, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 109–120 | Cite as

Recommendations to support interaction with broadcast debates: a study on older adults’ interaction with The Moral Maze

  • Rolando Medellin-GasqueEmail author
  • Chris Reed
  • Vicki L. Hanson
Open Forum


Current methods to capture, analyse and present the audience participation of broadcast events are increasingly carried out using social media. Uptake of such technology tools has so far been poor amongst older adults, and it has the worrying effect of excluding the demographic from participation. Our work explores whether a common desire to interact with debates can be tapped with technology with a very low barrier to entry, to both support better engagement with broadcast debates and encourage greater use of social media. This paper describes experiments where older adults interact with a BBC radio debate programme: The Moral Maze. As a result, we obtained common interaction patterns which then are used to define recommendations for software-supported interaction with debates based on theories of argumentation. Our goal is to combine research on computational models of argument and user-driven research on human-centred computing in a project with the potential for high-profile impact in addressing older adults inclusion in the digital economy.


Broadcast debates Argument Web Software recommendations 



This research was supported by RCUK Grant EP/G066019/1 “RCUK Hub: Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy”. The authors would like to thank the reviewers, the SiDE Research Group at the University of Dundee for their feedback on early versions of this paper and Christine Morgan, executive producer of the BBC’s Moral Maze, for her support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rolando Medellin-Gasque
    • 1
    Email author
  • Chris Reed
    • 1
  • Vicki L. Hanson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of ComputingUniversity of DundeeDundeeUK
  2. 2.GCCISRochester Institute of TechnologyRochesterUSA

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