On January 21, 2021 as part of a Campus Compact webinar series, professors Kara Dillard, Kara Lindaman, John Theis, and Verdis Robinson spoke about their experiences innovating with Every Voice Engaged Foundation’s Common Ground for Action and videoconferencing tools during the pandemic.

Lindaman, a professor of political science at Winona State University in Minnesota, talked about the importance of the moment for college students—that learning to deliberate and moderate even during the pandemic is vital to civic life and civic education. Theis, a professor of political science at Lone Star College-Kingwood in Houston, Texas, discussed the series of CGA and Zoom forums he held for students across his campus during the spring and fall. Robinson, along with Lisa Strahley, who is a professor of education at SUNY Broome College in Binghamton, New York, described the work they did last fall with the State University of New York system to convene NIF forums using Zoom. Dillard, an assistant professor of communication studies at James Madison University, offered lessons learned from scaling up the online deliberative experience to connect college students across the nation during the biannual week of cross-campus forums.

All four panelists mentioned how positively students responded to opportunities to deliberate online and agreed that even when campuses return to normal, they intend to continue these campus, statewide, and nationwide projects.