One group of students has a discussion or debate, while the rest of the students observe, analyse, and learn.
- Small groups (3-10)
- Large groups (>10)
- 10-30 minutes
- 30-60 minutes
When to use it?
- When you want to organise a discussion or debate where everyone has an active role.
- When you want to identify how well the students have grasped the topic in question.
- Choose a discussion topic, the contradictory viewpoints, and the multiple perspectives.
- Decide whether the debaters have a certain role or if they need to defend a viewpoint.
- Decide how the spectators will observe and analyse the debate. Do they need to use a predetermined feedback form or can they observe the debate freely?
- Make groups
Divide the students into an 'inner circle' (debaters) and an 'outer circle' (spectators).
- Make subgroups
Divide the debaters into multiple subgroups.
- Explain the topic
Provide the subgroups with the discussion topic, the statement that needs to be defended or contradicted, and/or their viewpoint.
Give the subgroups a couple of minutes to prepare for the debate.
- Give instructions
Explain to the spectators what is expected from them.
- Start the debate
Bring the subgroups together in the 'inner circle' and start de debate. The spectators observe and analyse the debate.
- Provide feedback
After the debate has ended, let the spectators give feedback to the debaters.
Tips for implementation & variation
- Online teaching: The debaters can prepare in breakout rooms. During the debate, the spectators need to mute themselves and switch their cameras off.
- It's ideally used for discussing contradictory viewpoints or to view a certain topic from multiple perspectives.
- It's a good idea to appoint a moderator for the debate.
- You can enable students to step in and out of the inner circle, for example when the moderator appoints new members.
- You can choose to let the two groups switch roles after the first debate: The debaters become the spectators and vice versa.