DLSU WUDC Webseminar 1

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DLSU Adjudication Seminars :

DLSU Adjudication Seminars Seminar 1: Introduction

What these seminars are for:

What these seminars are for These seminars are for people who know the rules, but might not have judged much before There are lots of different perspectives on what good debating and judging are What’s contained here is only one opinion Adjudicators should always pay attention to the guidelines of the specific tournament they are at There are varying degrees of consensus; we’ll be open about where people agree and where they disagree We’ll probably sometimes mess up

This seminar will start to address two theoretical question, and some practical material:

This seminar will start to address two theoretical question, and some practical material Who are teams trying to persuade? What are they trying to persuade them of? An outline of judging a debate

Each team is competing to make the biggest positive contribution to their side:

Each team is competing to make the biggest positive contribution to their side This, of course, only defers to the question ‘what counts as the biggest positive contribution to their side?’ We must consider what the sides are trying to do.

1.0: As judges, we take the role of ‘the ordinary intelligent person’:

1.0: As judges, we take the role of ‘the ordinary intelligent person ’ This means we are not judging ‘as ourselves’ This has implications for: How logical our judging ought to be What types of language we should judge as if we understand The modes of influence we should judge as if we are susceptible to How much knowledge we should judge as if we have How interventionist we should be

1.1: We judge the outcome of a rational argument:

1.1: We judge the outcome of a rational argument Our ‘ordinary intelligent person’ is logical in their approach to the debate They can understand pretty much any concept or set of circumstances so long as it is explained in language the ordinary intelligent person understands

1.2: We understand English that isn’t a) jargon or b) very region-specific:

1.2: We understand English that isn’t a) jargon or b) very region-specific Our ‘ordinary intelligent person’ understands words in English that are part of everyday intelligent conversation or across most university courses, but: Not jargon – language specialised to a particular academic discipline/area of life (e.g. ‘ Ricardian equivalence’) Not culturally-specific colloquialism – words which those from other cultural environments might not understand (e.g. ‘magic pudding economics’) If someone uses a sort of language the ordinary intelligent person couldn’t understand, we shouldn’t imagine we understood This might mean a whole argument didn’t happen, or not matter much We might understand some but not all of a term’s content Some might not accept this consequence of excluding jargon

1.3: We think about logic, but are influenced by other things too:

1.3: We think about logic, but are influenced by other things too Our ‘ordinary intelligent person’ is logical in their approach to the debate They listen to what is said, and try to decide who has won the argument They will be influenced by how clearly and persuasively arguments are put But they are evaluating real policy not a performance There is dispute about how style, in particular, should be weighed

1.4: We have an ordinary, non-specialist knowledge:

1.4: We have an ordinary , non-specialist knowledge This is one of the aspects of judging not-as-you that many judges find hardest You should not judge as if you have specialist knowledge ‘Specialist knowledge’ is anything that most intelligent people with some political/cultural awareness wouldn’t know, unless, for instance, they had done a particular university course People phrase this in different ways, and draw different boundary-lines

1.5: We judge in a non-interventionist way:

1.5: We judge in a non-interventionist way Our ‘ordinary intelligent person’ is simply an observer They listen to arguments given, and see what is adequately refuted They don’t decide an argument is ‘bad’ and discount it (or even ‘factually untrue’) They do consider an argument valid until it is refuted, unless: It was much weaker than other arguments potential refuters had to deal with, and It was not given central emphasis by the speakers making it Some people would be more interventionist than this When we come to judge, we may weigh how ‘robust’ arguments would be to responses. Sometimes we have to decide what arguments were most important; wherever possible, leave it to the debate

2.0: Teams try to persuade us about a particular position we might take:

2.0: Teams try to persuade us about a particular position we might take Government teams are always endorsing a particular position ‘ X ’ Opposition teams are always disputing this – that is, they are endorsing the particular position ‘ not X ’ The only criterion to decide which side is winning a debate is which has better demonstrated their position in the argumentative context of the debate

2.1: Often, this position is a policy:

2.1: Often, this position is a policy Many debates are policy debates . Here the government outlines a policy they think we should do. The government just has to demonstrate it is better that we do it than not. The opposition just has to demonstrate it is worse that we do it than not. We think there are no other burdens of proof – e.g. to show a particular harm is solved, to provide an alternative etc.

The Theory: a Summary:

The Theory: a Summary We determine which team has made the biggest positive contribution to their side Sides are attempting to persuade the ordinary intelligent person about a position, often a policy This ordinary intelligent person is logical, but susceptible to persuasion; knows non-specialist information and understands non-specialist language; and is non-interventionist. But you need to be able to actually do this...

3.0: Putting it into practice:

3.0: Putting it into practice In judging any debate there are 6 steps: Following the debate Considering the result Discussing as part of a panel Determining team rankings Allocating speaker marks Giving the adjudication

3.1: Following the debate:

3.1: Following the debate Need to note the logical matter of the debate, and who said it Divided pages Advise 2 Record POIs Show the flow of arguments DEF: 1 2 3 Argument Argument Analysis Argument Further matter Matter Response A Response B Response C 1 Argument 2 Argument Introduction 1 1 Response 2 2 1 Argument Analysis 2 3 Argument Argument Response Disconnected statement 1 1 2 2 4 POI content response Disconnected statement Make it clear for yourself

3.2: Considering the result:

3.2: Considering the result You should be doing this as the debate is going on . Be aware of the material that is on the table, what is defeated and what stands. This will give you a better idea of what the important points of contention are, and, thus, what teams need to do in order to be successful. Review after the debate by going through notes, but don’t forget the debate itself.

3.3: Discussions on Panels:

3.3: Discussions on Panels Panels should pool their perspectives and insights, not pool their results. It is about coming to a joint understanding of what happened and what that means the result is. It is not about ‘compromising’ or horse-trading. Observe your roles: Chairs – bringing others into discussion appropriately Panelists – contributing a real opinion but being open to other perspectives

3.4: Determining Team Rankings:

3.4: Determining Team Rankings Remember the criterion: ‘who has had the biggest positive impact for their side?’ Make direct comparisons between teams where possible, but don’t forget to holistically analyse their contributions 3 points for a win, 2 for 2 nd , 1 for 3 rd and 0 for last

3.5: Allocating Speaker Marks:

3.5: Allocating Speaker Marks We think one should do this after coming up with the result. A speech is good in so far as it achieved the aims of helping the team win the debate There is no abstract ‘goodness’ you can add up to work out the result of a debate Some disagree with this , and prefer to give speaker marks first This helps you look at speakers individually first Some might give provisional speaker marks during the debate, just as they trace the provisional result of the debate during speeches

3.6: Giving the Adjudication:

3.6: Giving the Adjudication There are two tasks of an adjudication: Explaining the result Giving advice for improvement Best to keep these seperate Be comparative Be specific – debates are won and lost on particular clashes, so you need to explain how and why people won and lost Some prefer to go through teams in rank order Some prefer to go through teams chronologically Try different things out; see what works for you in what circumstances Get feedback on your judging

Summary:

Summary Follow/note the logical material teams produce, but let other things influence you too Be the ordinary intelligent person Establish which teams made the biggest positive contributions for their side Give clear, comparative, specific adjudications that separate justification from advice

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