[eDebate] Judging in the dark
Thu Sep 24 18:00:50 CDT 2009
As I said, the judge wouldn't look at any portion of the speech doc until
after the speech was over.
This simply enables the judge to read cards & CP texts that they will (if
they chose) read after the debate during prep/cx/etc instead (or in addition
to). Even when they read evidence after the debate (and more and more
judges read nearly all of it after the debate anyhow), they still have
to/ought to consider what the debaters said about it/how it was debated.
This is no different.
I'm sure that when judges started reading evidence after the debate people
argued that it would destroy orality and the activity. It didn't. It did
change it. In some ways it would make it better (judges would understand
more of what was happening in the debate when the debate was happening) and
maybe in some ways it would make it worse (perhaps a little less emaphasis
Ironically, I think, if judges actually understood the evidence as it was
being read, this wouldn't even be controversial because judges would gain
little from the reading. But, since they are often left in the dark/the
dusk, I don't see what the harm is to letting them read the evidence at
approximately the same time all the debaters in the debate get to read it
instead of an hour later.
On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 6:38 PM, David Glass <gacggc at gmail.com> wrote:
> The only real check on devolution here is to have the judges make sure
> that they are going on what they heard and understood from the
> debaters during the speeches, and that they use evidence reading
> as a purely confirmatory exercise.
> So the worst thing would be for debaters to give the judge a copy of their
> speech as well before they start, as suggested by Stefan. The speaking
> at that point would be completely irrelevant to the debate, except to
> determine which portion of the written document is admissible.
> On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 2:42 PM, Sarah Spring <spring.sarah at gmail.com>
> > David and Stefan raise an interesting point - I think Stefan is clearly
> > correct that we are largely judging in the dark. Maybe its just my
> > lack of a perfect flow - but I often find myself in the same position of
> > knowing what the page-long counterplan does or how it competes - debaters
> > largely forget to communicate this clearly to the judge (although in the
> > best debates this might not be the case). The question becomes either
> > we push debaters to communicate the material more effectively or should
> > try to access the written material?
> > Secondly, does paperless make this worse or just highlight the problems?
> > think a discussion about flowing I've been having with my debaters also
> > highlights this problem, a majority of the 2As on my team don't flow the
> > block - they rather just read the cards that are read. While I find
> > cards to be important - they aren't getting what is said exactly.
> > of the validity of this practice - I've seen this symptom alot - debaters
> > feel pressure to read all of the cards in the debate and judges just
> > - this creates a unique imbalance in communication given that debaters
> > read all of the cards, the judges have only listened to the arguments and
> > boom then the judges have to catch up and read a ton of cards at the end
> > the debate. 2 hour decisions are probably another symptom of this
> > But is it paperless that causes this or perhaps our obsession with
> > evidence? I think its more likely that this problem has developed over
> > last few decades and paperless now can give us a way to remedy this
> > imbalance - that is that the judge can now probably keep up with the
> > evidence in the debate, if we so choose. But - do we want this? I'm not
> > quite sure that I do. I agree that the oral communication of debate is
> > probably valuable - how do we save it? Just some interesting and good
> > questions that I'm not sure I have an answer to.
> > Sarah
> > On Sep 24, 2009, at 7:47 AM, David Glass wrote:
> >> It just seems that what your'e really saying is that the debate is
> >> really becoming
> >> a written activity not an oral activity, and the limits as to what
> >> material is entered
> >> into the debate is how much can be read during speech time... but the
> >> the
> >> information is actually understood and processed is via reading - and
> >> paperless
> >> definitely accentuates this and flips the balance to the round being
> >> about
> >> written-word processing.
> >> On Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 10:00 PM, Stefan Bauschard
> >> <stefan.bauschard at gmail.com> wrote:
> >>> This is in no way an objection to paperless...
> >>> The neg gets the 1AC right before the debate starts...they are
> >>> asked not to read ahead...but they can read along...the judge sits and
> >>> listens -- the best he or she can...maybe yells "clearer" now and
> >>> then...the
> >>> neg doesn't much care about "clearer" because they are just
> >>> maybe quickly changing the small sized font to get more context...
> >>> Then the 1NC goes...ditto...they get it all...and are reading
> >>> along...they
> >>> get that long CP text that spikes every 2AC answer and has a crafty
> >>> net-benefit..of course, the CP is read really fast and the judge tries
> >>> sit there and figure out what it does while the Aff is reading every
> >>> and integrating cards into their speech.doc.. c-x ensues with everyone
> >>> but
> >>> the judge having read the full text of (just about) everything....
> >>> It seems to me that it is nearly impossible for the judge to be as
> >>> clued-in
> >>> to what all the arguments in the debate are/process them as fast since
> >>> they
> >>> are only getting the info orally and others are getting to read it as
> >>> goes...
> >>> I thought this was always somewhat of a problem..debaters reading cards
> >>> CP
> >>> texts during the debate...with the judge trying to figure it out
> >>> after..or
> >>> at least getting more clued in later when reading the evidence after
> >>> debate rather than during...but with the participants getting real-time
> >>> access to at least all evidence-based things during the debate and the
> >>> judge
> >>> not getting it until after it just seems that the debate is always
> >>> to
> >>> proceed wit the participants having a much greater understanding of
> >>> is
> >>> going on than what the judge can provide by looking at it after the
> >>> debate.
> >>> What do people think of debaters also giving the judge a copy of the
> >>> speech
> >>> before they start? It would clue the judge in a lot faster. Is it
> >>> unreasonable for a judge to ask for this? I still think judges should
> >>> just
> >>> flow and not read along during the speech since obviously the content
> >>> the
> >>> speech probably won't exactly match the anticipated speech doc, but as
> >>> judge I'd love to be able to quickly read the CP while it was being
> >>> discussed in the c-x, maybe glance at the link cards when the link was
> >>> being
> >>> discussed, maybe look at an un-underlined part of a card when someone
> >>> tries
> >>> to argue that it says the opposite of the underlined part, and maybe
> >>> through some of the cards during prep time....
> >>> I don't think I'm alone in saying that when judging a debate I like to
> >>> understand the arguments as much as possible when the debate
> >>> progresses...paperless seems to create more judge darkness relative to
> >>> the
> >>> debaters in terms of understanding those arguments...immediately
> >>> the
> >>> doc would reduce the darkness....and it would probably speed-up
> >>> post-round
> >>> decision-making since I'd have a "full" understanding of the arguments
> >>> during the debate and would have all the ev I needed to look at
> >>> immediately
> >>> available at the end of the debate.
> >>> Thoughts?
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Debate Coach, Harvard Debate
Director of Debate, Lakeland Schools
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