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New FPS Scoring Schema: Explanations and Outline

By Ann Foreyt, Evaluation Director

As you’ve probably heard by now, the scoring for FPS GIPS booklets has been pretty dramatically changed this year. This will require re-learning on the part of all participants, from competitors, to coaches, to evaluators.

 

Below, you’ll find outlined some of the major changes, broken down by step.

 

If you have any questions about this new scoring process, please email Ann Foreyt, evaluation director, for more information.

HOLISTIC CHANGES

EMPHASIS ON CLARITY 

First, and most importantly, the major change in this new scoring schema is that there is more of a focus on both clarity (how clearly and logically the work is written) and insight (how much thought was put into it), rather than just mechanics.

 

This means that, as coaches, you will need to emphasize clarity of thought and writing in addition to pure mechanics. This change is particularly impactful on Challenges and Solutions (detailed below).

 

FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS

Fundamental Concepts (Research Applied, Futuristic Thinking, Creative Strength) were previously scored for the booklet as a whole, as Step 7. This often caused these scores to be less-meaningful than intended, given that evaluators had to balance how students performed across 6 steps to arrive at these scores. 

 

These Fundamental Concepts are now part of the scoring for Challenges, Solutions, and the Action Plan, meaning that students will have the ability to earn separate scores in each of these categories on each of the above-listed steps. 

 

AVERAGE AND MAXIMUM SCORES

Overall, the scores in this new schema will be radically higher than on the previous scoresheet, so all of your previous set-points for what constitutes a high or low-scoring booklet will need to be reset.

 

Step Number    Previous Scoresheet Max Points    New Scoresheet Max Points
1 - Challenges                         30                                          79
2 - Underlying Problem           30                                          84
3 - Solutions                           30                                          79
4 - Criteria                              20                                          40
5 - Grid                                    5                                           20
6 - Action Plan                      30                                           95
7 - Overall                             30                                             0 (incorporated into scores for Steps 1, 3, 6)
TOTAL                                 175                                         397


 

CATEGORIES

There are now 3 new Categories:

  • Ethics and Religion has now been split into: 

    • Ethics and Morality

    • Culture and Religion

  • Miscellaneous 2 has been added

  • Science is now a separate Category from Technology


 

STEP-SPECIFIC BREAKDOWN OF CHANGES

STEP 1 - CHALLENGES

In the previous scoring schema, Challenges were just scored on relevancy (whether a Challenge was possible/logical or not) and Flexibility, with a holistic score for Clarity. 

 

This meant that a team that created a set of very basic-but-logical Challenges may receive a comparable score to a team that really put thought and effort into coming up with some really insightful and innovative Challenges.

 

In the new schema, each Challenge is scored on a possibility of 4 separate aspects:

Relevancy (is this Challenge possible and connected to the Future Scene?)

Flexibility (what Category does this Challenge address?)

Clarity (is this Challenge correctly written as a possibility -- using may/might language -- and is the cause and effect logical?)

Insight (is this Challenge innovative or insightful beyond the obvious conclusion?)

 

For example, let’s take the nursery rhyme of Humpty Dumpty as our Future Scene: 

 

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

All the king's horses and all the king's men

Couldn't put Humpty together again.


 

Now, let’s write some Challenges of various qualities using this text:

 

Relevant (Category: Physical Health), without Clarity and Insight:

Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, he will get hurt. (doesn’t use possibility language, but is possible and connected to the Future Scene)

 

Relevant (Category: Physical Health), with Clarity but not Insight:

Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, he may be injured. (Possible, logical, but not particularly insightful)

 

Relevant (Category: Psychological Health), with Clarity and Insight:

Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall and he could not be put back together again, his injuries may predispose him to long-term mental health issues comparable to those of chronic pain sufferers. (clear, logical, pushes beyond the basic)

 

Not Relevant:

Because Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, he may stop going to church. (cause and effect do not clearly align)

 

This means that teams can now earn specific rewards for putting extra thought and sophistication into their Challenges. 

 

Additionally, students will be scored for Fundamental Concepts (Research Applied, Creative Strength, and Futuristic Thinking) specifically regarding their created Solutions. 

