Getting Started with Kialo for Educators

When first getting started with Kialo Edu, you’ll find that there are a few things to get acquainted with. This article will help explain the different parts of Kialo and how they all come together to make Kialo an effective platform for teachers and students.

This article is broken down into two sections: Basics of Kialo, which explains the “building blocks” of Kialo you should know about; and Common Processes on Kialo, which outlines how some of these basics interact with each other.

Basics of Kialo


Kialo discussions are where the debating takes place.

Discussions are made up of claims, which are in their simplest form, a single piece of an argument — such as a premise or a supporting piece of research. They come in the form of either a pro, which argues for the claim above it, or a con, which argues against it.

At the top level of a discussion is a thesis (or multiple theses), which is the statement students argue for or against. As the thesis is the starting point of the discussion, it’s important to pick one that facilitates what you want your students to discuss (see Writing an Effective Thesis for more information).

See a Demo Classroom Debate for an example discussion.

Roles and Permissions

In a Kialo discussion, each participant can have one of six roles: Owner, Admin, Editor, Writer, Suggester, or Viewer. Each role gives the user different permissions in a discussion, so it’s important to understand what each role can do (giving students the power to delete each other’s claims can sometimes be problematic!). The Participant Roles and Permissions article outlines what each role has permission to do, as well as how to adjust them in a discussion.

Usually, students should have the Writer role in class discussions, while teaching staff have the Owner and Admin roles.


Organizing your students into teams allows you to save time while performing common tasks on Kialo, such as inviting students to discussions. When students are in a team, only the team needs to be invited to the discussion, rather than having to manually invite each student. See About Teams for more information.

Common Processes on Kialo

Creating Discussions and Inviting Students

Creating a discussion for students to debate in is probably one of the first things you’ll want to do on Kialo Edu. You can use Kialo’s library of pre-made discussion templates or create a blank discussion yourself. After you’ve created one, you’ll need to invite your students to participate. The easiest method is enabling the Instant Access Link setting, which allows you to simply share the link to your discussion with your class.

Creating Teams and Organizing Students

As outlined in the section above, teams are an important part of using Kialo in the classroom. When dealing with a large group of students, there are several ways to organize students into teams, depending on the desired outcome. The Organizing Students into Groups article is a step-by-step guide which outlines the easiest ways to get students into teams depending on your preferences.

Grading Discussions: Using Grading and Feedback

The Grading and Feedback tool allows you to grade and leave feedback on students’ claims and overall contributions in a discussion. You can choose when to release student grades and feedback, and students will be notified when they have new grades or feedback available. See Using the Grading and Feedback Feature for more information.

Integrating Kialo in your Learning Management System (LMS) via LTI

Kialo Edu can be integrated directly in your LMS platform, allowing teachers and students to seamlessly interact with Kialo Edu with permissions handled by the LMS. See the Integrating Kialo in Learning Management Systems article for up-to-date information on supported platforms and step-by-step instructions.

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