July 3, 2014, by Teaching at Nottingham

Students turn teachers to develop debating course

Julie Sanders: “Students at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC) have had the chance to step into their teachers’ shoes by developing their own course.

“The course, which will be available from September as an optional module for all UNNC students, was developed by students in collaboration with members of staff.

“It will introduce those who study it to British Parliamentary debating in order to develop their reasoning, presentation and language skills.

“British Parliamentary debate, sometimes referred to as worlds-style or four-team debate, is seen by many as the most popular, most international and fastest-growing format of competitive debate.

“Yangluan Luo, a second year BA International Business Management| student, led the development of the course. As president of the student society Nottingham Debating Union China (NDUC), she felt a module focussing on debating techniques would be beneficial to students.

She said: “We wanted to develop this module because learning how to debate and present arguments effectively is complimentary to what students are already learning on their courses. Taking part in competitive debate helps students improve their note taking skills, forces them to think on their feet and to keep up with current affairs – all essential skills for both university and working life.”

The module, which took three months to develop, will be available to students to study optionally through the Nottingham Advantage Award, which allows students to build on their extracurricular interests and personalise their career development.

For Yangluan getting the chance to be involved in developing a course was an interesting experience.

She said: “I had to learn how our teachers go about developing a course, from following guidelines and procedures for course development to ensuring that the course was applicable and useful to students. I also learnt how to write proposals and assessment guidelines. Seeing the amount of hard work that goes into course development was eye-opening for me.

“I’m really glad to be able to contribute to UNNC and to students’ development, and I hope those who take the module find it useful and stimulating. I’ve certainly enjoyed developing the course so I hope they enjoy taking it!”

The NDUC will organise a debate camp at the University between 6 and 11 July, which will bring together students from education institutions all over the world to take part in competitive debating.

 Professor Julie Sanders
Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning)
University of Nottingham Ningbo China

Posted in Curriculum designStudents' academic development