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debate, graduate nursing education, online education, teaching methods, virtual debate



  1. George, Tracy P. DNP, APRN-BC, CNE
  2. Munn, Allison C. PhD, RN
  3. Phillips, Tiffany A. DNP, NP-C


Background: It is important to foster active participation in online graduate nursing courses through creative teaching strategies, such as virtual synchronous debates.


Method: A free videoconferencing system was used to complete the virtual synchronous debates. Demographic information and survey data were obtained to assess the impact of an online debate on critical thinking and presentation skills.


Results: Seven of the 10 scored survey items had statistically significant differences in preimplementation and postimplementation ranked scores. Five qualitative themes were revealed: predebate anxiety/nervousness, technical issues/online format, learning experience, improved presentation skills, and group work.


Conclusion: Through virtual synchronous debates, graduate nursing students can gain a stronger appreciation for ethical issues in health care, learn to succinctly convey their views, and increase their confidence in presenting a professional argument.