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  • Dr. Nathan D. Lang-Raad

Enhance the impact of friendly debate with video creation

How can we create opportunities for students to engage in productive discourse while building creativity and communication skills? Exposure to fun and interesting projects that lead to student-created videos is a solid foundation, but what’s more important is that such projects can be designed to include options for students to conjecture about controversial concepts. Students build deeper thinking when given the chance to debate possible solutions and discuss why an idea might be particularly baffling to them.

Through this process, students can discover their voice, gaining both confidence and momentum to learn and spread ideas. Students can use video creation to exercise their creative processes as they respond and reflect on issues that matter to them.

Below is a protocol to help guide students in positioning themselves to conduct an effective debate. I’ve also included an Argument Talk Protocol that I adapted from NSRF Harmony’s 4A’s protocol (2018).

Students are put into groups and each student presents their response to a problem or scenario. After each presenter, each of the group’s participants will offer responses to the question prompts below. Each student should share with the group their response to each prompt before all move on to the next. Then move to the next prompt.

  1. What assumptions does the presenter hold?

  2. What do you agree with in their argument?

  3. What do you want to disagree with in their argument?

  4. What parts of the argument do you aspire to act on?

At the conclusion of the protocol, students will have their thoughts organized in a way that lends itself to use as a storyboard, the ideal starting point for an effective story to be communicated via a student created video. Another option to further leverage the creative processes of video creation, would be to have students respond to each of the prompts directly through a brief video. Students could then decide which of those responses they want to include in their finished video product. Student-created video responses offer additional benefits in that teachers have evidence of student thinking and can therefore provide formative assessment feedback on how students applied the 4A’s to the scenario.

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