PICOLA Deliberative Poll(R)
One objective of our software development is to create the next-generation of Computer Mediated Communication tools for online structured dialogue and deliberation. An audio/video synchronous environment is complemented with a multimedia asynchronous environment (containing, for example, threaded, audio-based Bboards). A general gateway (the PICOLA) contains access to these communication envrionments as well as registration areas, background information, and surveys (polls). A suite of Administrator tools allows for the customization of the PICOLA for particular Deliberative Polls(R).
The PICOLA user interface is implemented in Macromedia Flash, allowing for a dynamic multimedia participant environment. On the server side, secure user authentication and data storage/retrieval are provided by a Java-based application running on JBoss application server and employing a Postgresql database. Real-time audio conferencing and certain peer-to-peer features are implemented using Flash Communication Server. The following documents are available for download: High-level Summary of Feature Set and Adminstration Console capablities.
Mobile PICOLA extends the function of deliberative polling software to cell phone/PDA internet devices. In particular, Mobile PICOLA extends the synchronous conversation module and the survey module. The former provides a true 'anytime/anywhere' capability to the deliberative poll; the latter allows for real time data input and analysis. And with real-time data
gathering, it becomes possible display the results of a deliberative poll at the end of the deliberation day, thereby allowing for stakeholders and others present to see and discuss the results as those results are being displayed (e.g., though a data projector).