Discussion Spawn

Rethinking Discussion Boards & Debate Spaces

Design Cycle I: 2011 – 3 months

Timeline-Like View

Engage in organized and visualized discussion. 

Logically frame discussion or debate along the main axis. The axis can represent chronology or time, and markers added to focus discussion on key dates or events. Alternatively, the axis can be used to frame pro vs. con arguments on either side of the line.

Follow Macro and Micro Conversations

See points within the larger context.

Responses and comments are linked to specific prompts on the timeline. Enables learners to focus on particular points, while easily pulling back to situate within the overarching question.

Intuitive Drag & Drop Graphic Interface

Easily add and/or change learning content.

On Discussion Spawn, all content (existing and newly added) are modular and can be easily pulled to specific spots, rearranged, and/or dragged to the trash can.

Multi-media discussion prompts and response types

Exercise various forms of expression

Clicking on the blue circle icon offers several types of prompts including text, images, video, and polls. Once added, comment input boxes have sentence starters to help scaffold argumentation strategies. Future iterations of Discussion Spawn would slowly remove those supports as learners progress.

Dynamic data on learner participation and word choices

Understand your own progress.

Length of arguments, frequency of participation, number of peer responses to one’s comments, and types of words used are among the many data captured while a learner engages on Discussion Spawn. Future iterations of Discussions Spawn could compile such statistics for learners and teachers.