This instructional technique comes from CTLT’s Instructional Skills Workshop materials. How do you think this technique can and should be adapted to interdisciplinary learning contexts and content?


In a debate, speakers present opposing views on a subject, giving reasons for their beliefs, followed by discussion of the issue by the entire group. The speakers should:

  • give adequate evidence for their viewpoints
  • critique their opponents’ arguments
  • defend their own position
  • summarize their own argument

Instructor’s Role

  • meet with debating speakers to define issues
  • define problem to group members
  • act as moderator
  • open topic for discussion after debate
  • suggest material for additional study

Learners’ Role

  • think about issue to be discussed
  • participate in discussion
  • participate in follow-up activities

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