Iandoli, Luca; Quinto, Ivana; De Liddo, Anna and Buckingham Shum, Simon
A debate dashboard to enhance online knowledge sharing.
VINE The Journal of information and Knowledge Management Systems, 42(1),
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Purpose – Web 2.0 technologies have radically modified the way in which knowledge is created, managed and shared, improving productivity and accelerating innovation processes for the enterprises. These technologies have allowed enterprises to produce knowledge, leverage collective intelligence and build social capital on a scale that was unimaginable a few years ago. In this paper we focus on a particular kind of web-based collaborative platforms known as argument mapping tools and we discuss the main barriers to the adoption of them. Literature has proved that these argument mapping tools provide large and small and medium enterprise with several advantages, but nevertheless, they have low level adoption. In this paper we explore new technological solutions to support the adoption of argument mapping tools. In particular, we propose the design of a Debate Dashboard to provide visual feedback to support online deliberation. These visual feedback aims at compensating the loss of information due to the mediation of the technology. The Debate Dashboard is composed of a set of suitable visualization tools that have been selected on the basis of a literature review of the visualization tools.
Design/methodology/approach – We propose a literature review of existing visualization tools. Building on the literature review we selected thirty visualization tools, which have been classified on the basis of the kind of feedback they are able to provide. We identify three classes of feedback: Community feedback (identikit of users), Interaction feedback (about how users interact) and Absorption feedback (about generated content and its organization). We distilled the Debate Dashboard features by building on results of a literature review on Web 2.0 tools for data visualization. As output of literature review we selected six visualization tools. We consider these selected tools as a sort of starting point. Indeed, our aim is the improvement of them through the addition of further features and functions in order to make them more effective in providing feedback.
Originality/value – Our paper enriches the debate about computer mediated conversation and visualization tools. We propose a Dashboard prototype to augment collaborative knowledge mapping tools by providing visual feedback on conversations. The Dashboard will provide at the same time three different kinds of feedback about: details of the participants to the conversation, interaction processes and generated content. This will allow the improvement of the benefits and reduce the costs deriving from the use of mapping tools. Moreover, another important novelty is that visualization tools will be integrated to mapping tools, as until now they have been used only to visualize data contained in forums (as Usenet or Slash.dot), chat or email archives
Practical implications – The Dashboard provides feedback about participants, interaction processes and generated contents, thus supporting the adoption of mapping tools as technologies able to foster knowledge sharing among remote workers or/and customers and supplier.
The integration of Debate Dashboard with common online argument mapping tools aims at enabling the following advantages:
1. Reduction of misunderstanding;
2. Reduction of cognitive effort required to use argument mapping tools;
3. Improvement of the exploration and the analysis of the maps - the Debate Dashboard feedback improves the usability of the object (the map), thus allowing users to pitch into the conversation in the right place.
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