Debate preparation in teamwork

Today our pod brought together some ethical issues for discussion. It was not very easy to choose as there were a number of topics and all of them sounded great. I was very surprise how our pod was not aggressive about topic decision as I recalled my past experience that conflicts usually occur during this part.  Alternatively we worked in harmony and feedback on each other’s topic to make a final decision. We ended up expressing special interest in Euthanasia although the topic did not highlight much of scientific or experimental aspect of ethics. Our group thought that among a number of scientific and laboratory issues we might add an extraordinary dish to the menu. I thought this was a good idea since our class might get bored of so many technical problems then we bought in a more social, religious and psychological topic would be engaging. I decided to raise a question to Mac (our subject coordinator) and explained why we chose this to see if she agreed for us to choose this topic. Luckily we were accepted. This made me think that if we strongly believe in our argument, we can make a difference.

euthanasia-new-zealand-300x184

Figure 1. Australian Morning Mail, 9th June 2015 < http://morningmail.org/euthanasia-back-on-the-table/ >

We quickly split the pod into two smaller groups to represent for and against of this topic. I thought we were good at making decision because it did not take us too long to assign the group as well as our tasks. Nathan and myself would do some research and point out THREE views to support euthanasia. Josh chose to research any opposition about euthanasia so that we would be prepared when they question us. Initially, I was really confident since this was the topic that I did preparation prior to the workshop. However, we eventually struggled how we would organise the debate process to make it more like a natural discussion. We did not want it to be a presentation where everyone just read out their arguments from paper without putting their own feelings or thought in it. Eventually, I suggested during the debate, each of us (including the “against” team) will have a chance to read their own point and let the opposition debate about it. We hoped to keep each argument to be discussed within 3 minutes so that we have time for many views as possible.

In order to keep our communication bonded and updated, we made a group chat on Facebook so that any issues or changes during the week can be discussed. I learnt that nowadays, communication via Facebook is very common as I have different group chats for different subjects that involving group works. Being able to keep up-to-date with technology is crucial and I cannot deny the important role of social media on our student’s life. We agreed that three days before the actual debate, we would come back together and finalise our argument to keep the ideas consistent, clear and concise. One more lesson that I learnt from working with this group was that conflicts can be avoided if we listened to each other and acknowledge other’s ideas.

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