[eDebate] 50 speaker point scale at Wake

Morris, Eric R EricMorris
Thu Nov 1 15:05:53 CDT 2007

My freshman year at CEDA I had a ballot with glowing comments and a 29/40 points which altered our elim placement. I hope any points that might indicate the judge "forgot" the new point system would be confirmed by the tab - just as low point wins are confirmed. 
Dr. Eric Morris
Asst Prof of Communication & Director of Forensics
Craig Hall 366A, Dept of Communication
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO 65897
(O) 417-836-7636
(H) 417-865-6866
(C) 417-496-7141
AIM: ermocito, ericandtaleyna


From: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com on behalf of EMarlow at ucok.edu
Sent: Thu 11/1/07 1:31 PM
To: Andy Ellis
Cc: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com; edebate; Ross Smith; ceda-l at ndtceda.com
Subject: Re: [eDebate] 50 speaker point scale at Wake

Here's my fear.  I remember the old days when CEDA nats used a 40 point scale.  Every year some team or debater that generally cleared and/or received speaker awards would not because one of their judges forgot the scale change.  You would get a judge giving what they thought were great point like a 29 only to realize later that the scale was different.  I encourage judges to be diligent and cognizant of the scale change. 


"Andy Ellis" <andy.edebate at gmail.com> 
Sent by: edebate-bounces at www.ndtceda.com 

11/01/2007 12:19 PM 

"Ross Smith" <smithr at wfu.edu> 
edebate <eDebate at ndtceda.com>, ceda-l at ndtceda.com 
Re: [eDebate] 50 speaker point scale at Wake	


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 <mailto: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.

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
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://groups.wfu.edu/debate/> 
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