Collegiate Reviewer Instructions (Preliminary Round)

Thank you for helping to review the NCWIT Collegiate Award Preliminary Round applications! The applicants are undergraduate and graduate students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary in any year of college and are majoring in computing and related technical fields. We are looking for applicants with outstanding technical accomplishments, demonstrated by projects that showcase their skill, mastery of the subject and expertise. Higher scores should be awarded to more innovative, impactful and difficult technical projects where the applicant was able to define their role clearly and confidently.

Please keep the following important guidelines in mind when scoring each application:

Applicants are broken into three categories:

  • freshman, sophomore or two-year degree program
  • junior or senior
  • graduate student
  1. Applicants will, and should, be at different levels of technical experience and expertise. Please take the “grade level” into consideration when viewing the application materials, scoring the technical questions and reviewing the applicant as a whole. For example, a Ph.D. applicant should typically display a high degree of independence and technical savvy in comparison to a typical Freshman/Sophomore application. Score them against their peer-group expectations, to the extent possible.
  2. Applicants may not have English as their first or native language. Please do not penalize such applicants for minor syntax errors.
  3. Applicants have been asked to explain why their technical project is innovative or impactful. We urge you to put evidence of technical ability at the heart of your scoring. Please attempt to use your best understanding of the technology addressed to assess “how hard” it was to attain their accomplishment - rather than how well they presented it, or how “cool” it is. A project contribution that uses technology to solve a problem in a whole new way ought to be scored higher than something socially-positive or cute, but not that difficult to accomplish (technically).
  4. If you feel like an application contains a level of technical depth that exceeds your knowledge in the subject area (remember, some are Ph.D. candidates), please feel free to abandon your review and leave it to others. To do so, simply leave the Review page without saving the review (i.e., go “Back” in your browser), do not select the “Discard Review” button.
  5. You may be assigned an application for a student you personally know, or who attends an institution to which you have personal connection. If you think that your relationship with the applicant or her college/university presents a conflict of interest, please do not complete your review of the application. Simply leave the Review page without saving or submitting the review (i.e., go “Back” in your browser), do not select the “Discard Review” button.

PRELIMINARY ROUND APPLICATION REVIEW QUESTIONS

Project Description

Applicant Prompt: Please provide a thorough description of the project. Explain the problem the project solved, and how, without requiring the reader to be an expert with deep background knowledge.

Reviewer Prompt: Please utilize the point descriptors below to score the Project Description.

  1. The applicant DOES NOT PROVIDE a description of the project. The problem solved, and how it is solved, is not explained. The reader, without deep background knowledge, would not understand the project
  2. The description provides an ADEQUATE description of the project. The problem solved, and how it is solved, is explained adequately. The reader would need some expertise and background knowledge to understand the project.
  3. The description provides a THOROUGH description of the project. The problem solved, and how it is solved, is explained thoroughly. The reader would not need to be an expert or have any background knowledge to understand the project.

Project Interest/Innovation

Applicant prompt: Whether you chose the project or were assigned to it, please describe the aspects that were innovative and interesting.

Reviewer Prompt: Please utilize the point descriptors below to score this essay.

  1. The project lacks any aspects that are innovative or interesting.
  2. The project has a LIMITED amount of innovation and interest.
  3. The project has a MODERATE amount of innovation and some interesting aspects.
  4. The project is CLEARLY innovative and interesting.
  5. The project has REAL INNOVATION and has a high number of interesting aspects.

Project Importance/Impact

Applicant prompt: 

Project Benefit *

Who is your project designed to benefit/impact?

Protect Rate Impact *

How would you rate the level of impact?

  1. The project has the potential to SIGNIFICANTLY impact the field.
  2. The project has the potential to, or CLEARLY does, impact the field.
  3. The project has the potential to be MODERATELY impactful in the field.
  4. The project has the potential to make a SMALL impact in the field.
  5. The project has NO real potential to make an impact in the field.

Project Importance/Impact *

Please explain your reasoning on the level of impact. 

Reviewer Prompt: The suggested score for project impact is based on three impact items. Please review these items and score accordingly.

  1. The project has NO real potential to make an impact in the field.
  2. The project has the potential to make a SMALL impact in the field.
  3. The project has the potential to be MODERATELY impactful in the field.
  4. The project has the potential to, or CLEARLY does, impact the field.
  5. The project has the potential to SIGNIFICANTLY impact the field.

Technical Complexity

Applicant Prompt: Clearly describe each of the technical skills that you utilized in the creation of this project and explain why each skill was vital to the success of the project.

Reviewer Prompt: Rate the technical complexity of the project based on technical skills used, along with overall description of the project. 

  1. The project has NO CLEAR technical complexity or difficulty. The skills described are very basic in nature.
  2. The project has a relatively LOW LEVEL of technical complexity or difficulty. The skills described are a mix of basic skills and intermediate skills.
  3. The project has a MODERATE LEVEL of technical complexity or difficulty. The skills described are intermediate skills.
  4. The project has a HIGH LEVEL of technical complexity or difficulty. The skills described are a mix of intermediate and advanced skills.
  5. The project has an EXTREMELY HIGH LEVEL of technical complexity or difficulty. The skills described are highly advanced skills.

Project Contribution

Applicant Prompt: Referencing your answers above (in the multiple choice section), please describe your individual contribution to this project.

You may refer to these items to view the student’s self-assessed contribution:

  • How did the idea for the project come about? (assigned, out of necessity, own interest...)

  • How much of the overall work was your contribution?

  • How significant was your contribution to the project outcomes?

  • Considering the portion of the project that you worked on, how much supervision and direction were you given?

Reviewer Prompt: The suggested score for project contribution is provided above and is based on the multiple choice questions under "Project Contribution." 

  1. Student had ALMOST NO contribution to the project.
  2. Student had MINOR contributions to the project.
  3. Student had MODERATE contributions to the project.
  4. Student had MAJOR contributions to the project.
  5. Student was the SOLE CONTRIBUTOR to the project.

Preliminary Summarization of Student

Reviewer Prompt: Considering this application in its entirety, please indicate your overall recommendation for this applicant. Recommended applicants may be invited to participate in the Finalist round for the NCWIT Collegiate Award.

  1. Application is VERY WEAK and SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AT ALL for the Finalist Round of the NCWIT Collegiate Award.
  2. Application is WEAK and SHOULD NOT MOVE FORWARD to the Finalist Round of the NCWIT Collegiate Award.
  3. Application is ADEQUATE and SHOULD MOVE FORWARD WITH RESERVATIONS to the Finalist Rround of the NCWIT Collegiate Award.
  4. Application is STRONG and SHOULD MOVE FORWARD to the Finalist Round of the NCWIT Collegiate Award.
  5. Application is EXTREMELY STRONG and SHOULD MOVE FORWARD WITHOUT RESERVATION to the Finalist Round of the NCWIT Collegiate Award.

*Reviewer Comments: Reviewer comments are required. Your comments are invaluable and make a big difference during the selection phase.

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