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Online Dialogue in a Political Context: The California Master Plan for Education (CAMP)

Online Dialogue in a Political Context is an evaluation of a large-scale online dialogue. The two-week dialogue, produced by Information Renaissance in June 2002, brought together about 1000 people – the public, state legislators and planners – to focus on California state education policy. The evaluation covers factors such as breadth of participation, satisfaction of participants and the quality of the dialogue as a 'public space' for interaction. Interestingly, 50% of those previously less active in government and politics reported increased interest after the event.

Related issues including complex discussion topics, civility, the roles of sponsors and organizers in producing a dialogue, and "cost versus engagement" are also addressed. Principal recommendations: increase the use of online dialogue, institutionalize its role in government, adopt standards for data exchange, and develop ethical standards and best practices.

Rosemary Gunn and Robert Carlitz

Information Renaissance (2003)

Resource Link: www.ncdd.org/exchange/files/docs/Online_Dialogue.pdf

rgunn@info-ren.org

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