Supporting Social Deliberative Skills Online: The Effects of Reflective Scaffolding Tools

  • Tom Murray
  • Lynn Stephens
  • Beverly Park Woolf
  • Leah Wing
  • Xiaoxi Xu
  • Natasha Shrikant
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8029)


We investigate supporting higher quality deliberations in online contexts by supporting what we call "social deliberative skills," including perspective-taking, meta-dialog, and reflecting on one’s biases. We report on an experiment with college students engaged in online dialogues about controversial topics, using discussion forum software with "reflective tools" designed to support social deliberative skills. We find that these have a significant effect as measured by rubrics designed to asses dialogue quaility and social deliberative behaviors.


E-participation and e-democracy Empathic online communities Communication and deliberation skills scaffolding 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tom Murray
    • 1
  • Lynn Stephens
    • 1
  • Beverly Park Woolf
    • 1
  • Leah Wing
    • 3
  • Xiaoxi Xu
    • 1
  • Natasha Shrikant
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  2. 2.Commination Dept.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA
  3. 3.Legal Studies Dept.University of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

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