IS set answer selection discussion

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IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:18 pm

magin wrote:Whether NAQT considers IS questions fine for college tournaments or not, the fact of the matter is that IS sets differ in noticeable ways (the distribution and answer selection, just for starters) from basically all other novice or easy sets produced for collegiate play (such as MUT, Illinois Novice, ACF Fall, and EFT, for some examples); playing them will not prepare teams for the vast majority of college tournaments, which are not played on IS sets or other high school level questions.
The distributional differences between IS sets and college sets are a matter of public record, and dealt with in the other thread, so I thought I'd start this one to talk about answer selection.

What do we mean when we say that IS-set answer selection is different from other sets? How is it different from ACF Fall? From DII SCT? From HSAPQ?

How dependent is this on the distribution? (That is, do we place too much weight on categories with large percentages of "bad answers"? Are there categories where the answer selection is fine?) Is there more to bad answer selection than is visible in conversion stats (which will catch unanswerable tossups, or unpowerable tossups that are difficulty-cliff candidates)?

Finally, what can NAQT do to improve its answer selection? Simply a matter of attracting new writers and telling our set editors to keep their eyes open and do a better job of rejecting borderline answers? Or is there some kind of procedural reform in question-processing that would help?

Feel free to illustrate with your choice of answers from the 2008-2009 (or earlier) NAQT sets.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by ... and the chaos of Mexican modernity » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:57 pm

I was talking to one of the players from Southside via Facebook (About 1 month ago) about an IS-A set (I believe he said IS-80A), and he told me that one of the questions was terribly constructed starting with Joseph Brant as the first two words. He buzzed in then and said Iroquois which Joseph Brant was a tribe member of, but apparently the answer was Mohawk peoples? I don't know about this, but if Mohawk was the answer, then it seems there had to have been some trash related stuff right at the giveaway. Now i'm just wondering if you are gonna give the trash clues more prevalence over the academic clues when the whole tossup seems like it was clearly looking for Iroquois. Jeff if you could please post the question so that I be assured what he told me was right, and I don't know, but it seems that there is no reward for knowledge at the beginning of the tossup?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by sageorator » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:43 pm

Brant was a notable chief of the Mohawk tribe. That would be an acceptable lead-in, as that is how he is best known. However, I do seem to recall a trash giveaway clue.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:13 pm

Bakery, State, and Utopia wrote:terribly constructed starting with Joseph Brant as the first two words...it seems that there is no reward for knowledge at the beginning of the tossup?
How many of the intended A-level audience are going to actually know noted 2001 "hardest difficulty ever" NSC leadin, 2005 Chicago Open first-sentence clue, and Westbrook Experiment answer Joseph Brant? Let's not assume that just because someone is rewarded for having knowledge of an early clue that said clue must be easy for everyone. It's an attitude that runs rampant all over this board, isn't healthy for anyone, and makes it near impossible to filter out actual criticism.
Bakery, State, and Utopia wrote:He buzzed in then and said Iroquois which Joseph Brant was a tribe member of, but apparently the answer was Mohawk peoples?
Dude, unless my 5th grade social studies and 11th grade AP American History classes were complete lies, the Mohawk peoples were part of the Iroquois federation.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:31 pm

Dwight, I think that's his point unless I'm mistaken, since if you buzz in on something applicable to the Mohawks and Iriquois, either one should be right (unless the Iriquios aren't considered a tribe now, which I'm not really up on since I don't care about Indian history.)
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:35 pm

I think the "no reward for knowledge" statement stems from the fact that he got negged for something that should have been accepted.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by kayli » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:43 pm

I remember negging on this question early myself. I'm not exactly an expert on Native American history at all, but I think that the way it was constructed (from what I remember) should have allowed for a more flexible answer choice. From what I remember (not too much), the clues all seemed to point to the Iroquois League and seemed to be asking about a group rather than a specific nation. I'm probably wrong about this, but I think it would be helpful for the question to be posted. Maybe?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:07 pm

Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Dwight, I think that's his point unless I'm mistaken, since if you buzz in on something applicable to the Mohawks and Iriquois, either one should be right (unless the Iriquios aren't considered a tribe now, which I'm not really up on since I don't care about Indian history.)
Okay, my bad on that one; that'll teach me to parse posts before quoting. The general point applies.

If Iroquois wasn't at least prompted on, then yeah, there's a problem.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by kayli » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:09 pm

cvdwightw wrote:
Jeremy Gibbs Free Energy wrote:Dwight, I think that's his point unless I'm mistaken, since if you buzz in on something applicable to the Mohawks and Iriquois, either one should be right (unless the Iriquios aren't considered a tribe now, which I'm not really up on since I don't care about Indian history.)
Okay, my bad on that one; that'll teach me to parse posts before quoting. The general point applies.

