[FRC Blog] Chairman’s Award Feedback

Also, I really look forward to hearing from other teams with this new presentation video we are supposed to submit, and more importantly I look forward to seeing all of the other winning presentations from this year. Honestly seeing what all the other presentations look like will be more valuable than any judge feedback form would ever be. The feedback forms usually left us more frustrated and confused than enlightened. By actually seeing what the other teams did will be inspiring and educational. So whatever happens, THAT needs to stay. The presentation video is a change that I welcome wholeheartedly.

The FTC program specifically asked that judges not give feedback this year. FTC also publishes the Judges Manual on a site available to everyone.

http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/ftc/volunteer-resources

Take a look at the feedback form I posted earlier (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/3095). Having judged feedback is nice but I think having a third party (perhaps an English teacher at your school) fill out some sort of feedback (to avoid bias) will likely help you iterate.

And I still agree with you, lack of feedback is terrible.

Even the flawed sheet we have received in the past is better than nothing at all. I am sensitive to the judges time. The tool should be take less than 5 minutes to complete per team. That should be more than enough time to give constructive feedback.

Interesting. I strongly dislike how having a mentor takes away from having 3 student presenters. In this case, I feel that it is best to have 3 student presenters. Your students are ideally what have made you worthy for the CA, and therefore you should have as many students as possible to showcase your accomplishments.

You can have a silent observer in addition to 3 presenters starting this year.

That was last year. This year, a mentor may join your three presenters as a silent observer.

Something interesting happened at Mt. Olive this weekend - the JA invited one mentor and one Chairman’s presenter for an all-team ‘meeting’. It wasn’t exactly a feedback session, but they handed back everyone’s USB drive & forms, and then shared a few tips that they noticed from this round of presentations. (Things like, remember that setup time is included in your minutes, etc.)

Their first one: **Make sure your mentor-observer has a good poker face. ** It’ll totally throw off your students, and could (potentially) be seen as coaching if your mentor is actively reacting to the things your students say.

Just hope that you are lucky and your Chairman’s Judges have read the manual thoroughly. If not they will argue that you can only 2 students presenting if a mentor is observing.

This is what happened at Palmetto and it was very unfortunate. As our first time presenting for the Chairmans award it would have been really nice to have some sort of feedback as to how it went. We think we have a lot to improve on, but without anyone taking notes in the room, we really can’t be sure of details.

If this is the case have them talk to the Judge Advisor at the event. It was stressed in their training that change came.

They were informed eventually (maybe after judging ended), but we couldn’t put our presentation on hold while we located the Advisor, got him to talk to them, and got them to agree. The schedule was tight and delays weren’t an option. In addition to that I believe there was concern about changing what was allowed after multiple teams had already presented.

We didn’t know there was an issue until we actually went in to present. It became public knowledge by the end of the day, but there was little more that we could do than to protest to the Administrators.

From a volunteer’s point of view, my goal is to support the teams in Minnesota. The teams in Minnesota have expressed to me multiple times how horrible it would be to not receive feedback at an event, as it improves their team. I also want the Minnesota teams that move on to the Super Regional to be able to move on to Championships. If I can give these teams feedback in order to improve the quality of the program and increase the chances of that team moving on, I’m going to do it.

As a coach of a FTC team, I also want feedback. It helps me tell the students what they did, where they can improve and what they should change. It also helps the students realize this for themselves. As someone that volunteers at every single FTC event in Minnesota, I don’t spend events with my team and if it were not for the feedback I would be clueless as to how my team did in judging.

It blows my mind that feedback isn’t allowed to be provided at both the FTC and FRC level.

Disclaimer: Giving feedback to teams at events in MN is not up to me, I don’t make that decision, I am just an incredibly strong supporter of feedback.

I had the same experience at Palmetto, and began to question the situation until the judge stated that all teams had been held to that same criterium. As much as I wanted to be present, I was not going to push for something that was not allowed to teams presenting earlier. For our developing program, it was a significant disappointment, however, as I really wanted to help the presenting group improve for our next regional, and for next year.

That would have been great…especially considering that with the excitement of eliminations, my team (and I’m sure many others) forget to go back and get the USB drive…I’ve lost a few this way.

This is one of the reasons myself and several other coaches I know won’t go into the presentation room. Being in the room isn’t a replacement for feedback. I’ve seen the presentation dozens of times and I think it’s awesome, I wouldn’t put the students in the room unless I though it was awesome. Other than reading the judges faces, what feedback am I supposed to be able to take away from being in the room with the students, I really don’t understand it. In my opinion the only people that can provide accurate feedback are the judges making the decision.

Having feedback as a coach of Rookie FTC teams and having our FRC team submit a Chairman’s Award for the first time this year is/would be very valuable. Allowing a mentor to sit in on the presentation was very helpful. I’m a firm believer in feedback.

Going through this process for the first time, we have a lot to work on so it’s easy to identify areas to improve on. I expect as we mature, having the feedback of how the judges interpreted our presentation would be much better if received it from them vs. trying to figure it out on our own.

This is NOT the case anymore. The rules have been changed prior to week 1. You can have up to 3 presenters in ADDITION to a mentor as a silent observer.

Feedback is a multi-faceted topic. I want to mention an excellent read - “Thanks for the Feedback - the science and art of receiving feedback well” by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. I’ve had quite a bit of training on feedback through my job the past couple of years and see the pros and esp. the cons if it is not done well and done appropriately for the circumstances. It is a topic that is much mis-understood.

So - we had 3 students and one silent mentor in the room (me.) This is per the admin rules, page 42, that states: “Not more than three (3) student team members, plus one (1) adult mentor, are allowed to attend the interview.”