Try Out a Kialo Classroom Debate for High School

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 ways to set up the classroom debate: either invite students directly to the discussion, or create a Kialo team for students first.

Teams are an easy way to coordinate a group of students on Kialo. If you want a space to share multiple discussions with the same group of students or a convenient way to split your class into multiple groups, using teams makes this easier long term.

Setting up a Classroom Debate Without Teams

  1. Decide on a discussion question (“thesis”) for the debate (see: Writing an Effective Thesis).
  2. Create a Kialo discussion. Once you have created a Kialo Edu account and logged in:
    1. Click ‘Create Discussion’ on the My Kialo Page.
    2. Select ‘Single Thesis’.
    3. Add the central question, claim, or topic as the Discussion Name. The name is also the discussion thesis – the statement students debate whether to agree or disagree with – but both the name and thesis can be separately changed later.
    4. If desired, upload a cover image for the discussion, and add any background or instructions for students to read into the Background Information field. Again, the Background Info and cover image can be edited later.
    5. When ready, click ‘Complete’.
  3. Share the debate with students. To invite students directly to the discussion:
    1. Click the three horizontal bars at the top-left of the screen to open the Discussion Menu.
    2. Click ‘Discussion Settings’.
    3. Click the ‘Invites & Permissions’ tab.
    4. In the ‘Invite to this Discussion’ section, enter each of the students’ emails separated with a space, or their Kialo Edu usernames if they’ve already signed up. Then, click ‘Invite’.
      Alternatively, you can also create a Discussion Access Link for students to click, which is faster to set up. However, be wary of students sharing the link outside the classroom.
  4. Have a debate! As Writers in the discussion, students can add, edit, and move their own claims, as well as comment on each others’ claims to suggest improvements.

Setting Up a Classroom Debate Using Teams

  1. Create a team for students. Once you have created a Kialo Edu account and logged in, follow these steps to create a Kialo team:
    • Click ‘Teams’ on the My Kialo Page.
    • Click the ‘+ New Team’ button.
    • Enter a team name.
    • Click ‘Create’.
  2. Invite students to join the team. There are two ways to do this:
    1. If you want strict control over who joins your team: invite students to the team directly using their username or email address. Students receive an email, and an invitation on Kialo Edu to join the team which they need to accept. If students don’t have an account, they are prompted to create one first.
      • Open the My Kialo page and navigate to the Teams section.
      • Select the team, then click ‘Members’.
      • In the ‘Invite to team’ section, enter students’ usernames or email addresses separated by spaces.
      • When finished, click ‘Invite’.You can continue following the rest of this guide to set up the discussion while waiting for students to accept the invitation.
    2. If your school doesn’t allow students to receive external emails and/or students can be trusted to be responsible with an invite link: create a Team Invite Link that invites anyone who clicks it to join the team. If students don’t have an account, they are prompted to create one first.
      • Open the My Kialo page and navigate to the Teams section.
      • Select the team, then click ‘Members’.
      • In the Team Invite Link section, click ‘Enable’ to generate the link.
      • Share this link with students.You can continue following the rest of this guide to set up the discussion while waiting for students to join the team.
  3. Decide on a discussion question (“thesis”) for the debate (see: Writing an Effective Thesis).
  4. Create a Kialo discussion:
    • Click ‘Create Discussion’ on the My Kialo Page.
    • Select ‘Single Thesis’.
    • Add the central question, claim, or topic as the Discussion Name. The name is also the discussion thesis – the statement students debate whether to agree or disagree with – but both the name and thesis can be separately changed later.
    • If desired, upload a cover image for the discussion, and add any background or instructions for students to read into the Background Information field. Again, the Background Info and cover image can be edited later.
    • When ready, click ‘Complete’.
  5. Invite the team created earlier to the discussion:
    • In the discussion, click the three horizontal bars at the top-left of the screen to open the Discussion Menu.
    • Click ‘Discussion Settings’, then click ‘Permissions and Invites’ in the window that opens.
    • In the ‘Invite to this discussion’ field, click ‘Pick Team’ and select the team.
    • Click ‘Invite’.
  6. Have a debate! Once students join the team, they have access to the discussion. As Writers, students can add, edit and move their own claims, and comment on each others’ claims to suggest improvements.

In the future, if you want to have another debate with all of your students, repeat steps 3-6.

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