Frequently asked questions

How does Palaver queue waiting students?

Palaver determines the speaker queue using information about (a) how much time each student has already contributed; (b) how urgently each student wishes to speak; and (c) what kind of contribution each student wishes to make. The preceptor has a new topic button that wipes all follow-ups from the queue and selects a student with a new idea to send the discussion down a new branch.

What if a student doesn’t have a smartphone?

You can use Palaver with any web browser, so if the student has a laptop or a tablet, they may use that instead of a smartphone. If that’s not possible, then you should just call on the student as you would any other student. Just hit the off-road button when you call on a student that isn't using Palaver.

How should students use the urgency slider?

Use the slider to indicate how urgently you wish to contribute to the discussion. (When the slider is on the far-left, you will not be entered into the queue.) You can rate your planned contributions from very low urgency (1) to very high urgency (5). We anticipate that most users will set the urgency slider to around '3' (its mid-point) when they wish to contribute, only moving it above '3' when they have an uncommonly strong desire to contribute, and below '3' when their planed contribution is especially apt to be deferred until later in the discussion.

How does Palaver treat students with very high average urgency ratings?

Because different people use rating scales very differently, both within and between cultures, we've designed Palaver to adapt to how each student uses the urgency scale. Palaver! begins by assuming that the middle of the urgency scale corresponds to your neutral level of urgency. Then, depending on how you use the scale during the discussion, Palaver may let this neutral point drift up or down, calibrating the scale to you.

If you describe your contributions as being "very urgent" too often, Palaver will continue to adjust your urgency scale until "very urgent" (5/5) contributions are treated like other students' neutral (3/5) contributions. Students who make too many "very urgent" contributions to a discussion will gradually lose the ability to signal that they have a truly high urgency contribution until the next precept.

How does Palaver treat students who set too many of their planned contributions to "very low" urgency?

Palaver treats users who register too many "very-low" urgency requests in the opposite way. Leaving the urgency slider on "very low" too often will cause Palaver to adjust your scale until a very-low (1/5) urgency contribution looks like a neutral contribution. You will lose the ability to signal that you wish to make a time-sensitive contribution until the next precept.

Can a preceptor override Palaver’s suggestions?

Of course! You are free to ignore the app’s suggestions at any time, but to protect the integrity of our data, hit the off-road button any time you decide to ignore Palaver’s suggestions.

How I do review my data in the Palaver app?

You may download all data associated with your account at any time by using the Get data button at the bottom of Palaver's settings menu.

How do I get help?

We will provide technical support to students and preceptors who want to try out Palaver. Please contact us if your question is not answered in our documentation.

What if a student doesn’t want to use Palaver?

If a student chooses not to use Palaver, you should just call on that student as you would in a discussion that didn't use the app. But please remember to hit the off-road button in the moderator interface. [Add screenshot.]

What if a student doesn't want to share their anonymous usage data?

Palaver is part of a research project that aims to better understand the determinants of good group discussions. We hope that users will agree to contribute anonymous data about their usage of Palaver to us, but you are not required to share data with us if you would prefer not to. Simply decline the Terms of Consent for the experimental study when you first sign into Palaver.

If you have more questions, contact us.

Last modified: 030218 by Simon