Large Group Moderation

Groups of practically any size can be linked with the moderation tool nextmoderator® – either on site or virtual. Such linkage enables maximum involvement of each and every participant and structured and purposeful large group discussions. Connected in a workshop, participants take a set of previously defined issues and questions to which they respond in various ways by developing conceptual approaches, proposals, measures or action plans. The transparent discourse which unfolds in the large group facilitates a joint shared understanding (restriction of leeway for interpretation) while the group-based endeavor to formulate a joint response promotes identification with the results collectively achieved.

Unlike in other large group methods, nextmoderator® ensures that all ideas and submissions are equally available in real time to all participants. This makes for a significant decrease in redundancies and much higher efficiency. The tool’s modular design allows for realization of both a great number of standard types of moderation as well as highly individual tailored kinds which makes nextmoderator® suitable for a broad spectrum of situations and contexts. Very often the transparent and structured nature of the debate around an issue relevant to the company is in itself enough to generate added value by improving understanding and raising awareness of the issue among the company workforce and managers. Yet by using further iterative work sequences, the ideas sketched out in the first round of discussions can very rapidly be refined and developed into intelligent proposals, measures, or plans of action. In any critical review of methods basically suitable for promoting informed discussion in large groups, it is important to bear in mind that the pure pooling of material and selective commentary (chats or blogs) is insufficient to produce an understanding shared by all participants and promote delivery of intelligent solutions.

It is only through a multiple iterative back and forth between the transparent generation of ideas and their joint evaluation that the issues really important to the large group will crystallize out. Consequently, participants in a nextmoderator® session are given the opportunity to make a simple assessment of ideas submitted during the early pooling phase by clicking on “agree” or “disagree”. This process – which is similar to that of a stock exchange with its own dynamics – creates a ranking list of ideas where it’s obvious at a glance which ideas resonate the most. Even any possible ambiguities in the evaluation of single ideas are instantly revealed by the agree/disagree function and can be clarified in subsequent discussions.

The consistent transparency of the results produced by nextmoderator® and the joint group efforts involved in all stages ensure that the findings enjoy a high degree of acceptance among participants.