SY2014 Qualitative Assessment Project — Early-Season Varsity Assessment

After a successful full first year of its Qualitative Assessment Project, the Chicago Debate League is conducting a second year of QAP this year, in 2013/14. The QAP measures urban debaters’ understanding and performance of key elements of competitive academic debate, connecting urban debate more closely to academic learning objectives. The Qualitative Assessment Project (QAP) assesses students’ performance against the Debater Development Benchmarks. These benchmarks identify specific skills and knowledge debaters should acquire in each year and at each level of debate.

The CDC has been using the Debater Development Benchmarks to design its professional development for coaches and its student trainings. Coaches have been and continue to be encouraged to use the Debater Development Benchmarks to guide their teaching and coaching.

Four Varsity debaters from each CDL school will be assessed in the early season (T1 or T2), based on either the Year Two QAP Rubric or the Year Three/Four QAP Rubric. Those same Varsity debaters will be assessed in the late season (T5 or T6 — most will be assessed at T6), and their growth and learning as debaters over the course of the season will be documented.

Additionally, four first-year debaters from each school will be assessed in the late season (T5 or T6 — again, most will be assessed at T6), based on the Year One QAP Rubric.

We will begin qualitative assessment of Varsity debaters at Tournament One, October 4th and 5th.

The SY2013 Qualitative Assessment Reporting Notebook is posted and can be reviewed on its page of the CDL site reports.

Assessments are done by trained cohorts of QAP Evaluators. One cohort is made up of highly experienced CDL coaches, and one cohort (to be highly active at T5 and T6) a cohort of former National Circuit debaters, now in graduate or undergraduate school at Northwestern University, having undertaken rigorous QAP training.

QAP assessment is entirely separate from and unconnected to the competitive outcome of a debate round. Judges are really asking only one question as they respond to a debate round — who is winning (and why?). Qualitative assessment is much more akin to formative educational evaluation of performed learning on the full range of essential components that make up competitive academic debate.

Let us know if you have any questions at any time on this important and innovative project.

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