If Iroquois wasn't at least prompted on, then yeah, there's a problem.
I'm pretty sure it was prompted on... at least from what I remembered.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Nick » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:18 pm

The example I always think of when people mention NAQT's odd answer choices is one I remember from like my junior year which was a tossup on "paper bag." I'm pretty sure it was NAQT but I'm not positive. If so, I think it was in the IS-60s. Any way you could post that tossup here for old time's sake?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:48 pm

For IS #80A I wrote:Under Joseph Brant these people fought for the British during the American Revolution. More recently, their steel workers helped build the Empire State Building. The easternmost tribe of the (*) Iroquois [EER-uh-kwoy] Confederacy is--for 10 points--what people sharing their name with a punk hairstyle?

answer: _Mohawk_ Nation (accept _Kanienkeh_ or _Kanienkehaka_; prompt on "Iroquois" early)
Yeah, I specifically wrote the "prompt on Iroquois" into this to avoid negging people for knowing stuff.

Since the hairstyle is actually called that because it was in use among the Mohawk, I have no problem using that as a giveaway clue.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:50 pm

IS #70 wrote:Larger ones are often labeled with their capacity as a fraction of a barrel; the most common is the one denoted one-sixth, which measures 12 by 7 by 17 inches. The numeric label on smaller ones indicates how many pounds of sugar they can hold. Made primarily from (*) unbleached kraft paper, this is--for 10 points--what grocery-store alternative to plastic?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:01 am

bt_green_warbler wrote:
IS #70 wrote:Larger ones are often labeled with their capacity as a fraction of a barrel; the most common is the one denoted one-sixth, which measures 12 by 7 by 17 inches. The numeric label on smaller ones indicates how many pounds of sugar they can hold. Made primarily from (*) unbleached kraft paper, this is--for 10 points--what grocery-store alternative to plastic?
I have no words.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed Aug 26, 2009 2:11 am

Ukonvasara wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:
IS #70 wrote:Larger ones are often labeled with their capacity as a fraction of a barrel; the most common is the one denoted one-sixth, which measures 12 by 7 by 17 inches. The numeric label on smaller ones indicates how many pounds of sugar they can hold. Made primarily from (*) unbleached kraft paper, this is--for 10 points--what grocery-store alternative to plastic?
I have no words.
What's heavier, a pound of feathers, a pound of bricks, a pound of sugar, or a pound of my jaw hitting the floor?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Auroni » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:59 am

that's just.. that's just..
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:04 am

Norman the Lunatic wrote:
Ukonvasara wrote:
bt_green_warbler wrote:
IS #70 wrote:Larger ones are often labeled with their capacity as a fraction of a barrel; the most common is the one denoted one-sixth, which measures 12 by 7 by 17 inches. The numeric label on smaller ones indicates how many pounds of sugar they can hold. Made primarily from (*) unbleached kraft paper, this is--for 10 points--what grocery-store alternative to plastic?
I have no words.
What's heavier, a pound of feathers, a pound of bricks, a pound of sugar, or a pound of my jaw hitting the floor?
a pound of awesome
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Nick » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:20 am

I love it.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Awehrman » Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:06 pm

I think the Mohawk quetion is ok for the intended level. Brant was of Huron lineage and was adopted into the Mohawk tribe, which was part of the Iroquois Confederacy or Five (later Six) Nations. The question itself might have been made better by moving "these people" to the beginning, however. I would caution future players against reaction buzzes on Joseph Brant's name. The question could have just as easily gone for Dartmouth College (Brant was educated at Eleazor Wheelock's Indian School which later became Dartmouth), Ethan Allen, James Boswell, George III, Gilbert Stuart, or any number of other of people, events, and institutions associated with Brant. Brant is finding his way into more and more textbooks and teaching materials on Early America especially as school disctricts adopt more multicultural outlooks. He was the most well-known Native American of the period and was a central figure in the American Revolution as well as in Canadian history. I would expect more questions on or relating to him in the future.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Strongside » Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:29 pm

I know people are talking about the Paper Bag tossup, but I prefer the Shopping Cart tossup in IS#77.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by master15625 » Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:39 am

Strongside wrote:I know people are talking about the Paper Bag tossup, but I prefer the Shopping Cart tossup in IS#77.
Can someone post what packet it is in as well as the question?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:44 am

IS #77, packet 10 wrote:Men initially rejected them as "effeminate," while women rejected them for being too much like baby carriages. Inventor Sylvan Goldman, owner of the Piggly Wiggly chain, had to hire models to promote their use. Going missing each year is nearly one billion dollars worth of (*) --for 10 points--what mobile baskets associated with grocers?
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Cheynem » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:57 am

