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KU Center for Technology Commercialization

    Innovation Sphere


  • Marilyn Ault
  • Jana Craig Hare
  • David Scherrer
  • Jason Kroge
  • Isa Kretschmer
  • Janis Bulgren
  • Doug Adams
  • Phuong Tran



Project TitlePeer-Scored Dialogue: A Process to Foster Meaningful Discussion in Text-based Chat as a Component of an Online Educational Game
Track Code13KU035L
Short Description

 Peer-Scored Discourse: A Process to Foster Meaningful Discourse in Text-based Chat This invention allows members of an online discussion, such as in an online chat interaction in a game, to self-regulate the conversation through a process of adding or detracting points to other members' responses during the chat.

Tagseducation, video game, Text Based Chat
Posted DateSep 3, 2013 12:28 PM


Marilyn Ault
Jana Craig Hare
David Scherrer
Jason Kroge
Isa Kretschmer
Janis Bulgren
Doug Adams
Phuong Tran


Bridget Stull
Nathan Urbauer


Developers of online applications recognize the power of collaboration to support and engage participants. Chat, which occurs in real-time and is synchronous, is used as a collaboration strategy to heighten the user’s connection to a community participating in an online environment. This feature is available on social sites as well as many multiplayer game sites. The problem with providing a chat function, however, is that emerging conversations are often unrelated to the educational or other intended target of the game or activity. Often the chat becomes inconsequential, off-target, or inappropriate. If members of a chat could add to or detract from other members’ scores based on the content of their comments, the members would have a method to monitor and shape the content of the conversation. Over time this would result in more meaningful interactions, more focused on the content or process of the educational game or the intent of the social site.


This application was originally designed for use in an educational game. Competitive players in a game are able to increase or decrease the score of other players in the game by scoring text-chat comments. The process of peer-scored chat could be applied in other online environments that incorporate chats or discussions. These may include sites that engage others in 1) online professional learning during which participants support the learning of their peers, 2) online vendors where overall points accumulated through chat may represent discounts, or 3) online discussions in social networks where points may be translated into published achievements or badges for “Highest Score” or “Best Informed,” etc. The strategy of providing points based on certain behaviors is a common strategy in online environments. Additionally, the accumulation of points is an attractive and meaningful metric. Therefore, the ability to both earn and regulate points is a function that could be applied to any online environment that uses chat to engage and strengthen the sense of community. 

How it Works

Members of a chat may provide a “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” to comments made by others. This scoring adds to or subtracts from overall points. The members of the chat may also provide comments about the rationale to receive additional points. These comments, as all comments, may also receive the “thumbs up or down” scoring.


Patent Pending.

Contact Information

Nathan Urbauer, J.D.

KU Center for Technology Commercialization (785) 864-7871

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