Supporting On-line Debates

I was prompted to write this blog following a conversation on LinkedIn. I thought the topic deserved a more 'public' airing, and perhaps it may develop into something more expansive. So, thanks are due to LinkedIn member Vicki Brace for asking the question and to Marisa Davis, and Lee Webber for their comments.

Discussion Boards

WallWisher (http://www.wallwisher.com) FREE

The instructor creates a 'wall' then attaches electronic post it notes. The URL of the wall is distributed to participants.

Participants can attach post-it notes with questions, answers, and so on.






Video Posts

Intervue (http://intervue.me) FREE

The instructor posts a video clip of a question and distributes the URL to participants.

Participants follow the URL and respond by posting video clips (e.g. via webcam).





Video Chat

Oovoo (http://www.oovoo.com) FREE (for up to 12 people)

Oovoo provides the facility for up to 12 people to video conference and message.

The instructor can engage with participants directly and use messaging to record outcomes and post on, e.g. the discussion board.


(http://www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/get-skype) FREE

Skype can be used for collaboration in pairs or groups. 'Chats' can be used to record outcomes, written-up, and then posted.

Tips for On-line Debates

What has been your experience with regard to great, free, technologies to support on-line debate/learning?

What did you do to ensure it worked well/was successful?


  1. Anonymous21:39

    I think that virtual communication works far better when it is facilitated outstandingly and participant are aware of what is expected of them. I have used skype and google hangout with small groups situated in different places. They need to ensure they have quiet place, good webcam, good lighting etc..

  2. Dear Anonymous;

    Many thanks for your comment.

    I very much agree. The use of technology does not remove the responsibilities of facilitators in ensuring organised and informed participation.

    With best wishes.