Internet Debating Turns a Corner?

Today I was pleased to be tuned into this site which came across the British Debate Listserv.

I think it's a great site, easy to use and also very interesting to read.  I really enjoyed reading all the interesting debates that are already starting to develop. I decided to add one myself, and see if anyone decides to add arguments to it.

I've often tried to work into my classes on argument lessons on how to debate well in electronic forums such as email and forums, and of course more recently blogs. It requires a different set of skills that are related but have little parity to the face-to-face skills that dominate our instructional environment.

It seems like a good way to contribute to a resource, but also make students think about production of texts beyond the immediate class experience. If they know it will have staying power and that others will read it and think about it, the quality may increase.

What do you think of assigning students to shore up the side of a debate on this site, or if their particular debate or issue is not represented, having them set it up?

The critique can come from the tripartite instructor, peers, and Internet, and be discussed in class and through backchannel with the class whenever changes are made or arguments altered by others.

How would such a thing be assessed if made an assignment?