Virtual Talk Research
& Development

Scaling Talk Digitally

Scaling Talk Digitally

Over time, it’s become clear that the demand for Talk’s brand of sex education greatly exceeds what is possible for us to deliver in a classroom format.

In 2019, we began to explore how to best adapt “the magic” of Talk’s classroom experience to a digital format. We were selected from among 20 competing non-profits and awarded an $80,000 project through Carnegie Mellon University’s Human Computer Interaction Institute to adapt the classroom model.

Partnership With CMU’s Human Computer Interaction Institute (CHII)

A team of dedicated graduate students and faculty members spent 4,000 hours over 8 months exploring how to best apply technological solutions to bring Talk to more young people while still capturing its secret sauce.

After interviewing countless Talk participants, the team discovered 4 critical elements of the classroom experience that had to be captured in the tech translation:

1. Factual Information
2. Learning through Narrative
3. Embedded & Ongoing Assessment
4. Ability to Adapt & Be Personalized

The Chat Fiction Solution

After exploring many options, we arrived at Chat Fiction to convey information in an exciting and engaging way. Chat fiction creates a series of narratives through text messages sent between a web of fictional characters. It engages young people in stories while communicating factual knowledge and modeling healthy communication and relationship dynamics.

After exploring many options, we arrived at Chat Fiction to convey information in an exciting and engaging way. Chat fiction creates a series of narratives through text messages sent between a web of fictional characters. It engages young people in stories while communicating factual knowledge and modeling healthy communication and relationship dynamics.

The Talk Conversational Universe (TCU)

The Talk Conversational Universe hinges on the success of a handful of key features: creating complex characters that users feel invested in, modeling realistic dialogue, and capturing relatable situations.

    The Talk Conversational Universe hinges on the success of a handful of key features: creating complex characters that users feel invested in, modeling realistic dialogue, and capturing relatable situations.

      Features of the TCU include:

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      Characters of all backgrounds and sexual orientations who give users the opportunity to both experience stories that differ from their own and also to identify with characters with similar beliefs and values.

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      Realistic dialogue through text messaging creates immersion and interest while still feeling familiar to users.

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      The nature of the conversations allow us to affirm factual statements and dispel misconceptions with links to vetted resources embedded throughout the dialogue.

      CampusTalk

      Talk is launching CampusTalk, a chat fiction platform for Sex Ed in early 2021.

      Teen
      Talk

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      Classroom Programming

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      Talk

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      Empowering Parents

      chat fiction research

      Campus
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      Chat Stories