[eDebate] 50 speaker point scale at Wake

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Thu Nov 1 13:19:22 CDT 2007

Ok, Im all into this new system an like the description ross offers. My
concern i guess is this:

As broken as the other system is almost everybody at the wake tournament
knows how to use it, the new system may have some getting used to time...The
fear for me is that one or two judges who do not yet have a good grasp of
they feel about the 50 point scale can create a serious problem in the world
where a bunch of 5-3's are not clearing on points anyway. Of course this
could cut both ways and any particular team could benefit from the 50 point
scale as much as they could be hurt by it, but i guess i would be frustrated
if in a 30 point scale a team i coached had the points, but didnt under the
50 point scale. There is of course also no way to check who would have
cleared in a 30 point scale vs the 50 which also makes it difficult to make
comparisons...I'm all for the innovation, just a bit nervous that some
judges may be harder graders than point givers....

On 11/1/07, Ross Smith <smithr at wfu.edu> wrote:
> I promised in the invitation that I would share thoughts and encourage
> discussion. That'e the purpose of this.
> 1) The current system is broken. No doubt. Multi-way ties are now broken
> by judge variance ( a meaningless stat no better than random number.
> People are sensing that 28.5 is too many points for a given speaker
> while 28 is too few. The standard deviation (a measure of menaingful
> differences) is now smaller than 0.5, whiich means there judeges
> "exagerate" in either direction when they assign points.
> 2) Going to decimals or quarter points is one alternative, but does not
> require people to rethink.
> 3) When grading papers for classes we are able to make a wider range of
> disinctions than only good, real good, and great (28, 28.5, 29).
> 4) How I suggest the 50 point scale be used.
> NOT as a different digit in front -- 28.5 does NOT equate to 48.5.
> Obviously.
> Think of grades. 90% and above is an A. 80-90 is a B. Assume you are a
> very kind professor who will give mostly A's and B's and does not want
> to buck the grade inflation trend (it is unfair to do so since it
> punishes students relative to their peers merely for having you as the
> prof., not for the quality of their work).
> So, 45 points is an A-. 44 is B+. 50 is A+. 40 is B-. There are poins in
> between. 47 is a solid A. 48 a higher A. 49 is GREAT. 43 is a solid B.
> We have a national tournament with a limited field, so most of the
> students will be A and B students. Somebody who, in the entire nation of
> debate is just average might "deserve" a C (35-39). Probably does not
> matter much.
> I suspect there are more B students than there are A students (bell
> curves beiing what they are). You might usefully think of the A students
> as the ones that debate well enough that they are likely in the top
> third of the field.
> It should be no source of shame to a student to get a B. A B+ might be
> saying you are close to getting there.
> For those who like to think in other terms, maybe this will help:
> 49-50: Brilliant. Hard to imagine a better performance.
> 47-48: NDT elim worthy performance.
> 45-47: Powerful but not extraordinary. Workmanlike break round or early
> elim.
> 43-44: Good stuff, but missing what it takes to break into the top
> national level.
> 40-42: Decent. More than one area needs improvement.
> --
> Ross K. Smith
> Director of Debate
> Wake Forest University
> 336-251-2076 (c)
> 336-758-5268 (o)
> http://groups.wfu.edu/debate/
> http://www.DebateScoop.org
> _______________________________________________
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> eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
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