2018 Volume E101.D Issue 4 Pages 847-855
Performance based on multi-party discussion has been reported to be superior to that based on individuals. However, it is impossible that all participants simultaneously express opinions due to the time and space limitations in a large-scale discussion. In particular, only a few representative discussants and audiences can speak in conventional unidirectional discussions (e.g., panel discussion), although many participants gather for the discussion. To solve these problems, in this study, we proposed a cyber-physical discussion using “COLLAGREE,” which we developed for building consensus of large-scale online discussions. COLLAGREE is equipped with functions such as a facilitator, point ranking system, and display of discussion in tree structure. We focused on the relationship between satisfaction with the discussion and participants' desire to express opinions. We conducted the experiment in the panel discussion of an actual international conference. Participants who were audiences in the floor used COLLAGREE during the panel discussion. They responded to questionnaires after the experiment. The main findings are as follows: (1) Participation in online discussion was associated with the satisfaction of the participants; (2) Participants who desired to positively express opinions joined the cyber-space discussion; and (3) The satisfaction of participants who expressed opinions in the cyber-space discussion was higher than those of participants who expressed opinions in the real-space discussion and those who did not express opinions in both the cyber- and real-space discussions. Overall, active behaviors in the cyber-space discussion were associated with participants' satisfaction with the entire discussion, suggesting that cyberspace provided useful alternative opportunities to express opinions for audiences who used to listen to conventional unidirectional discussions passively. In addition, a complementary relationship exists between participation in the cyber-space and real-space discussions. These findings can serve to create a user-friendly discussion environment.