General Principles

What should be general criteria for online tools? (core values around software solutions — other that what is covered above) (these are suggestions, not a definitive/exclusive list)

Real-Life Cases 

As a general rule of thumb, while picking tools it is important to first think about what is a technology’s opportunity for influence, how will it help panelists in their decision making process, what needs to be decided, and what the appropriate scope of discussion is.

“Five A’s of Technology Access” 

  • Availability – to whom is the technology (un)available 
  • Affordability – to whom is the technology (un)affordable
  • Awareness – who is (un)aware of the technology
  • Abilities – who has the digital literacies to use the technology 
  • Agency – who has the self efficacy to use the technology


– Open-source?

– Minimum privacy standards

– Minimum reliability standards

– Cost

-What is prohibitively expensive?

-Usability and Interface

-Can it help participants wrestle with the tradeoffs within the topic 


General high-level guideline suggestions (these are just suggestions, not a definitive/exclusive list)

Real-Life Cases 

– The longer the group convenes or the more often they meet, the more new tools can be introduced because people will be more prepared to try and learn new things.


– Design for the least tech-savvy participant; then it’ll be great for everyone else, too

– Shorten all durations compared to in-person (shorter meetings & shorter activities within meetings)

– Connect to the offline world as much as possible (e.g., using physical objects, papers, etc.)

– Bring more FUN into meetings than we would normally in a deliberation — to prevent burnout and extend engagement

– Carson: general pace needs to be slower; don’t expect to get through as much material

– Carson: use the minimum number of tools/platforms possible, but use it to its fullest — find ways to do as much as possible within a given tool

– Carson: even more important than usual to have absolute clarity of purpose for every bit of every session.


Limitations and Benefits of Online Deliberation 


Online deliberation may inhibit participants from forming bonds, emotionally connecting with the topics, and participating. Also disrupts the feeling of fluid conversation that is present within in person deliberations.

Possibly harder to facilitate because it is harder to gauge who needs more help/ attention to make sure that they are adequately contributing to the conversation. EG you can’t gauge someone’s body language.

Zoom Fatigue 


Participants have indicated that they prefer deliberations that incorporate an online component and some small businesses owners have voiced that online deliberation allowed them to participate without being too time consuming.

Some participants have expressed that they felt more comfortable voicing their opinion in an online deliberation than they would have if they were in person.

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