Medical Science Educator

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 181–187 | Cite as

Debate as an Adjunct Tool in Teaching Undergraduate Dental Students

  • Abubaker QutieshatEmail author
  • Tala Maragha
  • Mohammad Abusamak
  • Omar Rajjoub Eldik
Original Research


This work is an attempt to explore the potential of a new educational method that integrates debate as a teaching tool. This new teaching method was implemented into a single academic semester of an undergraduate bachelor of dentistry program. We sought to combine knowledge delivery with high-level debate between student debaters, and with the active participation of the audience who were themselves students. The teaching method comprised of three elements namely debates, reply speeches, and policy papers. Debating followed the World School Debate Championship (WSDC) format. Debate evaluation involved five main categories; argument, rebuttal, style, definition and strategy, and points of information (POIs). Student perception towards this educational method was evaluated using a Likert-scale questionnaire. Students gained valuable knowledge from the experience as reflected by the favorable Likert outcome scores. This work sheds light on the potential advantages of utilizing debate as a teaching tool from a student’s perspective. Implementing debate in teaching improved students’ ability to search and appraise scientific papers and proved to be meaningful and enjoyable. The carefully tailored 10-week format ensured good student responsiveness and engaged the entire class in an interactive, participatory setup. This educational method proved to be very effective in evidence-based dentistry teaching by promoting a deeper approach to learning that can help students to learn meaningfully and enhance their critical thinking skills.


Dental education Teaching methods Student-directed learning 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval


Informed Consent



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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Conservative Dentistry Department, Faculty of DentistryJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan

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