A new digital debating tool for collaborators: Kialo

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By Fiona Cameron   @cameron_fiona
Digital Communications Manager, My Care Academy.

If you’re a student, researcher or educator you may be interested in a new digital tool that hit the web recently called Kialo.

What is it?

A simple yet powerful tool for critical thinking, serious discussion, and decision-making.

How does it work?

Kialo looks like it could be a handy collaboration tool for educators.  You can map discussions and see complex issues clearly.

Fed up of trying to collate feedback?
No worries – Kialo enables you to visualize discussions as an interactive tree of pro and con arguments.

  • At the top is the thesis –  supported or weakened by pro and con arguments underneath
  • An argument can branch into subsequent arguments that support or debate further
  • Here’s a simple visual example below
Example debate tree on Kilao – Copyright Kilao

A benefit of using Kialo over other social media to debate or crowdsource stakeholder views is that you can create either public or private debates.
Plus it helps avoid the spam and trolls that have come to plague many social media channels and platforms for collaboration.

This 2-minute video by Kialo gives a snappy overview of how it works.

New discussions are private by default and can be seen only by you.

How can you start a discussion?

1.  Create a Kialo free account

2. Create your discussion (choose if you want it to be private or public within the site)

3. Invite people to the discussion to debate

4. Publish your discussion to allow all Kialo users to contribute – or just invite key people you want to collaborate with


  • Rate arguments based on their impact
  • See how the other side thinks
  • Link arguments to multiple locations
  • Collaborate without cluttering the discussion
  • Review changes, catch up quickly
  • Create your own discussion team

Benefits for students, researchers, lecturers?

Kialo describes itself as being designed to  ‘ensure rational and friendly discourse’ and perfect for  ‘any type of course to help students get to the core of subject matter’.
Some of the key benefits for students and lecturers are that it helps:

  • Teach critical thinking
  • Supports visual learners
  • Make complex topics simple
  • Reduces chaotic email or message threads
  • Avoids trolls (a common issue now on social media debates)
  • Collates debates all in one place reducing time organising content

How could you use it?

  • Internal discussions in one place – made simple (reducing email threads) – log all of your team or dept decisions in one place
  • At events- engage your audience on big topics
  • To engage on co-production projects and test the temperature of a topic quickly
  • Within teaching – enabling students to view different perspectives and allowing quieter students to have a voice

There’s paid plans for government and businesses and a free plan for educators.

What would you use Kialo for?

Learn more

Follow Kialo on Twitter or discover more here

Designed and developed by The MTM Agency