Exercise: Debate

Summary of Example Activity

Students are assigned a topic or problem, a side or perspective and complete a debate with another class synchronously with video-conferencing software. Students can also participate in a discussion to further engage with the ideas brought up during the debate.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the important concepts from course material.
  • Explore how course topics are differently understood and experienced.
  • Demonstrate critical thought about the topic.
  • Develop online intercultural communication skills
  • Develop an understanding of how to work within different learning styles, regional/national perspectives and time zones.
  • Explore how the main concepts are differently understood and experienced (more pronounced if the students have different training or experience).

Materials and Data Needed

The teacher should prepare questions designed to guide the debate. Students will prepare for the session by completing readings and preparing material for their assigned side in the debate.

Technology Needed

The classroom will need access to video-conferencing software, an internet connection and preferably a projector or large television.

Estimated Time

A synchronous debate session would last from an hour to an hour and a half. A discussion following the debate could last thirty minutes to an hour, and could take place synchronously with both classrooms or separately offline.


  1. Students are given the topic, point of view that they will argue during the debate and material to study in order to prepare.
  2. Students prepare by studying the appropriate subject material and preparing their arguments.
  3. Students report to class as usual and participate in a synchronous debate with the collaborating classroom using video conferencing software.
  4. Students participate in a discussion with the collaborating classroom via video conferencing software, or offline with their class on-campus.