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  1. BEANS

  2. CoffeehouseOnline environments for civic discourse Zachary Hynes May 10, 2012

  3. Civically Alienated, Internet Connected “The largest group of young people in 2010 were those who were Civically Alienated…” “On the other hand, over half of them communicated with family and friends via the Internet.” Source: “Understanding a Diverse Generation: Youth Civic Engagement in the United States”

  4. Where do we talk politics? Facebook

  5. Where do we talk politics? Online Discussion Forums

  6. Where do we talk politics? School

  7. Steps • Createnorms and criteria for good discussions • Develop and implement new discussion structures and… • Mechanisms for grouping users into discussion groups • Implement content and discussion suggestions • Field testing and design iteration in the classroom

  8. Current Project Status • Primitive web application created in February 2012 • Browse/request to join discussions • Post links to articles on discussion page • Visualize geographic distribution of users and content on maps • Proposed time period for completion: 12 months

  9. Current Project Status Sample Discussion on Education Reform Users post articles and other content Users can contribute to the discussion

  10. Evaluating Good Discourse What makes a discussion “good”? Reflexivity Sincerity Discursive Equality Source: Dahlberg (2001)

  11. Who should evaluate discourse?

  12. Projects in Deliberative Discourse • Simulated Students (Vizcaíno, 2005) • DREW & CHAT (Baker et. al., 2003) • Digalo (ARGUNAUT, 2008) • Argunaut (McLaren et. al., 2007)

  13. Deliberative Discourse as a Game • Games can be used to make civic awareness and civic engagement not only fun but habitual • Collaboration scripts are a general tool used to encourage users to interact with each other and with the material in particular ways (Kollar et. al., 2006) • Games can be seen as a special type of collaboration script Need competition and disagreement… but the right kind!

  14. Deliberative Discourse as a Game • Promote thoughtful discussion by rewarding groups with good discussions • Established, open-source tools (TagHelper) exist for supervised, automated discourse analysis (Rosé, et. al., 2008) Groupwise Head-To-Head DS Group 1 Group 2 Groups 1 and 2 are discussing the war in Afghanistan; individuals get points for making strong arguments, groups do well when everyone is encouraged to excel

  15. Content Discovery & Recommendations • Current Tools: Users post links within Coffeehouse • Lighten the workload for users by automatically suggesting content posted within other discussions • (Possibly) gain access to article full-texts through news websites API’s for deeper integration

  16. Research Questions • Bringing deliberative discourse out of the classroom opens up possibilities • Automatically assign users to discussion groups according to different criteria – what features of the individual discussion change and the user’s engagement with the application can vary? • political affiliation – similar or dissimilar • geographic location – close or far • age – peers or otherwise

  17. Timeline • Proposed time period for completion: 12 months Jan 2013 Discussion Structures Implement & Test candidate DS Integrate supervised NLP feedback tools Iterate on feedback Jan 2013 Research Questions Analyze data from H.S. study Analyze data from “non-academic” study User Testing Arrange for local and “partner” H.S. classes to participate in field study H.S. Field Study “Non-Academic” Field Study Data Collection August 2012 June 2013 Content Explore news API’s Add “suggested content” functionality August 2012 June 2013

  18. Challenges • Changing ingrained behavior patterns • Developing an inclusive, safe atmosphere for discussion • Navigating issues of online identity

  19. Contributions • Support a new “era” of civics education; civics should not stop after we leave school • Discover what discussion structures and user groupings facilitate the best discussions

  20. Image Credits • Coffeehouse Logo- Brian McCarthy ‘12 • “Americans Against the Liberal Agenda” (Screenshot). • “The Shooting of Trayvon Martin, self-defense or murder?” (Screenshot). • John Keating in Dead Poets’ Society –

  21. Bibliography • ARGUNAUT – An Intelligent Guide to Support Productive Online Dialogue, December 1, 2005 to August 31, 2008. Project Reference: FP6-IST 027728 • Kawashima-Ginsberg, Kei. Understanding a Diverse Generation: Youth Civic Engagement in the United States. Rep. Center for Information Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, Nov. 20. Web. 24 Apr. 2012. <>. • M.J. Baker, M. Quignard, K. Lund, A. S´ejourn´e, et al. Computer-supported collaborative learning in the space of debate. In Designing for change in net- worked learning environments: Proceedings of the International Conference on Computer Support for Col laborative Learning, pages 11–20, 2003. • L. Dahlberg. Computer-mediated communication and the public sphere: A critical analysis. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 7(1):0–0, 2001. [ • I. Kollar, F. Fischer, and F.W. Hesse. Collaboration scripts–a conceptual analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 18(2):159–185, 2006. • Bruce M. McLaren, Oliver Scheuer, Maarten De Laat, RakheliHever, Reuma De Groot, and Carolyn P. Rosé. Using machine learning techniques to an- alyze and support mediation of student e-discussions. In Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Artificial Intel ligence in Education: Building Technol- ogy Rich Learning Contexts That Work, pages 331–338, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, The Netherlands, 2007. IOS Press. • Carolyn Rosé, Yi-Chia Wang, Yue Cui, Jaime Arguello, KarstenStegmann, Armin Weinberger, Frank Fischer. Analyzing collaborative learning processes automatically:Exploiting the advances of computational linguisticsin computer-supported collaborative learning. Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 3:237-271, 2008. • S. Michaels, C. OConnor, and L.B. Resnick. Deliberative discourse idealized and realized: Accountable talk in the classroom and in civic life. Studies in Philosophy and Education, 27(4):283–297, 2008. • A. Vizcaíno. A simulated student can improve collaborative learning. Inter- national Journal of Artificial Intel ligence in Education, 15(1):3–40, 2005.