 

STEP 2 - UNDERLYING PROBLEM

The major change in Step 2 is a significant boost in possible scores, to really emphasize the fact that the Underlying Problem is truly the crux of the booklet. As you can see above, the points here are almost tripled from the previous schema (30 vs 84).

 

This means that focusing coaching time on this section is now even more important, so that your students can confidently create strong, cogent Underlying Problems that address the Charge and are important to the Future Scene as a whole.

 

Additionally, there is a separate score for Clarity, to reward those Underlying Problems that are cohesively and concisely written. 

 

STEP 3 - SOLUTIONS

In the previous scoring schema, Solutions were scored on Relevancy, Flexibility, and Elaboration. This schema has been continued, with the addition of a Clarity score:

 

Relevancy (is this Solution possible and connected to the KVP?)

Flexibility (what Category does this Solution address?)

Elaboration (does this Solution logically describe 3 of the following: Who, What, Why, When, Where)

Clarity (Does this solution address both the KVP and Purpose and is it presented concisely and is clearly understood by a reader?)

 

Again, the addition of this Clarity score is designed to help encourage students to write logical and concise Solution statements, rather than those with an excess of superfluous elaboration.

 

Let’s look at some examples:

 

Relevant (Category: Law & Justice), without Elaboration or Clarity:

The Kingdom will pass a new law restricting citizens’ ability to sit on walls. (doesn’t include 3 points of Elaboration)

 

Relevant (Category: Law & Justice), with Elaboration and Clarity:

The kingdom’s Department of Commerce will pass new infrastructure regulations that will restrict the height of walls, so that if citizens like Humpty Dumpty choose to sit on the walls, they will be in less danger of injuring themselves if they fall off. (includes a valid who, a valid how, and a valid why. Clearly and concisely written.)

 

Relevant (Category: Law & Justice), with Elaboration but not Clarity:

The kingdom’s Department of Commerce will pass new infrastructure regulations that will restrict the height of walls, so that if citizens like Humpty Dumpty choose to sit on the walls, they will be in less danger of injuring themselves if they fall off. The Health Department will also create a marketing campaign to warn citizens about the precariousness of the walls and make it less appealing to people like Humpty Dumpty in their future wall-sitting endeavors. (has multiple solutions or threads -- unclear what the focal solution is)

 

Not Relevant:

Bo-Peep will use nanobots to prevent her sheep from entering the kingdom. (doesn’t connect to Future Scene at hand)

 

Additionally, students will be scored for Fundamental Concepts (Research Applied, Creative Strength, and Futuristic Thinking) specifically regarding their created Solutions. 

 

STEP 4 - CRITERIA

I LOVE the updates to the scoring here. LOVE!

 

Instead of the ongoing confusion around what constitutes a Modified vs Advanced Criteria, the scoring here has been simplified:

 

If a criteria is not justified with Future Scene facts or tied to the Future Scene in any way, it’s Generic

If it is justified with Future Scene or tied to the Future Scene, it’s Targeted

 

EXAMPLE:

Generic: Which solution will be the safest?
Targeted: Which solution will be the safest for the king’s men in charge of trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again? 

 

So much simpler!

 

STEP 5 - GRID

Previously, the scoring for the Grid was, for lack of a better word, insignificant. 5 points for a perfect Grid, with one point subtracted for each error present.

 

This always felt a bit petty and did not really reward teams who put an appropriate amount of time and effort into creating a complete Grid.

 

The new scoring is much simpler:

20 points for a complete and accurately filled out Grid

14 points for a Grid that’s completely filled out, but may have math errors or obvious “silly” mistakes (two 7s in a column instead of a 7 and a 6)

7 points for an incomplete or erroneously filled out Grid (top solution not used as Action Plan, obvious fudging of the numbers, etc)

0 points for a blank Grid


 

STEP 6 - ACTION PLAN

Similar to the scoring on the Underlying Problem, the scoring on the Action Plan has been significantly bumped up, to emphasize its importance in the overall process.

 

The biggest change here is that there are now specific scores for:

Relationship to Criteria

Relationship to the UP

Relationship to the Future Scene

 

A strong Action Plan will now have to address the full hierarchy of importance, with an emphasis on how this solution will fundamentally address the story being told in the Future Scene as a whole.

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