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November 3, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Motivating your students to do debate work

We had to do 5 hours of work each week to attend tournaments in college. That is a little different…..because they were paying for you to go to the tournament–but similar principles apply in terms of commitments of students.

Get leader buy in….about the commitment to win & excellence. (ie do the behaviors which put you in a position to win).

In class activities to brainstorm and build frontlines. Often times strategy sessions turn into just that.

Make individual assignments that they have to complete for a grade. Ideally they have to take pre-cut evidence and combine it with their own arguments to create a frontline.

Individuals also pick argument or two or a constructive speech they are going to be devoted to for the semester….they have to right frontlines (they have to pick one on the aff and one on the neg). You could balance this out so that 2acs focus more on the aff….and 2ncs focus more on the negative). For instance with the negative….you might progressively have weeks of 1) a disad 2) a counterplan 3) a critique. Once they learn to do frontlines for these arguments–and in practice rounds how much easier their speeches are–they may appreciate it.

Open checklist about what needs to be done to win. What an aff needs to be ready for…..and what a negative needs to be ready for.

Obviously novices & varsity get different assignment weights/focuses.

Commit yourself reciprocally to do specific work as a part of this. Or commit to providing resources

Incentivize in other ways as possible.

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  1. compassioninpolitics / Nov 3 2012 5:00 am

    This is a longer version of the above:
    We had to do 5 hours of work each week to attend tournaments in college. That is a little different…..because they were paying for you to go to the tournament–but similar principles apply in terms of commitments of students.

    Get leader buy in….about the commitment to win & excellence. (ie do the behaviors which put you in a position to win).

    Goal setting & individual commitments–with post-tournament follow up.

    In class activities to brainstorm and build frontlines. Often times strategy sessions turn into just that. In other words–don’t separate the process….streamline it as much as possible (or you could have a secretary that writes the brainstroms out–ie types them–then the group refines those into actual analytical arguments.

    Make individual assignments that they have to complete for a grade. Ideally they have to take pre-cut evidence and combine it with their own arguments to create a frontline.

    Individuals also pick argument or two or a constructive speech they are going to be devoted to for the semester….they have to right frontlines (they have to pick one on the aff and one on the neg). You could balance this out so that 2acs focus more on the aff….and 2ncs focus more on the negative). For instance with the negative….you might progressively have weeks of 1) a disad 2) a counterplan 3) a critique. Once they learn to do frontlines for these arguments–and in practice rounds how much easier their speeches are–they may appreciate it.

    Open checklist about what needs to be done to win. What an aff needs to be ready for…..and what a negative needs to be ready for.

    Obviously novices & varsity get different assignment weights/focuses.

    Commit yourself reciprocally to do specific work as a part of this. Or commit to providing resources

    Incentivize in other ways as possible.

    Stress kaizen improvement–day by day improvement. Stress preparation behaviors. Show them models (i.e. heros) of doing the work to get the results.

    Make it a team effort as much as possible–so that responsibility is evenly distributed. Although juniors/seniors might get a little more work due to experience–every one plays a part.

    One other cheesy one–watch motivational clips on YouTube.

    Tie changed behaviors to the end results they want (tournament wins, entry to the college of their choice, being a top lawyer, etc…).

    Make brainstorming, debate work, etc…. social & fun as much as possible. To some real extent–thats the reason they are doing the activity.

    Have mini-practice debates…which end up with creating frontlines based on the arguments. Obviously embed student reflection in the mix.

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