Hmm that's fair, but I think "try to answer every question so they can answer every question" can be a bit circular. Sorry, I'm still not seeing the benefit specific to answering every question versus leaving some questions blank.sneepity wrote: ↑January 5th, 2021, 9:03 amHowever, there are benefits to a short test as well,,
you can make sure everyone can have ample time to think out each question,
and you can make sure everyone tries their best to answer every question and gets credit.
This is just what my opinion is, I'm curios to know what you think!
I agree that feeling less rushed can give a better test experience. My concern is that ample time to think it out is also ample time to google search.
But not everyone does, and the people who don't still deserve some credit on the test. (you might not meet this goal even if you don't split up the sections)
In my experience, the main motivation for splitting is to save work. A lot of students do SciOly for fun, or to hang out with friends; they feel bad if they bomb the event and drop the team score, but want to spend minimal time studying (after all, studying the same thing as your partner is a bit of a waste of time).
I dislike the implication that they only want to do well without learning, as they are still learning the material - the way their knowledge is distributed between them is just different. In 6th grade, I split up RFTS with my partner - she would learn the constellations, and I would learn facts about stars. (people with RFTS experience can probably guess we didn't do very well) We didn't split it up "just so we could do well." Part of it was preference/interest. The main reason, however, was simply how much content the event seemed to have. As a 6th grader new to SciOly, learning the whole event by myself seemed hopelessly overwhelming.
And a huge part of my reasoning for organizing by sections is testing experience. Skipping back and forth and leaving stuff blank/overriding answers is extremely frustrating. I think the debate of whether teams should split sections is productive, but realistically, there's no way to punish splitting topics except by making the test frustrating to take(which is not the point).
From my perspective, they are still learning the material, even if they don't have a holistic understanding of the event. Knowing moray eel ecology is knowing moray eel ecology, even if you know nothing about aragonite saturation. I think part of what I'm chewing over is: what defines knowing the whole event? Many events are split by rotating topics: I wouldn't test freshwater on a marine WQ test with the justification that everyone should have basic understanding of Water Quality, no matter which year. NSO splits these topics using their best judgement; there's nothing inherent about the set of topics in the rules that make them a "complete" event.sneepity wrote: ↑January 5th, 2021, 9:03 amBut people can do this because of many reasons, one being extreme interest in one aspect, or they (like I said) want to do well in the event. I'm debated on this too, I'm trying to decide whether it's putting teams that went into decent depth in a disadvantage or not. I do know that strategy is a part of the competition, but it's also important to keep in mind that overall knowledge and ability should be tested primarily. Maybe it's all just a part of the competition? Not sure.
Why is it hard? When I say collectively, I mean I'm trying to test what they know together - if I wanted to test what each of them knew by themselves, I would be writing for an individual competition. From this perspective, whether person A or person B or both knows the answer doesn't matter: as long as at least one of them knows it, they should get the points. It's actually much harder to test what they know individually- after all, they're working on the same test.sneepity wrote: ↑January 5th, 2021, 9:03 amThis is very interesting- now that I think about it, I find it very hard to actually test what the pair knows collectively. We can't stop them from dividing the test or etc. But I don't get what you mean by the goal of a test writer is to separate each team- sorry if I'm getting this wrong, but does it mean to evaluate each team independently?
I can't stop them from dividing the test, and I don't want to. I don't need to tell them which questions they can work on at what time. It's very hard and frustrating to try to do the same problem at the same time, speaking from experience. (only one person can write at a time, so the most that I'm doing is verbally giving the answer and sitting there twiddling my thumbs)
When I say separate each team, I mean separate them by score - since SciOly is a competition, it is bad to have very close scores or lots of ties. That doesn't mean evaluating each team one-on-one, just writing a test that lets teams demonstrate their abilities the best. I say take away advantages in the sense of taking away unfair advantages - if I wanted to take away all advantages, I would just give them all the same score. In my opinion, with two teams with the same amount of knowledge, the faster team should still get a higher score - they put time and effort into getting faster (this is assuming I'm writing questions that use critical thinking instead of "how many dumb recall questions can you blitz through").