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Notes for Trainers
Session 8: judging debates
- To introduce participants to the role and responsibilities of a debate’s adjudication panel;
- To familiarise participants with basic judging and feedback techniques prior to the beginning of the practice debate sessions that will conclude the course;
- To give facilitators the opportunity to discuss the role that judge play in the DIN programme.
Group size: 20
Time required: 60 min.
- Arrange the seating in a manner that will allow participants to be able to interact with each other and look at PowerPoint presentation.
- Photo copy the following documents (a copy per participants):
- Judging quiz
- Sample ballot
During the session:
Tasks and activities
The facilitator explains that this session will be used to teach the participants how to evaluate the quality and content of the arguments that they here in a debate – how to judge a debate.
The facilitators should introduce the idea that debates are used to compare ideas and to test them against one another. As debates are comparative, they can also become competitive. The facilitator might mention that, in the United States and the United Kingdom, students take part in multiple debating leagues, with different school and universities competing against each other in dozens of annual competitions. However, even in the most competitive contexts, debate remains an educational activity, with judges serving to facilitate learning and development among debaters. So even if, as during the DIN programme, we choose not to put emphasis on competition between teams, judges still have an important role to play.
Debaters- young people especially- will always seek feedback on their performance during a debate (How did I do during the debate?). A judge’s task is to provide debaters with an open and honest assessment of their performance, constructive feedback on how their arguments could be improved and to ensure that everyone participating in the programme continue to develop as speakers and as thinkers.
Another important aspect of DIN is inclusion – ensuring that non-debaters can also participate in the program. Parents and members of the debaters’ community (neighbourhood) can contribute to the program by not only by being passive members of an audience, but by actively engaging in judging and giving feedback on debates. Facilitators should reiterate that the significance of judges is clearly something that will need to be addressed during the planning meetings that will precede public DIN debates.
Facilitators explain that before they present an overview of judging, they would like to give participants a short quiz to complete. Facilitators then hand out copies of Judging Quiz to each participant
Facilitators present check the answers to the quiz with the whole group (see a copy for facilitators – with answers)- 10 min. - and proceed to the Judging PowerPoint presentation.
Facilitators hand out sample ballots to participants (see the material Sample Ballot) and explain how to fill them in during and after the debate.
Facilitators conclude the session and inform participants of the next steps (if there is a break: where participants should go after the break – both as debaters and judges).