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FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:15 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
They said it couldn't be done, and probably shouldn't be done, BUT, Fort Osage High School is OFFERING....

Its Novice Set III to mirror for the 2017-18 season (FONS III). The set is probably regular difficulty but we call it "Novice." It is intended for Freshmen and Sophomores, but who knows? It will be available from January-June 2018. It will consist of 11 packets of 20/20 (tossups/bonuses) with 1 tossup at the end as a tiebreaker (each packet will consist of 21 total tossups/20 bonuses). This set is simply another option for teams looking at a Novice competition for the 2017-18 school year (that is aimed at new high school players), and that's all... The set is powermarked and will consist of tossups of 5-7 lines (most will be 6 lines). The tossups should be easier this year but still on the more difficult side of Novice. The previous sets are listed below.

2015-16: http://www.quizbowlpackets.com/1836/
2016-17: http://www.quizbowlpackets.com/1943/

The distribution is as follows:

DISTRIBUTION:

4/4 Literature
4/4 History/Soc. Studies
3/3 Science
3/3 Geography
2/2 Fine Arts
2/2 Religion/Mythology
1/1 Non-comp. Math
1/1 Current Events
1/1 Trash

(Note: there are only 20 bonuses per round, so a Literature Or Hist/SS bonus will be left off on each packet)

COST:
The cost is $10 per team.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:09 pm
by 1.82
I have some questions about this announcement, since it is unclear in some places.
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:The set is probably regular difficulty but we call it "Novice."
What does this mean? What is the intended difficulty for this set? By definition novice sets are easier than regular difficulty sets, so a set cannot be both regular difficulty and novice difficulty. Please clarify what difficulty the set will be written to, because from the tone of this post it is unclear that the set will be written to any specific difficulty at all, and hosts need to know what difficulty a set will be in order to market it to an appropriate audience. This brings us to the next point:
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:It is intended for Freshmen and Sophomores, but who knows?
As the writers of the set, it's your job to know. If this is a set for freshmen and sophomores, please clarify that it is that and not a regular difficulty set. On the other hand, if it is a regular difficulty set designed to be playable by high schoolers of all grade levels, please indicate that. Thanks!

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:14 pm
by Deviant Insider
Has there been any constructive criticism based on past iterations of this set, and are any adjustments being made to the writing and editing of this year's set due to that criticism?

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:19 pm
by Progcon
3/3 Geography seems extremely ambitious. Is there a reason you are using this distribution and aren't having stuff like Other Science or Philosophy in the set?

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:32 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
Now for the answers:

1. I was being a tad sarcastic, since every time a set is posted, someone throws a fit that an "experienced editor" is not involved. Granted, I am not the world's best question writer and editor, but I'm also not Questions Galore either. I know some stuff and I don't think my set is terrible.

2. I intend it to be Novice, for Freshmen and Sophomores. Are the answerlines harder than your average Novice? Probably, but the Novice sets I've seen have similar difficulty to ours

3. We have done 2 iterations in the past, so we've learned as we've gone along; could they have been better? Absolutely! I am my own worst critic, so I know I can improve

4. I teach upper-level history so that is my specialty. I also do pretty well with Literature and Geography. I picked 3/3 Geography because, 1, very few question sets have that distribution, so we are different, 2, geography is something that EVERY kid has had by their Sophomore year. I am not as well versed on Science and Math, so those topics I depend on from my kids and other sources

5. Based on previous discussion, I would not touch Philosophy with a hundred foot pole, so there's that...

I hope this helps! Josh

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:49 pm
by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:, geography is something that EVERY kid has had by their Sophomore year.
this is extremely "not true"

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:00 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
I am unaware of how Illinois covers geography, but we (at Fort Osage) cover it from 5-7th grade, and we thread it through every Social Studies class until 11th grade, when it becomes a stand-alone class. At schools surrounding us, it is a 9th grade required class. Needless, to say, how well it is covered, I cannot say...

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:11 pm
by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor
As someone who has been interested in getting a group of JV kids at my school interested, I looked through FONS II last year to see if I could use it in practice for JV. While I thought there were some interesting and well written tossups, there were a couple of big things that bothered me. For instance, there were multiple tossups on things I haven't really heard tossed up before in quizbowl (some I noticed quickly were the 26th amendment, Guyana and Beryllium, for instance.) In addition, there were tossups on answer lines that are definitely in the canon but not well known at the novice level (Lysistrata comes to mind for this). Will you be looking to keep answer lines like that to a minimum this year (or relegated to hard parts of bonuses)? One of my biggest qualms with the set was simply how many of the tossups would have gone dead if I were to read it to my novices. This is especially important because I think the community in general could benefit from more novice oriented question sets that truly stuck to the novice label and aimed for maximum answerability even for newcomers to the quizbowl canon (I know I for one would always love to have more novice material to read to my JV team at practice!)

I don't mean for this to come off as a critique at this year's iteration based off of last one's, but some of the things mentioned in this thread have definitely worried me, especially in regards to the seemingly jokingly defined difficulty. I think this set has a lot of potential, and I would definitely considering sending a team to a tournament running this set if some of these fears were quelled.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:19 pm
by alexdz
There is definitely a concern about the difficulty level here, and I think that would be mitigated by having one more pair of eyes go through and excise the most difficult questions from the set. I understand the resistance to having an "experienced editor" come in and change everything you've worked on, but I'm not even saying that - literally just someone who wasn't involved in the early production of the set to look at stuff you've seen dozens of times and say, "hey, that's off-base compared to everything else here, let's try something a bit easier."

