 2015 4  Civic Engagement seminar in “Learning by Giving”  Preceded by partnership with Technical Writing Class (Spring)  Potential agencies screened then meet with class  Students write grant proposals (in groups) and send to agencies  Agencies submit chosen proposal to UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning  CEL A392 students learn about:  History of philanthropy & philanthropic giving  Three sector economy & non-profit management  State of the state & state of the city  Grant assessment & creating rubrics  Grant decisions & giving awards
  • 5. GEOG A390A: Spring Semester, 2016 5  Global Geography Seminar in “Effective Development and Altruism”  Students had $1000  Semester-long game  Students nominated and spoke in behalf of organizations at the end of a weekly seminar focused on effectiveness in international development  Weekly voting saw rise and fall of 20+ organizations until five were chosen in a final “giving tournament”  Final presentations were made to the “donors” and the class and donors negotiated final contributions  Spring, 2017 plans  Foundation account to expand donor base  Pre- and post-surveys to measure effectiveness of the game
  • 6. Other games 6  GEOG A101: Lecture and vote  In-class comparison between two representative development agencies  Heifer International (holistic, agricultural development)  Give Directly (focused, direct giving development)  Discussion of Charity Navigator and GiveWell ratings  Discussion of values and arguments (NPR comparison)  Vote via-Socrative  GEOG A101: Discussion and vote  Lecture and discussion on microfinance  Exploration of Kiva.org loan options  Class selection of loan
  • 7. Learning outcomes and anecdotes 7  Formal assessment  CEL A392: Underway in current semester!  GEOG A390A: Students effectively communicated critical thinking about values, attitudes, and practices in the area of effective altruism  Anecdotal evidence of success and engagement CEL A392  Students self-report learning to think critically and expanding knowledge base about community and state level problem-solving.  Four local foundations now strongly connected to project  Integration of local organizations as guest speakers/co-teachers highly successful  Financial support is solid  Student interest in philanthropy as career path and participation as active citizens
  • 8. Learning outcomes and anecdotes 8  Anecdotal evidence of success and engagement (continued)  GEOG A390A  Exceptionally well-received by students  Course was cited as success during department peer-review of instructor’s teaching  Student interest in effectiveness in development clearly piqued  Efforts to expand course to include outside donors and careful assessment of student learning are underway
  • 9. Your turn! 9  Form groups of 4-5 people  Examine written information on four possible organizations to support with a $200 donation  Discuss, considering at least the following:  Are the values of the organization aligned with your interests as a donor?  Are these organizations transparent in their finances?  Do donations made to this organization largely go to programs or to overhead?  How do these organizations demonstrate effectiveness? In other words, are they able to prove that the work they do does what it’s supposed to do?  How effective are these organizations? What sort of value do you get for a donation?  Reach a consensus, as best as you are able, as to which organization to support.  Prepare to briefly report your decision and why you made it.
  • 10. Reflection and Evaluation 10  Reflection possibilities  Quick written responses via Socrative-like software.  Group reflection discussions  Short speeches on personal values and philanthropy.  Personal reflection assignment on philanthropic giving – a philanthropic autobiography.  Evaluation thoughts  Be as clear in evaluation as you demand them to be in evaluating charities  Rubrics that measure student effectiveness, reflecting rubrics that measure charitable effectiveness
  • 11. Possibilities and Problems 11  Opportunity to explore the local vs. the global  Difficulties in student understanding of effectiveness  Grant proposals that are “apples and oranges” for the community. As students create rubrics, how to rate them fairly, since we haven’t specified domains that we fund and those we don’t.
  • 12. Resources 12  Learning By Giving Foundation  The Life You Can Save – Giving Games  GiveWell – Giving Effectively
  • 13. Student Quotes 13 CEL A392 “In the beginning when classes first started, I said that philanthropy is “giving stuff away.” It includes the ability to forge bonds with other humans and the community. In the process of philanthropy, you begin to learn how to be selfless and how to make the world a better place. . . This class opened me up to a whole new world I haven’t even thought about.” GEOG A390A “This class has truly been enlightening and eye opening …the material really needs to be available to everybody…because it is so eye opening and it encouraged me to become a better global citizen. The topics we covered in this class should be dominating mass media, but unfortunately they aren’t. This class was crucial to helping me determine what I will do after I graduate and how to become an effective citizen and human being.”