DIALOGUE

EXPLORE QUALITIES OF A PRODUCTIVE DIALOGUE ABOUT CIVIC ISSUES - IN PERSON OR ONLINE

QUESTION two:

What do good and not so good online discussions of civic issues look like?

Extension Idea: Looking Closely at Dialogue in Your Networks

(30 minutes)

  • This activity builds on questions from the previous activity, What’s Happening Here? Looking Closely at Online Conversations about Civic Issues. Ask students to find 1-2 comment threads about civic issues they’ve participated in or seen on their go-to social media site. If students do not use social media, ask them to choose a comment thread on an article on a news site such as CNN.com, washingtonpost.com, or USAToday.com.

  • Working on their own, ask students to notice the specific commenting moves being used in the exchanges and interpret the possible intentions behind and impacts of the comments.

  • Further questions to consider:

    • What’s the overall tone of each exchange? What makes you say that?

    • What are the most common ‘moves’ people use to discuss civic issues?  

    • What kinds of commenting moves are seen less often or are missing?  

    • What would you like to see more of and less of when people talk about civic issues in your networks?