Issue debate assignment, SOCW 6355

Students will work in small groups to debate on the following topics. You are encouraged to quote class readings, guest speakers, relevant web sites, etc., to make your points.  Debates are not graded.  The debate format, the process for determining topics, and debate resources appear below.  We will vote on the topics first, then decide the debate teams.  Have your choices of topics and possible team members ready for class discussion.

Debate Schedule for Spring 11

Possible Debate Topics

Debate topic 1:  Digital Divide

Debate topic 2:  Would you refer your loved one to a social worker who got her degree online?

Debate topic 3:  E-therapy

Debate topic 4:  Workplace Privacy

Debate topic 5:  Organizational change and technophobia

Debate topic 6:  Ethics of Technology

Debate topic 7:  Technology displacement

Debate topic 8:  Cyberspace and isolation

Debate topic 9:  Cyberspace and safety

Debate topic 10:  Impact of working at home

Debate Topic 11:  Information technology empowers people

Debate topic 12:  Individual privacy

Debate topic 13:  Internet knowledge is good for clients

Email me a topic of your choice

Debate Format (Time required = 30 minutes)

  1. Take poll to see the class's initial position of class members on the topic  All but the debaters vote whether they are pro or con on the topic. 
  2. A coin is flipped and the team which guesses correctly whether it lands heads or tails gets to choose whether they will go first or last in the debate.
  3. First debate team takes 3 minutes to present its initial arguments.  A one minute warning is given in chat box of Connect. 
  4. Opposition takes 3 minutes to present its initial arguments.  A one minute warning is given. 
  5. First side has 2 minutes for a rebuttal.  A one minute warning is given. 
  6. Opposition has 2 minutes for a rebuttal.  A one minute warning is given. 
  7. Take poll to see the class's final position on the topic.  The team which changes the most votes is the winner.
  8. Announcement and congratulations to the winner.
  9. Open forum for discussion of topic by all.

Process for determining debate topics

  1. Class members will cast 2 vote on any of the topics above or create new topics.  Class members will also indicate whether they prefer to argue the Pro or Con position.
  2. Topics with the most votes will be selected for debate. Instructor will post the topics selected and select teams based on class interests.  Typically, 4-8 students will form the 2 teams for a topic.

Preparation for Debate

I suggest doing a Google and Google scholar search and maybe a crisp search <>  on your topic to gain evidence.  For the CRISP search, be sure to select multiple years.  A few emails or IMs to coordinate efforts and arguments will be helpful also.

Resources to refresh you debating skills



 Resources for debaters

 Basic debating skills, see training materials