Sunday 19 July 2009

Four into One Does Not Go

It doesn't seem like a year since I posted about last year's paper selection day, but it is.

On average we have 4 papers submitted for each session available. Someone said to me this week they thought we didn't have enough submissions because we always extend the deadline. This is a myth the reason we extend it is people always leave it till the last minute, something happens and they miss the deadline, the office gets a lot of last minute phone calls.

Papers are judged by volunteers and I thought I did well to judge just less than 200, but Ronan beat me with over 400 on the last weekend. It is quite a difficult job as there are only 200 words allowed and you must make sure you don't fall into the teachers' mantra of 'could do better' for all of them.

Other things that drive me mad is where one individual has entered 20 plus papers and you know it will be other people presenting, it puts judges off, but one idea we will look at is to have another field in the entry for submitter so that this will be handled better.

Once we have the judging complete the office rank them, each year they tell us what the mark is if we simply take the top papers. The maximum score is 6 but people tend not to give a 6, and this year the magic number was 4.25, so many, many papers score well and yet fall short of this mark.

Also many papers above this figure also do not make the final cut, sometimes because there are too many high scoring for a particular stream, sometimes because there is a similar paper and sometimes because the stream leads want a specific theme to their stream.

Then there is the final check that people have not be given two sessions at the same time, some first timers are given a chance.

It is a hard working day but also fun with a real buzz as people barter for slots, rooms and papers. I don't want to repeat the post from last year but I did go into a bit more detail.

So as soon as the office have drawn up the final agenda people will hear if they have been selected. Please if you have not been lucky, do not give up, contact your SIG chairs and offer to speak there.

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