Learning, Evidence, Experts

How can we ensure that deliberators have consulted, understood, and thought about the evidence provided? We can refer to a number of methods that will answer those questions.

Information materials

Planners of mini-publics events often prepare printed materials to inform participants about evidence relevant to discussion topics.

  • For online deliberation, event planners are advised to produce a resource pack mailed for participants ahead of online sessions.
  • Printed materials are delivered to the households and they are also uploaded prior to the first sessions.
  • Create graphics that give participants a visual representation of concepts.
  • Make short videos that explain the graphics or concepts (Charrettes Go Virtual).

Experts and stakeholders

Experts and stakeholders can provide useful information for the discussion. There are possible ideas to facilitate expert knowledge transfer as follows.

  • Short inputs via shared desktops or short talks; advise being short, clear, and not too complex.
  • High-quality presentations facilitate participants’ understanding. 
  • Utilize videos, very good presentations, small groups for speed dialogue, and World Café.
  • Some organizations create “office hour time,” which would be time that participants could use to talk to experts to receive clarification or more information about the topics (Charrettes Go Virtual).

For online deliberation, it is advised that do more two-person conversations, rather than one-person presentations because online learning work suggested that two people are more engaging. One can utilize online tools like Slido for those purposes.

Participants’ co-learning 

Mini-publics event planners should make better, longer, and deeper learning phases. Below are tips for better learning.

  • One can set up the study in small groups, a maximum of 1.5 hours if participants agree. They could be organized 3–4 times a week and spread over around two months (depending on the issue complexity).
  • One can also use quizzes and surveys to assess participants’ knowledge acquisition.

Asynchronous learning activities

Some ideas for asynchronous learning have been presented.

  • Video platform aids participants watch videos of evidence (before coming to Zoom rooms to discuss).
  • One can record presentations and provide online materials so that people to watch anytime.
  • Then, people will gather for the online study group (7 people plus facilitators).

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