To develop web apps for online debates and collaborative problem solving. Work experience in an interdisciplinary team. Fun. Our VIP team does the main design work of the NSF project Fostering self-correcting reasoning with reflection systems (http://agora.gatech.edu/node/52). We design, test, and iteratively improve the Reflect! platform. What is Reflect!? A collaborative tool that structures deliberation and work on wicked problems in small teams. What is a wicked problem? Wicked problems are challenges that can be framed in a number of different ways, depending on varying interests, world-views, values, or differences regarding the scale on which people think the problem should be addressed. Decisions on wicked problems often lead to serious conflicts because people do not understand that others look at the same problem from a completely different point of view. What sort of problems are wicked? Health care reform, globalization, the increasing computerization of the workforce, global warming, or when a city plans a major construction like a stadium. These are just a few examples. Designing a simple door knob might also be a wicked problem if you do not take people with certain disabilities into account. Design problems are often wicked problems. Why are wicked problems so hard to address? Being able to deal with wicked problems requires the ability to correct ones own reasoning. Why focusing on deliberation? Wicked problems can only be approached in collaboration with others. We need different points of view and we need to learn from others.
Issues Involved or Addressed
How to make large-scale deliberation enjoyable, exciting, and productive? How to design a system that supports reflection and self-correcting reasoning in teams? What features are needed to connect deliberation to forms of community engagement and discourse?