Event Proctoring

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Fanglin
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Event Proctoring

Post by Fanglin » December 17th, 2016, 3:49 pm

Hi guys!,

I was chosen to Proctor the Road Scholar event at an upcoming invitational. I am experienced in the event (2 Nats) but this is my first time ever Proctoring or writing a Road Scholar test. I don't think it's going to be that hard, due to the fact that it's just an invitational, but I can't really be sure.
If you guys have any tips or anything, that would be great! If you've proctored before, tell me what its like!

Thanks a lot guys!

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Unome
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Re: Event Proctoring

Post by Unome » December 17th, 2016, 6:32 pm

Fanglin wrote:Hi guys!,

I was chosen to Proctor the Road Scholar event at an upcoming invitational. I am experienced in the event (2 Nats) but this is my first time ever Proctoring or writing a Road Scholar test. I don't think it's going to be that hard, due to the fact that it's just an invitational, but I can't really be sure.
If you guys have any tips or anything, that would be great! If you've proctored before, tell me what its like!

Thanks a lot guys!
I'm not too familiar with Road Scholar, but I can give you some info about event supervising in general:

Note: I omitted a lot of the basics (e.g. don't copy questions from other tests) because I don't have time right now; someone else can handle that.

1) Make sure your test is written to fit the size of the tournament. Seeing as most CA tourneys are all aroudn 30-ish teams, I'd recommend (based on my limited knowledge of Road Scholar) a test length along the lines of this test (again, limited knowledge of Road Scholar, so I may be off on this).

2) For difficulty, I'd recommend writing your test such that the top team(s) score right around 75% (although really, if it ends up 60-80% it's fine). Make sure to vary the question difficulty such that 1) no team scores more than ~90% and 2) no more than a few teams score under ~10%. Arguably the second one is more important because ties are harder to break when teams have missed most of the questions.

3) Make sure to think about how you're going to grade the test as you're writing, and make it easy to do so. You'll probably have to grade very fast at the tournament, so:
  • Leave a chunk of the test that you can easily train someone else to grade if needed (in case this comes up). With multiple graders, it's generally better to have each person grade a specific section of every test than to have each person grade some of the tests in their entirety, because this helps with consistency in grading.
  • Make sure to have sufficient tiebreakers, including some free-response-type. I'd recommend designating around 10-15 questions as tiebreakers in a certain order (e.g. if two teams are tied, compare them on the first tiebreaker, if they are still tied compare them on the next tiebreaker, etc.), and choosing questions such that they have some relevance, such as ascending in difficulty or using application-based knowledge.
  • Prepare a set way to grade open-ended question; this key has some good examples on that (though it took a lot of effort to bring myself to link to that; the formatting is horrendous).
4) Communicate with the tournament director regarding:
  • The exact number of teams per timeslot (be careful; sometimes tournament change this last-minute, and you don't want to be caught off-guard)
  • Which timeslots your event runs in, and when scores need to be in by
  • The manner in which you should record scores and bring materials to the scoring room - Raw scores only, or calculate team ranks as well? Tests sorted in rank order or by team number? Electronic scoresheet or physical? How long will you need to spend in the scoring room? etc.
  • If the tournament does event signups for academics (I brign this up because it is common in Georgia) at what point will teams' times be final? (when I went to Forsyth Central, teams were allowed to change their times up to the day of the tournament)
  • Applicability of rules clarifications and FAQs. Many tournaments have a cutoff date (usually a week or so before the tournament) after which nationally-issued rules clarifications and FAQs are not considered binding at that particular tournament.
  • The setup of your event's room - tables vs. desks, how many of them, layout, whether they can be moved (tables at Chattahoochee are secured to the floor), etc. Having to do things understaffed and under-equipped is par for the course in SO, so make sure you're prepared for it.
  • Likely other things I forgot.
5) At Chattahoochee, when someone applies to run an event at our invitational, they have to include a detailed description of exactly what they're going to do on the day of the tournament. Being able to write a good test doesn't always mean that someone is able to handle running the event at a tournament. Make sure you've planned out in advance exactly what you're going to do as much as you can. Know how you're going to go from: having a bunch of teams sitting in the hallway, to having the correct teams inside the room, taking the test. Others will probably talk about their own methods in future posts, but what I like to do is this:
A) Around 2 minutes before the timeslot begins, walk out into the doorway and tell everyone something like this: "Everyone doing <event>, form a line this way (here I point in a convenient direction) next to your partner." B) If your tournament uses wristbands (in SoCal, likely) tell everyone to keep their wristbands visible. C) As each pair enters, ask them their team name and team number, check that they have a wristband (sometimes team name and number is on the wristband; if so, use this to your advantage) and tell them to go to some location inside the room (keep an eye on them while you're doing this). Make sure their actually takign the test with someone on the same team as them (mistakes that high-level competitors don't usually expect). D) Go inside the room and tell them where they can sit (can be done as they enter, depends on room layout and type of event, e.g. stations vs. exam). Give them any instructions you need to (I could go into great detail, but I'll let someone more experienced than I tell you about this), and tell them to start the test.

6) Ok, I completely forgot the rest of what I was going to say >.<
Last edited by Unome on December 20th, 2016, 5:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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pikachu4919
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Re: Event Proctoring

Post by pikachu4919 » December 19th, 2016, 8:31 pm

I've written tryouts and one invitational exam before (heh I have five to write this winter break - three invitational and two regional), and I'd say be super familiar with the material in order to write a good one and be sure to have fun with it! :twisted: :lol:
I do lots of free response and although it's hard to grade I'm not the biggest fan of writing MC questions bc it's hard to come up with convincing wrong answers xD

Proctoring...well although I have yet to do it, I think it would depend largely on the event you're supervising because of the different ranges of tasks you would have to do to run events due to the different natures of the different types of events.

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Re: Event Proctoring

Post by MrHaleStorm1 » December 27th, 2016, 6:10 pm

All great points above. A few other ideas, things to consider. Review the rules and topics of the event and make an effort to have a balance test. What I mean by that is, creating questions/problems for the entire spectrum of material. I have had some test where the entire one was on about 20% of the events define material. Also, I agree about easy to grade, even consider the answer sheet and how it is designed to make the "Key" easier to use. Some proctors give time checks during the events. Some people like this, others it just seems to throw them into a panic or break their concentration. I have been in rooms where I couldn't see the clock. My phone is my clock so I couldn't pull it out either. Just a thought.

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