Collaborative working method – debate

Problem-solving, logical thinking, various conclusions

Pedagogical starting point

  • Forcing participants to provide justifications for phenomena
  • Deepening understanding
  • New perspectives on the issue at hand through shared thinking
  • Speech and communication skills
  • Enables various conclusions to be drawn

Working order

  1. Define the subject of the debate (statement) together.
  2. Create the environment (layout) and open the document templates.
  3. Select the opposing teams, judge(s), secretary/secretaries and audience. The secretary or two secretaries document the arguments and counter-arguments.
  4. The teams prepare their opening speeches (with time limits set by the chairperson).
  5. The chairperson gives the floor to members of the two teams alternately. The audience may participate in the debate.
  6. A summary discussion.



  • Layout: debate
  • Interactive whiteboard: subject and rules of the debate
  • Shared Google document or Etherpad for collaborative writing
  • The secretaries record each team’s arguments in a separate document.
  • During the summary discussions, the documents are supplemented and combined into one file.
  • The documents are shared to participants via the learning platform, by e-mail or by some other means.


Material on this page was produced in 4GEE project funded by Central Finland’s ELY Centre (2010-2013).

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