Tell us about your project.
The Knowledge Pool is a team of judges who create a weekly judge call scenario with the reader serving as a judge in the event. Our goal is to give judges a way to keep up-to-date on their policy knowledge, and to give them practice thinking through the types of judge calls they could see at their next event. Each scenario has a difficulty of Bronze, Silver, or Gold. There’s a strong focus on situations that are at an L2 level of understanding, the Silver level, so that our forum can be a tool for L1s who are working towards testing. Somewhat rarer are the Bronze scenarios, which are for people who are brand new to policy, and Gold scenarios, which are questions aimed towards current L2s which require an understanding of the philosophy behind policy or a more complex application of the IPG. Scenarios go live every Wednesday to the forums and the Knowledge Pool Blog, and their corresponding solutions go up the following Tuesday.
What is your role within the Judge project?
Currently I am the lead of the project. My job is done mostly behind the scenes, helping to shape the scenarios that the project members propose into the exact shape we want them before presenting them to the public. I also make the decision of which of the scenarios we’re working on goes public each week.
Why did you decide to join the Knowledge Pool project?
After I had been Level 2 for a few months, I decided I wanted to start getting involved in some kind of project. Because it was Ben McDole who tested me, I asked him if he knew of anything I could get involved in, and as the current KP lead he added me to the team.
Tell us a fun story about your participation in this project.
The best part about the project (as with most projects, I’m sure) is getting to work events with people who I’ve known for months but never spoken to face-to-face. I remember one occurrence when I was introduced to somebody and I said “Oh, you made that one Knowledge Pool scenario!” They asked “yeah, how did you know,” and I got to respond with “I approved you to post it!”
If you could change one thing about the project, what would it be?
I would love to see more activity in the public forums. It would be awesome to see more L1s using the questions as practice test questions, answering before they read other answers and then opening a dialogue about how their answer was correct or could have been improved.
How has this project helped your judging?
My IPG knowledge is much stronger now than it was when I started a year ago. Working with multiple scenarios each week really helps you to gain familiarity with policy. In addition, crafting our answers to clearly explain why the solution we’ve given is correct has given me a lot of practice giving concise rulings backed up by policy.
Have you met other judges in your project in real life? What was that meeting like?
I’ve met a number of the other project members in person. Usually we run into each other at GPs that we’re staffed for. It’s great to be able to put a face and a voice to the people you’ve worked with over the past months.
What do you like best about the project?
It’s definitely watching people grow. I’ve seen a few judges start out giving questionable answers to each question, then start being the voice of reason for the correct answer, and then suddenly they stop responding to the Silver scenarios and I discover that they’ve passed their L2 test. It’s an awesome feeling to have had some part in the development of those kinds of judges.
What do you want people to know about this project, and what’s important for other judges, in your opinion?
To everybody helping to mentor judges towards level 2, encourage them to use us as a resource. After experience, practice questions are one of the best ways to get practice, and ours tend to be aimed at the people you’re working with.
To all L2+ Judges- If you have a question you’d like us to use or a subject you think needs covering, feel free to propose your own scenario via our submission form!
If you have a lot of these ideas, consider sending me an email asking about joining the team! I’m happy to add people who are willing to contribute to refining the scenarios, and create one of their own every now and then.
How does your team pick your questions?
The questions themselves are created and refined behind the scenes by members of the team. Each week I make sure that we have a clear answer ready to be posted for the current scenario, and choose which of the polished solutions is going to go live. The wonderful Josh Stansfield makes a blog post for it, the team member who proposed the scenario in the first place posts it into the scenarios forum on Wednesday, and the cycle continues.
As for the content of the questions, it happens a number of ways. Personally, there are two ways I create scenarios. They can either start with a situation I saw at an event, which I tweak a bit to fit our needs, or I can start with a specific lesson in mind and build a scenario that teaches it.
Do you ever get feedback from judges at events to your team?
Rarely, but I’m always happy to hear it. Hey, readers! If you think there’s a way we can improve our system, or if you’d like to tell us that you really like something about KP, we’d love to hear it! Send me a message through Judge Apps or find me at an event, and I’ll pass on your feedback to the team. I’m at about half of the StarCityGames.com Open Series events and a handful of GPs in the second half of this year.
Other Important KP links:
Knowledge Pool Forums – http://apps.magicjudges.org/forum/29/
Knowledge Pool Blog – http://blogs.magicjudges.org/knowledgepool/