Using Facebook to facilitate international debate

Dr Bronwen Jones, Lecturer in Law

Newcastle Law School

Humanities and Social Sciences

What did you do?

Established a closed group on Facebook as a forum for debate between students of intellectual property law at Helwan University in Egypt and Newcastle University, Law School in the UK.

Who is involved?

Dr Bronwen Jones, Lecturer in Law, Newcastle University Dr Shaimaa Lazem, Researcher at City for Scientific Research and Technological Applications, Alexandria, Egypt & Visiting Researcher at Open Lab, Newcastle University Professor Yasser Gadallah, Helwan University, Egypt Law Postgraduate students at Newcastle University Law Postgraduate students at Helwan University.

How do you do it?

Dr Bronwen Jones and Shaimaa Lazem created a closed group on Facebook called Intellectual Property Debate (Newcastle University – Helwan University).

Law postgraduate students at both Universities were invited to join the group as a voluntary project. Research articles were shared between the group as preparatory research material, including articles about how to develop debating skills. A debate question was shared, and two teams were formed (Helwan University and Newcastle University). Each team were given a position from which they had to argue. Students were given 1 week to form their argument as a group, and each team posted their response to the group on Facebook.

A winning team was decided upon based on the quality of their argument. Following the debate, students continued to share articles and add to the discussion. A questionnaire was issued to the students and responses were gathered and analysed.

Why do you do it?

To try something new in response to issues and facilitate cultural exchange and understanding of positions and interests.

Does it work?

Student responses to the questionnaire at the end of the project revealed that the students from both Universities had found it beneficial, and they were keen to participate again. Discussion continued among the group even when the debate was completed.

Contact Details

Bronwen Jones, Lecturer in Law




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