Become an Innovative Online Nurse Educator

Assignment Spotlight: Online Debate Assignment

Sep 07, 2021

In the Health Policy Course that I teach, I hold an online debate where students make Pro and Con arguments about a particular controversial health related topic of their choosing. This was a little difficult to do in an online format, but I think I've mastered a streamlined process for online debate assignments and will be sharing some of the tips I've used over the years in today's blog post.

 One of the objectives in the Health Policy course that I teach is for students to analyze current nursing and health care trends and issues in the workplace, city, state, nation and international scene. One method of achieving this objective is for students to research a health related topic and defend their position either for or against a particular action.

I always give students a list of topics they can choose from (such as THIS list) and also give them an opportunity to debate a topic of their own choosing. Students must have their topics approved by me before beginning.

In order to help structure the assignment for students I give them a worksheet that asks them to prepare for the debate by deciding what their arguments will be and citing appropriate evidence. The must also consider what their opposing sides might say in response to their arguments and how they would respond to them. Lastly, they must also prepare counter-arguments in response to the arguments that their opposing side might say.

I also develop a schedule for the debate and students are instructed on when to post their arguments, counter-arguments and closing summary statements. This structure has provided for a more seamless and enjoyable debate experience.

Want the exact guidelines I use for this activity? I shared an overview of this assignment as well as the instructions and guidelines I used with members of the Innovative Online Educator Membership back in May 2021. Get access to that resource as well as tons of other sample assignments, masterclasses, templates and ideas from other online educators by joining the membership today!  Learn more HERE!

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