Guidelines for Judges - Association for Educational Communications and Technology

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Judges are called upon three times during the competition: 

  1. to judge approximately 8-25 initial 1,500-word proposals,
  2. to judge up to six final 5,000-word papers, and
  3. to judge up to three presentations (20 minutes each) at the AECT national convention.

See Timeline for specific details on when each round/event will occur for this year's competition.

While task-specific judging criteria and forms will be supplied for each round of the competition, the judges' overall task is to make sure that student teams' written solutions and presentations clearly address the specific questions contained in that year's problem statement. Judging is likely to include conference calls with other judges to discuss their evaluations of student team submissions.

Judges may come from either academic or corporate backgrounds but should have extensive, practical experience in design and development and have extensive knowledge of relevant instructional design theory and research in the field.

Interested judges should contact the AECT Design & Development Competition chairperson

Phase 1: Preliminary Design Abstract (PDA)

The Competition Coordinating Committee formulates a problem statement each year with a challenging conceptual or practical problem relevant to the interests of the adult learning and performance-improvement community. Graduate student teams who wish to respond to the problem statement will form teams of two and prepare a Preliminary Design Abstract of no more than 1,500 words (12 point Times Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch page margins, APA 6th edition style) that offers a proposed solution in response to the problem statement. Teams from all over the world may participate and the two graduate students need not be at the same institution. To participate a team of two graduate students is required. 

During the entire month of March and early April, teams may ask questions about the problem statement to the client's designated representative known as the Consultant. Note that all questions submitted to the Consultant must relate to the context and circumstances of the problem rather than competition procedures. You should contact the Coordinating Committee chair with questions related to competition procedures.

The 3-member judging panel will identify up to six promising abstracts to advance to Phase Two of the competition based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and practicality. These Participant Teams advancing to round two will then be matched with a mentor from a different institution. 

Phase 2: Final Design Paper (FDP)

In May, as noted above the AECT Design & Development Coordinating Committee will match mentors to the successful teams from the first round.  The assigned mentors--who will likely come from either corporate or academic backgrounds--will then become active members of the design competition team, working closely with the two graduate students on the final paper. The deliverable for the competition is a Final Design Paper describing the design solution submitted by the student team. Final papers will be limited to a 5,000 word PDF only document, including all references and appendices (also 12 point Times Roman font, double-spaced, 1 inch page margins). All identifying information pertaining to the student team members including their institutions of study should be removed from the document. Submissions can contain no more than 10 tables and figures. Design teams may develop associated design-and-development products related to the problem statement, as appropriate. These additional materials/artifacts must be accessible via the Internet and can consist of no more than 10 Web pages.  

For the final portion of the competition, the 3-member judging panel will then select up to three Finalist Teams based on creativity, theoretical soundness, and practicality of the papers. (Click here to see copy of Phase 2: Manuscript Judging Form).

The Finalist Team members will be invited to present at AECT and will receive free conference registration. The Finalists Teams and their mentors will also receive special recognition at the Design and Development/Research and Theory Division Awards Meeting.

Phase 3: Preparation and Presentation of Final Design (PFD)

The finalist teams will present their solutions at a special session during the Annual AECT Convention that the judges must plan to attend. Each team will be given 15 minutes to present their solutions with 5 minutes for Q&A while the next team sets up. While the mentor may help the students prepare for this session, he/she can play no role in the presentation itself. 

Student teams are expected to supply slide handouts at the presentation (bring 25 copies). Any additional materials can be supplied just for the judges (5 copies). One member of the student team should begin the presentation by introducing both team members AND the mentor and their organizational affiliations. Team members' and the mentor's names and organizational affiliations should also be included on the handout and the first slide/screen of the presentation.

The judging panel, who will be joined by a fourth or fifth member, (a person(s) with little or no Instructional Design background) will then select the best presentation from that session for special recognition at the D&D/RTD Awards Meeting. Judges are invited to attend the D&D Awards Meeting. Presentations will be judged on clarity, teamwork, and professionalism.

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