Serious Games: Developing a standardized evaluation model to test its effectivity


I’m Florine Kroes, master student Food Innovation and Management at Wageningen University (WUR). I came in contact with the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology via the thesis coordinator of the WUR. In my experience, ISPT is an organization where people are working with passion.


My research is about the evaluation of ‘serious games’. ISPT is developing several ‘serious board games’, however, a standardized evaluation model is missing to prove these games achieve the desired objectives. My research aims to give insights into the variables influencing the perceived quality of ‘serious games’ used by ISPT and provide a systematical evaluation framework. The strength of the evaluation model is the balance between a broad application scope through flexibility and thereby standardized questions to compare different serious board games easily. In addition, I developed a spreadsheet in Excel to easily analyze the collected data.


The most important quality characteristics found in literature are: the challenge level, the attitude towards the game experience and the social interaction in the game. In addition, the evaluation focusses on the learning goals and the intention to do something with the knowledge gained after playing the game.

Testing the evaluation model in four game sessions shows that the use of this evaluation model reaches its objectives in terms of getting insights into the game experience of the participants according to the tested variables. Moreover, an overview of the strengths and possibilities of improvements of the games could be made.

Overall, the results suggest that ‘serious games’ are a promising tool to let the participants learn about a certain topic and have contact with different stakeholders in an interactive way. The innovation cluster can use this evaluation framework to maximize the impact and effectivity of the used games.