Debating as a teaching method

Promoting cognitive agility and academic debating culture in your course

The academic culture of debate is at risk. Help promoting it in your course - without losing time for relevant content.

The academic culture of debate is at risk. Help promoting it in your course - without losing time for relevant content.
Research thrives on dispute, the exchange of opinions, paradigms, and results. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer people see the clash of scientific views as enrichment. Universities in particular are challenged to limit the formation of echo chambers.
Yet students at universities today face a multitude of increased demands, which they encounter by, among other things, an increasing take-home mentality in order to reduce their workload. This results in declining cognitive agility, which in turn affects the culture of academic debate.
Teachers at universities are thus faced with a double challenge: To awaken their students' cognitive agility in their courses and to teach the basics of academic debating culture through enabling teaching methods.

This seminar shows lecturers at universities ways to use debating as a teaching method - a fun way to learn and develop cognitive agility.
An academic culture of debate is based on two pillars: Knowledge of one's subject area and the ability to argue factually. Debating as a teaching method combines both, as the students examine subject-related issues argumentatively.
Debating as a Transferable Competency trains cognitive, affective and psycho-motoric competences. In terms of Active Learning, the use of debating as a teaching method positively influences the performance and motivation of the students - away from the take-home mentality towards cognitive agility.
By training analytical and argumentation skills and giving students the experience of incorporating other opinions in a beneficial way, debating as a teaching method contributes to a successful academic debating culture.

Experience the thrill of a scientific debate and learn how to lead a debate in your own course.

We’ll start the seminar with exploring the status quo of academic debating culture. How are your experiences? We’ll then single out relevant topics of your area of teaching and formulate a motion for our first debate.
Experience from your participants point of view the thrill of a debate and learn how to conduct a full debate in your own course - you learn the general rules and guidelines, plus individual options of adaptation to group size, limited time etc. Then we’ll set an eye to the goals of debating and how you can use it for teaching relevant contents. You’ll get to know several debating exercises and get the opportunity to conduct them and get peer feedback.
Finally, you’ll develop a personal strategy for your course so you’ll be able to include debating as a teaching method in your everyday work with no further ado.


  • Academic debating culture and relevant topics
  • All I need to know about debating as a teaching method
  • The cognitive, affective and psycho-motor goals of debating
  • Practical debating exercises and their benefits
  • My strategy to employ debating as a teaching method

Learning Outcomes:
After this seminar,

  • you know the rules to set up a debate
  • you can choose and formulate a debate topic for your course
  • you can motivate your students for the debate and avoid disappointment
  • you have experienced the joy of debating and its benefits for cognitive agility
  • you have participated in several debating exercises and are able to lead your participants through them
  • you have worked out a strategy to implement a debate in your course

Methodology: Train-the-trainer
Practical debating exercises, analysis of the exercises on the meta-level, teaching talks on theoretical contents, discussion of case studies from practice, practical method training with collegial feedback, reflection on the application in practice.

Target group: Lecturers at universities
This seminar is specifically designed for lecturers in higher education who want to adopt debating as a teaching method to enhance their students' cognitive agility and academic debating culture.

Please have a look at the trainer profile:

This workshop will be held in English and on-site.

Universität: Universität Bayreuth
Seminarleitung: Konrad Gütschow
Seminar ID: FBZHL UBT WS2223 34S debate
ZHL der Universität Bayreuth
Nürnbergerstr. 38, Bayreuth
This seminar will take place in PRESENCE! The seminar room is located at Nürnberger Straße 38 (ZHL location) in the office center Bayreuth Süd, building 4 in Room 4.2.12-13.
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Termine: 13.02.2023 , 10:00 - 18:00 Uhr
14.02.2023 , 09:00 - 17:00 Uhr

Es fallen folgende Teilnahmegebühren an:

  • For all lecturers (academic staff, professors, teaching staff for special tasks) at a Bavarian university with a full-time position (75% to 100% working hours), 90 €
  • For all teachers (academic staff, professors, teachers for special tasks) at a Bavarian university with a part-time position (up to and including 74.9% working hours), 58 €
  • Teachers at universities of applied sciences and persons not affiliated with a Bavarian university pay the participation fee for external participants, 800 €

Verfügbare Plätze: 8 Plätze, davon 0 frei
Stufe: Grund- und Aufbaustufe
Anrechenbare Stunden: Bereich B mit 16 Arbeitseinheiten
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