How are juries selected

The main tasks of the jury: Assessment and feedback

By Melanie Preu // May 14, 2018

Decide who goes to the final - that is only one of the central tasks of the jury in the qualifying round. In addition to the evaluation, there is another aspect that is more important for the further development of the presentation skills of the participants: the feedback. The participants receive this from the jury immediately after their presentations and it is an essential part of the youth presents competition.

During the qualification round in Wuppertal, I asked Fabian Ruth from the Research Center for Presentation Skills at the Seminar for General Rhetoric at the University of Tübingen; what it means to be a jury member at Jugend, what is important when giving feedback and how the jury is selected. Fabian Ruth is not only on the team at the research center, but also examined the effectiveness of presentation training for young people as part of his doctorate - and can therefore give me good information.

What is the task of the youth presenting jury?

Fabian Ruth: The jury should evaluate the presentation, this is important to us so that the competition can work at all. And on the other hand, it is almost more important to us that the jury gives feedback. We would like feedback that is conducive to learning, so that the students can continue to work on becoming even better at presenting and so that they can take it with them for further presentations. There are two main tasks: assessing and giving feedback.

What do you want from the jury's feedback for the participants?

Fabian Ruth: I hope that the students will be encouraged in their presentations. For me, this means that they know more precisely what they are doing well and that they can deal with their skills better or that they can solve the situation more competently and accordingly present it better. On the other hand, it is important to give them such a thought impulse - what else can they think of? It is a long way to get to presentation skills. You always need feedback. We're trying to make a small contribution.

How is the jury selected?

Fabian Ruth: Many of the jury members are our multipliers whom we have trained. You have come to our training courses and have internalized what actually constitutes presentation competence, what is part of a good presentation, and are accordingly well prepared. On the other hand, our multipliers have trained their colleagues so that we can fall back on a larger pool. The multipliers can also suggest and approach suitable teacher colleagues from the host schools, but of course they have to introduce them to young people. So, on the one hand, our multipliers and, on the other hand, the people who have been trained by the multipliers in the internal training courses.

But now from theory to practice. I would now like to know how some of the jurors implemented and performed their task as the Youth Presented Jury.

Ms. Schinkel, what was important to you when evaluating?

Claudia Schinkel Teacher (biology, German): It was important that you tried to be fair and to look at everyone equally objectively. With the feedback one tried to really motivate the students to continue and to put the positive in the foreground.

Mr. Daniels, what makes evaluating at Youth Presents special compared to evaluating at school?

Thomas DanielsTeacher (physics, math, computer science): What is special is that you do not have to give the students a grade. This is a great advantage because you can simply motivate students and encourage them in what they are doing in a simple way. Small mistakes can simply be left out there.

Ms. Heesch, what do you expect from yourself as a juror?

Svenja HeeschJunior trainer youth presented: My aim is to be as fair as possible and to be assessed as fairly as possible. You have two aspects; once the evaluation and once the feedback. And I think that feedback is the most responsible task. The pupils put in an incredible amount of effort to design the presentation, usually very elaborately tinkered with when they present with analogue media. Appreciating and reflecting what they are already good at is important as well as emphasizing the strengths and further encouraging the students in their presentation skills and thus promoting them to a certain extent.


Pictures: © Youth presents

Melanie Preu

Project office // Science in Dialogue Berlin