PNW Debate offers new ways of connecting student performance to the educational goals of the activity.
Measuring Student Success
PNW Debate is forgoing traditional speaker points in favor of assessing each student's performance in 4 specific learning outcomes. Ratings in these categories are individual (you are assessing how well that particular student performed) and operate independently from who won or lost the round (these ratings do not affect the seeding of a team for the next round).
This system is intended to inform students on the full range of their debate performance so they can improve over time. It will also recognize student achievement; the top two senior and junior performers in each category will receive an award.
We ask that critics are cognizant that standards for success in these areas are often reflections of different cultures. There is not a single valid way to perform in any measure. Differences in identity (such as race, gender, class, etc.) and social power also affect our assessments. Judges should understand the power that comes with assessing students and work hard to reinforce the overarching goal of this format: to provide an enriching educational experience for all participants.
The four learning areas are: use of evidence, use of analysis, communication, and community. Each is detailed below.