DEbate: using the debate method for educational purposes in and outside the classroom at high schools and universities
flagUniversity of Debrecen

  • 00 - Generic programmes and qualifications
  • 01 - Education
  • 02 - Arts and humanities

2. Innovative teaching and learning
  • Student partnerships/engagement in the teaching and learning practice
  • Online and offline cooperative and collaborative work – developing engaging dynamics in the learning process
  • Innovative online and blended learning methods, engaging and participative hybrid learning organization
  • Innovative methodology to keeping motivation and attention during online lectures
  • Innovative physical classroom activities

The DEbate project is not a stand-alone teaching practice but rather a complex educational project with multiple components that are implemented at different levels and for a diverse group of participants. The aim of all components is to promote and facilitate the use of debating as an educational method in and outside the classroom both at high schools and universities. The first stage of the multi-year project involved the launching of an English-language debate competition for high school students. This proved to be a great success and became a nationwide competition that we have implemented in cooperation with various businesses and such entities as the United States Embassy in Budapest. In the process we also realized that there was a need for materials in Hungarian that could help educators use this method in their teaching practice more extensively and professionally. For this purpose we created a modern e-learning material, providing a description of the method, its key benefits, opportunities for its use, and a practical guide complete with videos and interactive exercises. The e-learning course may be accessed by educators, students and also people outside academia who are interested in using the debate method. Debating is also incorporated into a university course titled “Debating America” where students learn about the United States as part of their educational program in a student-centered and interactive way. At all levels and in all components of the program the objective is to develop key skills, including communication, collaboration, critical thinking, public speaking, promote active student participation in the learning process, encourage evidence-based argumentation in connection with a variety of social issues, and accelerate learning across the curriculum. The package we have developed offers a comprehensive methodological resource that enables the use of debating in and outside the classroom in a way that is versatile, scalable, and flexible and may therefore be used in a great variety of settings for diverse purposes on the long-run as well. The e-learning material offers a useful resource for colleagues, the debate competition popularizes debating in Hungarian high schools already, while the university course applies the method at the tertiary level and serves as a good practice model that may in the near future be used in other programs as well.

Tools, equipment, technology used
Outcomes and outputs, main results
Lessons learnt
Adaptability and sustainability of the best practice (for other institutions)
Promotion of best practice
Scope and impact
  • Course/department level
  • Faculty level
  • Institutional level
  • Cross-institutional level
  • National level

6.1 Digitalization
  • Outstanding, innovative, excellent practices of online / blended / hybrid learning
  • Innovative, novel methodology in using digital tools/devices in teaching

Reasoning: Our e-learning material makes use of original video recordings, interactive tasks, and exercises that promote self-reflection. It also invites feedback from users: several chatting and feedback modules are built into the course, which facilitates communication between the creators of the course and the users, and among the users themselves. This way, users—whether educators or corporate coaches—can share their best practices with each other.

6.2 Internationalization
  • Students engagement in international projects
  • International projects/research results embedded into course development and T&L

Reasoning: We have received publicity from the US Embassy Budapest, the American Corners and American Spaces in Hungary (examples:;;; We are planning to use our know how also in the EU Neurotech project as part of international cooperation.

6.3 Inclusion and diversity, universal design


6.4 Sustainability


3.3 Public contact datas
Name Email address Website
Balazs Venkovits