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Discussion anonymity settings

The 'Anonymity' settings tab offers three options

  1. Completely anonymous (default)
  2. Anonymous with 'team' info
  3. Named by contributor

1 Completely anonymous (default)

Meaning that contributions do not reveal their contributor. Choose this setting to minimize self-censorship and encourage open-mindedness.

Put simply, if you want to learn all the facts (or opinions) and let participants respond to arguments without personal prejudice, grant anonymity.

'Participants see'

With complete anonymity, you can restrict what participants see to

  1. All contributions (Default)
    Which means that participants see all contributions directly.
     
  2. Only their contributions
    Which lets participants only see their own contributions.

    Note that

    • as Facilitator, you remain free to choose to see all contributions or just your own.
    • contributions which have been rendered anonymous even at the technical level can no longer be recognized as anybody's 'own' contributions.
    • if you enable this restriction after participants have already responded to the contributions of others, such 'referenced' contributions will remain visible to maintain context.

2 Anonymous with team info

Lets the Facilitator create a list of 'teams' (demographics such as 'Sales', 'Marketing', 'R&D'). On entering the workspace participants pick their 'team' so that their contributions can be tagged with that information.

Tagging by 'team' protects personal anonymity. Choose this setting where the benefit of knowing the contributor's perspective outweighs potential downsides such as tribal prejudice. For example: While it may be great for you to know that a comment was made by the Marketing team this may come at the price of preventing members of the R&D team from building on such a contribution because there is no love lost between those two departments.

In short, as prejudice may run between 'teams' without you even being aware, you should have a reason for adding team info to contributions.

'Participants see'

With 'team info', you can restrict what participants see to

  1. All contributions (Default)
    Which means that participants see all contributions directly.
     
  2. Only their contributions
    Which lets participants only see their own contributions.

    Note that

    • as Facilitator, you remain free to choose to see all contributions or just your own.
    • contributions which have been rendered anonymous even at the technical level can no longer be recognized as anybody's 'own' contributions.
    • if you enable this restriction after participants have already responded to the contributions of others, such 'referenced' contributions will remain visible to maintain context.
  3. Only their team's contributions
    Which lets participants see only their team's contributions.

    You can tighten this setting by preventing participants from exiting to the lobby and picking another team when they return to the workspace. This makes it harder for teams to cheat by copying from each other.

    On the other hand, you can allow participants to change perspective and see the contributions of other teams. This can be useful for going through the results while maintaining team perspectives rather than simply reveal all contributions across teams.

    Note that

    • as Facilitator, you can always choose any team's perspective or view all contributions across teams.
    • if you enable this restriction after participants have already responded to the contributions of other teams, such 'referenced' contributions will remain visible to maintain context.

3 Named by contributor

Adds the name of the contributor to comments.

Go for named contributions only when the benefit of knowing 'who said it' outweighs the benefits of anonymity, namely disclosure and open-mindedness.

'Participants see'

With named contributions, you can restrict what participants see to

  1. All contributions (Default)
    Which means that participants see all contributions directly.
     
  2. Only their contributions
    Which lets participants only see their own contributions.

    Note that

    • as Facilitator, you remain free to choose to see all contributions or just your own.
    • if you enable this restriction after participants have already responded to the contributions of others, such 'referenced' contributions will remain visible to maintain context.