I'd like to see the "Best of IS-sets" someday, featuring only questions like the shopping cart one. I think it would sell very well for practices, intramurals, or parties.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:14 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'd like to see the "Best of IS-sets" someday, featuring only questions like the shopping cart one. I think it would sell very well for practices, intramurals, or parties.
This would have been fantastic filler for the 24 hour quizbowl practice.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by jonah » Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:20 pm

Cheynem wrote:I'd like to see the "Best of IS-sets" someday, featuring only questions like the shopping cart one. I think it would sell very well for practices, intramurals, or parties.
This one from IS-85 packet 7 also gets featured:
8. Sometimes when two or more words are joined they form a third word unrelated to the other two. For instance, “his” plus “Tory” combine to form “history.” For 10 points each—
A. What word is formed by joining a “title for a Spanish nobleman” to “a locking or unlocking device”?
answer: donkey
B. What word is formed by joining a synonym for “damage or spoil” to a word naming a “version of the card game
rummy for two players”?
answer: margin
C. What word is formed by joining “the line marking the division between two measures of music” to a word that
can refer to “the bottom of a river”?
answer: barbed
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:57 pm

jonah wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I'd like to see the "Best of IS-sets" someday, featuring only questions like the shopping cart one. I think it would sell very well for practices, intramurals, or parties.
This one from IS-85 packet 7 also gets featured:
8. Sometimes when two or more words are joined they form a third word unrelated to the other two. For instance, “his” plus “Tory” combine to form “history.” For 10 points each—
A. What word is formed by joining a “title for a Spanish nobleman” to “a locking or unlocking device”?
answer: donkey
B. What word is formed by joining a synonym for “damage or spoil” to a word naming a “version of the card game
rummy for two players”?
answer: margin
C. What word is formed by joining “the line marking the division between two measures of music” to a word that
can refer to “the bottom of a river”?
answer: barbed
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Frater Taciturnus » Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:05 pm

jonah wrote:
Cheynem wrote:I'd like to see the "Best of IS-sets" someday, featuring only questions like the shopping cart one. I think it would sell very well for practices, intramurals, or parties.
This one from IS-85 packet 7 also gets featured:
8. Sometimes when two or more words are joined they form a third word unrelated to the other two. For instance, “his” plus “Tory” combine to form “history.” For 10 points each—
A. What word is formed by joining a “title for a Spanish nobleman” to “a locking or unlocking device”?
answer: donkey
B. What word is formed by joining a synonym for “damage or spoil” to a word naming a “version of the card game
rummy for two players”?
answer: margin
C. What word is formed by joining “the line marking the division between two measures of music” to a word that
can refer to “the bottom of a river”?
answer: barbed
Andrew Alexander answering "barfloor" for the third part made my day at states
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by kayli » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:09 pm

Sadly, we missed margin :\.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:20 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:Sadly, we missed margin :\.
Oh, we did too, as well as almost missing "donkey."

In IS-83, Round 9 (I think) the first answer, "diprotic acid" seems like a pretty weird choice to write a question about.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by kayli » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:14 am

Bird Sonata wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:Sadly, we missed margin :\.
Oh, we did too, as well as almost missing "donkey."

In IS-83, Round 9 (I think) the first answer, "diprotic acid" seems like a pretty weird choice to write a question about.
One time our B team lost to a team on a question with the answer of "the border between Vermont and Newhampshire."
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:41 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:
Bird Sonata wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:Sadly, we missed margin :\.
Oh, we did too, as well as almost missing "donkey."

In IS-83, Round 9 (I think) the first answer, "diprotic acid" seems like a pretty weird choice to write a question about.
One time our B team lost to a team on a question with the answer of "the border between Vermont and Newhampshire."
I remember that question. I buzzed in and was like "The...Vermont..New Hamspire..border?" General answers are never good ideas.
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Re: IS set answer selection discussion

Post by Unicolored Jay » Fri Aug 28, 2009 3:15 pm

Inkana7 wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:
Bird Sonata wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:Sadly, we missed margin :\.
Oh, we did too, as well as almost missing "donkey."

In IS-83, Round 9 (I think) the first answer, "diprotic acid" seems like a pretty weird choice to write a question about.
One time our B team lost to a team on a question with the answer of "the border between Vermont and Newhampshire."
I remember that question. I buzzed in and was like "The...Vermont..New Hamspire..border?" General answers are never good ideas.
Oh yes, there was also a California/Nevada border tossup in an IS packet that I read before. I got FIFTEEEEEEEEN but found it odd for a question.

EDIT: Shakespeare tossups are bad in anything except A-Sets. Every time he came up, I knew the answer, but second-guessed for several seconds.
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