Try Out a Kialo Classroom Debate for Colleges and Universities

To try out Kialo Edu for the first time, we recommend starting with a classroom debate. Having a classroom debate with students is the simplest and easiest way to see Kialo Edu in action, and requires very minimal preparation and planning.

There are two broad ways to structure a classroom debate: either as one large debate with your entire class, or as multiple smaller group debates. In general, short Kialo classroom debates work best when students are in groups of 15-30. If your class is much larger than that, we recommend following the optional Step 4 to create multiple copies of the debate to share with smaller groups. Larger groups can still have a productive and engaging debate; however, each student usually has less opportunity to participate directly. See Using Kialo with Large Groups of Students for more information.

Step 1: Create your own account on Kialo Edu

If you haven’t yet signed up for Kialo Edu:

  1. Open the Sign Up page by clicking the blue Sign Up button on Kialo Edu.
  2. Sign up with your Google, Microsoft, or Clever account; or your email address.

If you have any issues, see Creating an Account for more information.

Step 2: Create a discussion on Kialo Edu

  1. Think of the thesis you’d like your students to debate. A good thesis for a Kialo discussion is debatable, with plenty of room to argue for or against different positions. See Writing an Effective Thesis for Student Discussions for more information.
  2. On the My Kialo page, click the Create Discussion button in the top-right corner.
  3. Select a single-thesis discussion. Multi-thesis discussions can quickly become complicated for students not familiar with Kialo. 
  4. Choose a name for your discussion. Usually, the name is the question students should tackle, like “Does pineapple belong on pizza?” or “Does free will exist?”
  5. Write a thesis for your discussion. A good thesis is often just an affirmative answer to the question, like “Pineapple belongs on pizza” or “Free will exists.” – the key is that it’s a statement students can agree or disagree with.
  6. Click Skip rest and create, unless you have specific settings you want to configure for the discussion.
  7. Welcome to your Kialo discussion!

Tip: If you’d like, you can now add some “starter claims” that will help spark the discussion. A good starter claim is a very basic, general argument that supports or refutes the thesis. It should act like an effective “umbrella” for supporting arguments.

Step 3: Enable sharing

Kialo Edu’s Instant Access feature allows students to immediately enter a discussion with no need for sign ups or logins.

  1. In your discussion, click the Share button in the top-right corner.
  2. Check the box to enable Instant Access.

Tip: If you wish to split up your class into smaller groups, skip to Step 4 now.

  1. Share the newly generated sharing link and/or the QR code with your students.

Tip: Be careful sharing the sharing link and QR code! Anyone with the link or code can use them to access the discussion.

  1. That’s it! Let the discussion begin!

Step 4 (Optional): Share copies of the discussion with multiple groups

This is recommended, although not necessary, for classes substantially larger than 15-30 students. We recommend dividing students into groups of about this size – if your class has, for example, 100 students, you’d clone your discussion three times for a total of four discussions.

  1. First, make sure you’ve enabled Instant Access by following steps 1-2 in Part 3 above.
  2. In your discussion, click the title in the top-center to open up the Discussion Menu.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom to the Discussion Actions.
  4. Click the Clone Discussion button.
  5. (Optional) To not mix up the different discussions, you may wish to number or name each copy, such as “Does free will exist? Group#2”, “Does free will exist? Group#3”, and so on.
  6. Click the blue Clone button in the bottom-right of the window.
  7. Repeat this process to create as many copies of the discussion as you want. 
  8. Each copy will have its own unique sharing link and QR code to share. Split your class up and give each group their link and/or QR code to access their copy of the discussion.

Tip: Be careful sharing the sharing link and QR code. Anyone with the link or code can use them to access the discussion.

  1. That’s it! Let the discussions begin!

Like Kialo Edu? Have students register for future discussions

If you plan on using Kialo Edu in the future, students should ideally have their own accounts and be part of the same Kialo team, making it easier for you to invite them to more discussions. You can use any of the below methods:

Have students create their own accounts

The easiest way to organize new student accounts is to invite your students by email to a Team. When your students sign up, their accounts will be automatically added to the team.

To create a team:

  1. On the My Kialo page, click the Teams tab at the top.
  2. Click the blue New Team button.
  3. On the new Team’s page, select the Members tab.
  4. At the top, click the button to enable the Team Invite Link.
  5. Share the newly generated Team Invite Link and/or QR code with the class.
  6. Repeat this process for all your classes.

Once students are in a team together, you can invite an entire team to a discussion the same way you would an individual user.

Import a Google Classroom

You can import a Google Classroom roster directly into a Team on Kialo Edu. This will automatically create accounts for students using their Google Classroom email addresses. Students can then log into Kialo Edu using the Continue with Google button.

Managed Accounts

If you’d like to maximize control over your students’ Kialo Edu accounts (or skip the hassle of students creating their own), you can create accounts through Managed Accounts. This way, you create and manage students’ usernames, passwords, and associated emails for them.

Further Reading

If you like Kialo Edu and want to learn more, we’ve written educator-specific articles which you may find helpful on how to best get to grips with, and utilize, Kialo Edu:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or feedback. Your feedback is extremely valuable and helps us develop the right features and documentation to improve your experience using Kialo Edu.

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