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Creativity News - Volume 7, Number 7 (03/13/2014)


Making the Most of Subjective Scores

The Affiliate Tournament is just around the corner.  As your team does its final rehearsals have them consider some of the following in terms of the scores on the subjective elements of their solution or what they should do in a Performance Based Instant Challenge.

Appraisers like performances in which a clean beginning, middle, and end in the performance clearly presents the required elements. This will score higher than one with lots of unexplained confusion. Sometimes less is more.

Unless the team is really good at setting up the situation, subtlety is lost on appraisers. Regardless of how well you pointed out a scored element on the Tournament Data Form, if the appraisers don’t see it/ hear it during the performance, the team will miss out on valuable points.

Appraisers give more points to creative elements that are relevant to the challenge and clearly integrated into the performance. There is no real place to score unrelated creativity.

What are the factors that affect how appraisers score subjective criteria?

  • ExpectationsAppraisers look for creativity, relevance and effort. The challenge is written to be solved in multiple ways from simple to complex. A simple solution can receive high scores if the team has spent the time enhancing and refining the performance. Complex solutions get better scores when the team has taken the time to make sure the solution works well and is relevant to the challenge.
  • Experience

Experienced Appraisers have seen what teams are capable of doing and they can tell where teams have cut corners. Inexperienced appraisers are sometimes initially drawn to glitter and cute but they quickly learn the ropes. An Appraiser that has been a DI team member looks for signs that the team has used the creative process and teamwork that were used to solve their own challenges not-so-long ago. They’ve been there so they can tell when a team has taken the time to include meaningful creativity even if it does not have a high polish.

  • EnjoymentA tight performance in which the challenge requirements are easily identifiable and presented in a clear and concise way generally will receive higher scores. Teams that include lots of irrelevant glitz often confuse appraisers and this can lead them away from awarding points. Humor is always appreciated provided that it does not distract the appraisers from finding points in the scored areas.

Communication: An Important 21st Century Skill

Destination Imagination does not just encourage students to solve problems. Participants must hone their communication skills in a number of ways. They have to be able to explain their ideas to their team members - to use word to paint the picture in their heads. They need to create a story that will clearly show the theme and how the various solution elements fit together. Their written tournament forms must be clear and concise. Finally during their interview they must answer questions to give the appraisers a full picture of what they learned and how they solved their Challenge. All of these skills are needed for them to succeed in school, the job market, and in relating to others. Destination Imagination is a program that gives participants the opportunity to refine these skills. As teams debrief after the season they should recognize how communication is an important part of working together and solving problems.

DI Blogs

Read the DI News Blogs on the Destination Imagination website to learn about new products that stimulate STEM, creativity, and 21st Century Skills.  Current Blogs highlight Einstein in a Box, the upcoming Innovation for Education Conference, Creativity, and preparing for tournaments. 

MTDI Facebook Page

The Montana Affiliate Tournament is March 22 in Manhattan. Following the tournament we will be posting pictures from the tournament on our Facebook page. Please like the MTDI page at

Rule of the Month :

Copyrights and Trademarks

DI encourages teams to develop their own ideas to create original materials, music, characters, etc. The Team Manager should help the team determine if any of the materials it wishes to use are copyrighted or trademarked. If the team chooses to use copyrighted or trademarked material it must obtain permission to use those materials. 

Parodying of music and public figures without permission is allowed.  Parody is a piece of writing or music that imitates another in a humorous or satirical way.

Use of copyrighted materials or trademarked products is not considered to be as creative as original ideas, characters, and materials.

Team Building Activity: 

What are you doing

Everyone forms a line at one end of the room. The first player of the line steps into the performance area and starts miming an activity. As soon as the activity is clear, player 2 approaches player 1 and asks `What are you doing`.

The first player answers something that has nothing to do with what he`s actually doing. e.g.: if player 1 is cutting someone`s hair, when asked what he`s doing he might say "I`m reading the newspaper".

First player moves away, and the second player starts miming the activity stated by the previous player. A third player comes up to player 2, asks what he is doing, and so on.

Play until everyone has mimed something, and has answered the question.

Instant Challenge:

You Call That Art?

Challenge: Your task is to use the materials provided to create three pieces of art and prepare a PRESENTATION showing the art pieces.

Time: You will have 6 minutes to use your IMAGINATION to create the art pieces and prepare your presentation, and 2 minutes to give your presentation.

The Scene: Artists have often been inspired by ordinary everyday items. For example, Andy Warhol made a famous painting of soup cans, Victoria Fuller made one sculpture out of traffic cones and another out of baseballs. Sometimes people need to be convinced of the artistic merit of the art piece. This is your task. In Part One (6 minutes), you will create two pieces of art based on every day common items using only the materials provided. You will also plan a presentation to convince others of the artistic merit of your pieces. In Part Two (2 minutes), you will show your art pieces and give your presentation.


• 1 sheet 8 -1/2" x 11" paper 

• 2 adhesive labels     • 4 pipe cleaners

• 1 paper plate           • 2 cups

• scissors & markers to use for the construction

Scoring: You will receive

A. 10 points for the completion of each piece of art

B. Up to 30 points for how creatively you use the materials for each art piece

C. Up to 30 points for the creativity of your performance

D. Up to 20 points for how well your team works together.

Used with permission from Students for a Creative Iowa.

Date Published: 
Thu, 03/13/2014