Online Workshop Information for 2020

The Harvard Debate Council is pleased to announce an online workshop for the summer of 2020. The HDC has been a pioneer in online debate education. We offered one of the first online evidence databases in 1980s, HarvEx, and ran the premier the online debate platform during the 1990s and 2000s, PlanetDebate. We are excited to begin the next chapter with our first online summer workshop.

Key Info

1. Instruction will be delivered using the same platforms that Harvard uses for its online courses. We will use a combination of Canvas, Harvard’s learning management software, and Zoom, a videoconferencing platform that is fully integrated with Canvas. Students will have access to the course webpage once they receive their Harvard University ID numbers and set up their Harvard Keys.

2. Scheduling will be adapted so that students can participate from all continental US time zones. Each program will offer a mix of synchronous and asynchronous programming, including recorded lectures, live discussions, and mechanisms for students to submit recorded speeches and receive feedback as well as participate in live competitions. Daily schedules will model the physical workshop as closely as possible, with three sessions each day (morning, afternoon, and evening) including breaks for meals and scheduled social activities. Students should expect to be engaged with the workshop from the morning through the early evening each day.

3. The expected tuition price for each online workshop will be $999, which includes the $100 application fee and the $500 deposit. If you have registered for the physical workshop and wish to change your registration, we will refund any money you have paid over that amount.

4. Medical forms will no longer be required for the online program.

For any questions, please reach out to us at or at 617-495-4822.

Technological Requirements

In order to participate as seamlessly as possible in online courses, students will need the following:

  1. A desktop or laptop computer with a webcam. Tablets and phones can be used as supplements, but students will need a fully functioning computer. We also recommend that students have a dedicated space for using a webcam where outside interruption can be minimized.
  2. Stable internet access. A hard-wired ethernet connection is ideal, but strong wifi can be used as well. One workaround is to use a wifi range extender with an ethernet port, which should provide increased connectivity.
  3. A pair of headphones with a microphone. Any basic option will work, but the microphone quality is the most important element. Many debaters prefer to use gamer headsets.
  4. The policy program will require the use of Microsoft Word.
  5. Recommended but not required: a second monitor or screen and an external mouse.



Register for 2020

Applications are due by June 1, 2020.