Tips for Students

Getting used to a new platform can take time! As you’re getting the hang of Kialo, here are some tips to get the most out of your discussions.

  1. Read your teacher’s instructions carefully. Kialo is a versatile platform that can be used in a number of ways. Your teacher’s assignment is the final word on how you should use it to complete the assignment, and should supersede any of the tips below.
  2. Keep your work organized by putting each claim in the proper place. Claims should directly support (Pro) or attack (Con) the claim directly above them (the ‘parent’ claim). A clear link between related claims makes your Kialo discussion easy to read and understand.
  3. Contribute Pros and Cons to others’ claims, not just your own. When taking part in a discussion with others, remember that it’s a group effort. It can be easy to focus only on your own parts of a discussion: instead, take the initiative to help develop the areas which would benefit from another standpoint, improving the overall quality of the discussion.
  4. Use the comments section under individual claims to organize your notes and collaborate where it is most relevant. The comments section lets you plan and discuss changes to claims to improve both them and your discussion as a whole. The notifications column (right-hand side) is useful in keeping track of any comments you need to respond to – they will disappear once you’ve clicked on them, so it’s easiest to respond to them as they come up.
  5. Use the discussion chat to talk about global discussion issues. Sometimes, you’ll need to make sweeping changes to your discussion that go beyond just changes to individual claims – using the discussion chat helps ensure that everyone who needs to see and contribute to that discussion is able to.
  6. You can mention your classmates or teammates by using the @ feature. This will make sure your comment shows up in their “important notifications.” To ensure a particular user sees your comment, use @[username], or use the general tags @claim or @reply to notify all participants who have commented on the same claim.
  7. Know your Teams. You can access all the debates a team you’re a member of has access to on the Team page.
  8. Use links when allowed and appropriate. Assuming your teacher and school allow the use of outside resources you can link them directly into the relevant claim.
  9. Check for duplicates. When writing a new claim, there is a feature that will list similar claims on the same page. You can use this list to avoid adding a claim you or another classmate have already added, or to identify students with similar ideas that you can work with. If you think a claim belongs in more than one location, you can link it in new locations – and bring any subclaims along with it in the process.
  10. Pay attention to Teacher Feedback. Your teacher will tell you when they’ve left Feedback on your claims in a discussion. To easily view all of your claims, and any Teacher Feedback received, open the ‘My Claims’ list from the Discussion Menu.
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