Potential Design Rubric with team Feedback

I added a feedback form to the Design and STEM rubrics. The rubric is exactly the same, but printed on legal paper. The additional space is for a simple +/- feedback. The 3" strip is the only thing that is returned to teams. (Care must be taken when printing so the 3" section is on the same part for Design.)



If you’ve been a judge, let me know if this would be easy enough for ya.


@TriDragon ??

Sorry, been meaning to reply since you posted. I like it, I am grateful for any feedback we can get to the kids because right now we have none. However, RECF has been very clear that the rubrics are not to be seen/returned, which is a shame, so I don’t know how they would feel about it.

I’ll be honest, some of our kids love doing the notebook and STEM, and I have let them continue, but in no way are we putting any extra hours into judged awards. Our focus is on teaching autonomous software and practicing skills. With auton and skills they get instant feedback and the learning cycle is very quick and efficient. As well, it is the least random occurrence at any event and certainly one that cannot be manipulated.

It’s a ton of time to hear nothing. I often feel the same way, like these are distracting from the STEM experience (The STEM project is ironically named… it’s the least stemmy thing we do…). I think spending the additional time how you have described is a great idea.

And I posted it here and haven’t heard anything. Given that I am doing a ton of work on their behalf for about $0.02/hr I don’t think they would give me a hard time. :slight_smile: We’ll see!!!


Not sure how REC feels about it, but I’ll tell you what I think. I’ve coached FLL and VIQ for many years, and this is my third year being an IQ EP.

The reason * for not returning the rubric is because teams will argue about why they didn’t get points here, or there. As an EP, I have no problem handling that. The answer is simple: “That’s what the judges saw.”

We ran an event on Nov 4th (early in the season), and I told the judges to be positive with all comments on the sheets, and we handed them back to the teams so they know what to improve.

I don’t know if REC will get mad at me, but I also think it’s important for teams to get the feedback.


This is what I’m using: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_CnQsuRrZCaW6orlF7LIwasYXBfxK0mWg4JKDQ_-Pbk/edit . Kids (and adults) NEED feedback. They NEED to know that what they are doing is good. They also NEED to know what they need to do better. I completely understand that different judges see things differently… that’s why it’s so important to get the feedback from many people, so that they can improve. By the time they get to State, my teams will have seen five or six sets of judges. Last year, they received feedback and improved after each competition. This year, at our first competition, no feedback was given. While I know that this is the edict, it was also sad and disappointing. The kids didn’t know what they did right, they also didn’t know what they did wrong. They weren’t able to go back and meet and discuss how to improve. The team that I thought had the weakest notebook was commended for it. They didn’t receive the design award, but they were told their notebook was good. Why? I don’t know. All other teams didn’t receive any feedback. I don’t fault the judges or the event partner, they did exactly as they were supposed to.

So, I am following the RECF edict of not handing back rubrics… but we will give the teams feedback, both positive and negative. This is necessary for team growth.

I like giving the feedback to teams. We do it with the robot every build session and at events. I like Sankeydd’s form, it’s quick, easy, judges can write more if they want and it doesn’t violate the RECF “edict” to not hand back the forms. I’ve been doing some form of VEX since 2007, and I’ve always tried to make teams better. I get that there are teams/parents that will argue the difference in a point or two and I always say “The judges do the best they can, thanks for just signing up for our next event.”

I do like the additional tab. Simple, direct and fast.

Used these today for the Design Award. It went pretty well. I talked to some teams about it afterwards, they were happy to know what areas to work on in the future.

Wish we had them for the STEM projects, but there were only a few.

Let me start by stating that the REC Foundation is always open to suggestions to improve our programs. We take feedback from numerous constituencies each year before releasing document updates. All feedback is considered along with programmatic needs as we update our documents. The “edict” referred to in these posts was based on a consensus reached at the annual event partner summit.

It is important for all mentors, event partners and volunteers to understand that all events in our programs must maintain as consistent an experience for teams regardless of where an event is held. Events are expected to use the official documents and processes provided by the REC Foundation at all events.

We ask that mentors, event partners and volunteers to remember that they are not to change our posted documents and procedures.

Please ask yourself if you would consider changing the game rules at a local or regional event to be an acceptable practice. If you answer no to changing game rules locally, then you should realize that it is not acceptable to change judging rules locally.

Tarek Shraibati
REC Foundation

We used the extended rubrics last weekend and I’m spending this week explaining what they mean, and how the scores they got and should be interpreted and ways they should improve their notebooks.

And in answer to your question, would I change the game rules, I did this week, I had 6 teams tie for first and did a playoff and they still tied for first so I handed out extra awards saying Teamwork challenge first place. So yes, I change rules to fit the unexpected results.

No disrespect intended, when you find a way to get feedback to teams around Design and STEM Project awards, I’ll jump on that band wagon. I’m a little handicapped since I can’t afford $5K+ to debate this point at the EP meeting, so it’s easier to find a simple workaround and use that. It’s not rocket science, teachers and university facility (me) are adept at delivering bad news (grades) via standard methods of measurements (rubrics) every semester/quarter. Since two of my VEXU kids created the first iteration of the rubrics, it’s not like they are complex. Well more complex than doing Rock / Paper / Scissors / Lizard / Spock to decide.

This is how change happens. Field people figure it out, then the central command embraces it as their own and puts it back out into the field.


To be fair the EP summit is live-streamed and they do accept questions/feedback/discussion from viewers online.

I have gone to just announcing a couple of honorable mentions for STEM and Design. Let me know if you think that is changing rules. It’s not really any additional work for the judges. Perhaps just having the option to offer a Design runner up or a STEM runner up would be nice and should be easy to implement in TM.

The design award does have some built in feedback, but only to one team, the winner. Even they do not understand exactly why they won, only that, for some reason, they were better than everyone else in the opinion of the judges. So many teams are new to this that there has to be a better mechanism to help all of the new teams. As someone on the ground, I work with so many coaches and parents that are floored by the fact that there is nothing at all to give back. There is nothing that they can give to their kids to work on for next time. The education aspect is not keeping up with explosive growth of the VEX IQ program.

This is most easily seen when searching for examples of VEX IQ notebooks. There are very few things out there, and most of them are not good examples for a variety of reasons. Some are just way too good, some are typewritten, many years old, etc. How difficult would it be for the REC foundation to just publish a few notebooks? Record and publish a few STEM projects? This isn’t going to happen organically, as it hasn’t by now, and it’s the responsibility of the REC Foundation to take this by the horns or face more and more teams getting discouraged by this process.

Lots of awards are optional across events. Amaze, Build, etc. are offered at some some events and not others. For me, they are too much of a burden on the few judges I can get. Doing some simple feedback or honorable mentions are not.

So, for consideration I would like you to take the +/- rubric into consideration next year. Or something… Anything… It’s easier to make this decision in Louisville than when you have coaches and parents in front of you. The same arguments do not work. I spent a good chunk of time after my last IQ tournament emailing parents and coaches about their concerns about this issue.

I’ve only gone once, but the idea that new ideas were welcomed wasn’t my experienced. There were some voice votes… You’re not going to get to far with that as a newbie. Also, they were using a survey tool, but didn’t usually use it when actual questions came up.

I will try and make it this summer. Maybe with a little more experience I’ll be more effective at making my concerns heard.