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NSDA Learn

NSDA LEARN is a ever growing set of self-paced online professional development courses. Upon successful completion of each course, member coaches will be able to download a professional development certificate by clicking the certificate icon next to the completed course on the side panel of this page.

Access your NSDA Learn profile

Available Courses

Free
Group of students sitting in a classroom

Advocating for a Class

 1 Hour

Offering a speech and debate class can give your program stability, increase participation, and offer greater work/life balance. In this course you will prepare to showcase interest, demonstrate how a class helps your school achieve its goals, determine the positioning and structure of your course, make a pitch incorporating data and student voices, and plan for the year ahead.

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Coach and student meeting together

Intro to NSDA Coaching

 1 Hour

Learn to manage your team roster, enter points, understand competition rules, find tournaments, and manage your team.

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Free
Group of students with their coaches at a tournament

How to Build a Student Leadership Program

 1 Hour

Offering leadership opportunities on your team facilitates peer coaching and mentorship, positively influences team culture, fosters leadership qualities in students, and inspires the next generation of coaches. This resource explores formal and informal student leadership opportunities with examples from programs around the country. Implement these models directly or use them to inspire one of your own.

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Free

Intro to Philosophy in Debate

 2 Hours

This course serves as an introduction to the most common philosophies in debate. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to apply philosophies to strengthen or weaken arguments, differentiate the three main branches of philosophy, and engage constructively with philosophies that are commonly used in competitive debates.

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Free
Students debating on a national stage

Intro to Kritiks

 4 Hours

This course introduces the fundamentals of kritikal debate in Policy and Lincoln-Douglas. Upon completion of the course, members will be able to explain and identify types of kritikal arguments, as well as respond to them in round with little preparation by attacking their framework, utilizing turns, indicting the alternative, making permutations, and more. This course also offers an overview of how to run a K.

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Free
Lincoln Douglas Debate Finals

Intro to Framework

 3 Hours

Students and coaches will learn the purpose and structure of framework in LD, as well as common philosophical theories. Upon completion of this course, members will be able to explain and respond to common frameworks in round or in the classroom.

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Free
Child sitting on the ground, hands on face upset in a school hallway.

Building Supportive Cultures to Prevent Bullying and Harassment

 2 Hours

Protecting students and fostering a positive team culture is critical for an enduring, stable program. Upon completion of this course, members will be able to identify and address power imbalances, set explicit rules and boundaries for adults working with youth, and prepare to implement strategies to actively develop cultures that both make bullying unacceptable and increase the probability students will notify you when concerns arise.

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Free
Engaging and Mentoring Students with Disabilities

Engaging and Mentoring Students with Disabilities

 3 Hours

This course will provide an overview of key terms, challenges, and potential strategies for supporting students with disabilities. Upon completion of the course, members will be able to chart a course forward, identify and implement the basic legal requirements for creating an accessible environment through the IDEA and Section 504 regulation, and explain potential applications for accommodations and modifications in practice and competitive forums.

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Free
Students talking with their coach

Intro to Coaching: Dramatic and Humorous Interp

 3 Hours

Learn the basics of coaching HI and DI including event structure, considerations for selecting literature, sample cuttings, activities for characterization, and more.

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Free
2019 Nationals DUO Finals

Performance Breakdown: Crafting a Duo Interp

 2 Hours

Dive into the process of putting together a Duo performance from start to finish. This course, geared toward both students and coaches, offers a look behind the scenes at the cutting, blocking, practicing, and performing of a final round Duo.

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Free
NSDA Learn - Engaging and Mentoring LGBTQ+ Students

Engaging and Mentoring LGBTQ+ Students

 3 Hours

Learn best practices for engaging and mentoring LGBTQ+ students, including concrete strategies for both LGBTQ+ coaches and straight cis coaches to recruit, offer a safe space, and advocate for student needs.

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Free
Intro to Coaching Informative Speaking

Intro to Coaching: Informative Speaking and Original Oratory

 3 Hours

Learn the basics of coaching OO and Info including event structure, topic selection, research, the writing process, delivery, and revision.

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Free
Intro to Coaching: POI

Intro to Coaching: Program Oral Interp

 2 Hours

Learn the fundamentals of coaching POI, including considerations for literature selection, refining and defining arguments, blocking, video examples, and tips for binder movement.

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Free

Intro to Coaching: Congress

 2 Hours

Explore the fundamentals of coaching Congressional Debate including strategies for helping students write effective legislation, ideas for team practices, persuasive delivery techniques, and more.

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Free
Coaches sitting together at a table

District Leader Onboarding

 2 Hours

This course is designed to help district leaders to assess, sustain, and improve their NSDA district. Seasoned and new leaders alike will benefit from this course as it strives to incorporate best practices and strategies that will help each NSDA district thrive regardless of its demographics.

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Free
Black Students at Tournament

Engaging and Mentoring Black/African American Students

 3 Hours

Learn to intentionally recruit Black/African American students (and assistant coaches and judges!), create solid parent-coach connections, build an anti-racist team, advocate for students, build equitable relationships, and recognize race while coaching.

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What Learners are Saying

Overall I thought the course was strong and offered some very concrete explanations on the different issues related to framework in Lincoln Douglas debate and perhaps clarified a few things for me as well.

Intro to Framework

Useful especially in a post-COVID environment, when it seems like the kids on my team are a year or two behind when it comes to socio-emotional maturity, yet are expected to shoulder all the responsibilities that come with their actual ages.

Building Supportive Cultures to Prevent Bullying and Harassment

The courses are easy to navigate and full of valuable information.

It is a wonderful way to work at your own pace and receive coaching certification.

I found the courses extremely helpful and earning those PD points helped me to re-certify this year.