I'd like to make another suggestion, if I may. If you're committed to expanding geography to 3/3 but leaving out "other science," I'd suggest at least incorporating Earth science into geography. That is to say, more or less make it geography/geology.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:37 pm
by nsb2
It's hard not to admire your persistence, but I have two suggestions:

Since the distribution used in this set is different from what one might find in standard high school sets, you might not want to market this as "another option for teams looking at a Novice competition for the 2017-18 school year" -- it might be better to put it under the Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl section. In addition, it might help to provide a sample packet to show that you've incorporated the suggestions of more experienced writers and editors on the previous two editions this time around.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:35 am
by El Salvadoreno
nsb2 wrote:It's hard not to admire your persistence, but I have two suggestions:

Since the distribution used in this set is different from what one might find in standard high school sets, you might not want to market this as "another option for teams looking at a Novice competition for the 2017-18 school year" -- it might be better to put it under the Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl section. In addition, it might help to provide a sample packet to show that you've incorporated the suggestions of more experienced writers and editors on the previous two editions this time around.
I think its wrong to read this as persistence. This is an inability to take criticism. If this is supposed to be a SDI/Bork-esque tournament with a crazy distribution that is fine. But I am not reading this as that. I am reading this as a bird-flip to the very fair critiques of the first two FONS sets, and that is not good. As for ways to improve the set, it has mostly been stated above.

On geography, there is a reason a set that wants to be legitimate (i.e. not vanity) does not have 3/3 geography. It is not as important as other subjects and does not have as big a canon, especially at the novice level (unless you really think 9-10 graders, or any high-schoolers can that matter, can answer questions on Guyana and Djibouti).

I would also support a sample packet.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:45 pm
by nsb2
El Salvadoreno wrote: I think its wrong to read this as persistence. This is an inability to take criticism.
I agree with the above statement -- I was merely trying to be less overt and state my position in a more constructive way.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:15 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
Gentlemen,
Rest assured, in my 18 years of teaching and coaching Scholar Bowl, I have taken plenty of criticism, so I have the ability to do it. I posted this yesterday, but for some reason, it did not go through. I have played and/or coached Scholar Bowl since 1994. I get the game, and the district where I teach is a blue-collar district with no IB programs, and barely an AP program. My kids know they have to work harder than those better-off districts that surround us. They put in the work, they write questions, they practice all the time. We fight hard and hustle for everything we have. We have made Nationals 2 of the 6 years I have coached at the High School. We will do our best to put out the best set we can.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:23 pm
by Karansebes Schnapps Vendor
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:Gentlemen,
Rest assured, in my 18 years of teaching and coaching Scholar Bowl, I have taken plenty of criticism, so I have the ability to do it. I posted this yesterday, but for some reason, it did not go through. I have played and/or coached Scholar Bowl since 1994. I get the game, and the district where I teach is a blue-collar district with no IB programs, and barely an AP program. My kids know they have to work harder than those better-off districts that surround us. They put in the work, they write questions, they practice all the time. We fight hard and hustle for everything we have. We have made Nationals 2 of the 6 years I have coached at the High School. We will do our best to put out the best set we can.
I didn't (and I don't believe anyone else did) mean to attack the work ethic of you or your students. In fact, I think it speaks volumes that you are making the best of your situation and writing a set, which is a commitment a lot of schools can't make (my school decided against it, for instance). However, given the history of the set, I personally have a hard time accepting hand-waving responses like this one that vaguely promise the set will be better. I think that's one of the reasons I, as well as many others, want a sample packet or other assurances of quality (an outside editor who has a proven track record, for instance); not because we doubt you are hard workers capable of writing a set but because we want some way to have our trust restored, or to point out problems early on that can be nipped in the bud. I want to stress that I think this set could absolutely be good given how much work you are willing to put into it, but IMHO vague responses that don't assuage community fears about this set's previous problems and seem to brush them off don't instill trust in the community at large.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:59 am
by El Salvadoreno
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:Gentlemen,
Rest assured, in my 18 years of teaching and coaching Scholar Bowl, I have taken plenty of criticism, so I have the ability to do it. I posted this yesterday, but for some reason, it did not go through. I have played and/or coached Scholar Bowl since 1994. I get the game, and the district where I teach is a blue-collar district with no IB programs, and barely an AP program. My kids know they have to work harder than those better-off districts that surround us. They put in the work, they write questions, they practice all the time. We fight hard and hustle for everything we have. We have made Nationals 2 of the 6 years I have coached at the High School. We will do our best to put out the best set we can.
Thank you for proving my point. Instead of offering any substantive response you just play the "don't pretend to know what I go through" card. Good quizbowl is the same regardless of race, class or gender. So if you are going to write a set, do it right or not at all.

As for another suggestion: if you are unwilling to bring on another editor, you could playtest the questions with the people on this forum. I am sure they would be willing to help.

Re: FONS III

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 2:49 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
This set will be posted soon.

There will be a 4th incarnation next year...

Re: FONS III

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 8:57 pm
by Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode
will there be more stuff like this next year?
Image

Re: FONS III

Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:39 pm
by FortOsageScholarBowl
Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode wrote:will there be more stuff like this next year?
Image
Possibly...although I will make sure I write the correct answerline this time...

Re: FONS III

Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 10:52 am
by Fuddle Duddle
FortOsageScholarBowl wrote:
Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode wrote:will there be more stuff like this next year?
Image
Possibly...
That's probably not a good thing given that they're different museums https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropoli ... eum_of_Art