Debate – Typical Day

Sample Daily Schedules

The following is a very early draft of potential daily schedules from the different phases of the institute. The schedule is designed to be flexible, allowing us to modify the amount of daily instruction to avoid student and staff burnout, which is a particular concern in a distance learning environment.

Example Daily Schedule – Week 1

9:30-10:45 AM – Topic lecture #1, live via Zoom, with time for questions & answers

11:00 AM-12:00 PM – Topic lecture #2, same format

1:30-2:30 PM – break-out groups, each instructor delivers setup instructions for the afternoon’s activity

2:30-3:30 PM – students prepare speeches, instructors are available to answer questions

3:30-5:00 PM – students deliver practice speeches, instructors give feedback

5:00-5:30 PM – lab groups discuss argument research assignments and divide labor

Evening – students work on argument research independently, with instructors available via Slack to answer questions from 7:00 to 9:00 PM


Example Daily Schedule – Weeks 2-5 

9:30 AM-12:00 PM – practice debates via Zoom

1:30-2:30 PM – students prepare and deliver reworked final speeches from practice debates and receive instructor feedback

2:30-4:00 PM – students work independently or in small groups on argument research, with instructors available via Slack to answer questions

4:00-5:00 PM – lab groups meet via Zoom to discuss progress on research assignments and go over work-in-progress files together

Evening – students watch a pre-recorded lecture video, prepare a speech, and record themselves giving that speech. Instructors are available via Slack to answer questions, and review speech recordings as they come in, providing written feedback


Daily Schedule – Week 6

The last few days of the institute will be devoted to an institute-wide tournament. The days before the tournament will be devoted to finalizing the institute’s arguments and evidence, as well as tournament preparation.



The Northwestern Debate Institute Faculty strives to create an Institute-long curriculum schedule that provides students an engaging debate experience through a varied set of activities each day to maximize both education outcomes and student enjoyment of the activity.




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