With the CODiE Awards deadline just 10 days away, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes the awards program so special. In my 12th CODiEs cycle, I’ve come to realize that the educators and members who judge the awards are truly the backbone of this notable program. After all, an award is only as credible as the judges who determine the winner. That’s why I decided to share more about the educators and SIIA members who bring so much influence and integrity to the CODiE Awards as judges.
Who actually judges the products we nominate for the CODiE Awards?
In the first round or judging, your products are reviewed by educators and administrators who work in K-12 or postsecondary education institutions. The ratings from these education leaders will determine the finalists in each category. The finalist products are then reviewed by representatives from SIIA Education Division member companies. One person from each company, regardless of size, can vote. For example, one person from Pearson gets to vote, just as one person from Avant Assessment gets to vote.
Why do educators and administrators review our products?
SIIA wants educators–the true experts in the field–to review your products because it gives the judging process high credibility and it gives you, the nominating companies, pertinent and valuable information. The educators and administrators know the ed tech field, are familiar with competing products, and have first-hand experience using products in the category they are reviewing.
What do we gain from having educational leaders review our products?
You gain the validity of participating in a credible awards program that has an almost 30-year history in education technology. Educators and administrators who review your products not only provide valuable feedback for product revision, but you build relationships with educators who are potential customers. Their experience makes them great judges of what will work in educational institutions, so when they provide high marks for your product, you can truly say that your product is the best.
How does SIIA find these educators and administrators?
The Education Division staff leverages its relationships with professional associations, educational media, and online communities to find judges that have expertise in each category. We also take referrals from current and past judges. They can directly reach out to their members or education readers and let them know about the opportunity to judge
How does SIIA select the first round judges who will review our products?
Each applicant fills out an extensive survey that asks about their relevant experience, degrees, and current work in the category they want to judge. The process is quite competitive in the popular categories, as so many educators apply. But with so many applicants, we can select those with the best qualifications to be the judges for your products.
How do they judge the products that we nominate?
SIIA recommends that judges first participate in a live demo with the nominating company, or listen to a pre-recorded demo, then use the product for a time to become come fully acquainted with it. The judges then go online and fill out a rubric specifically designed for the products in each category. They will rank the product on a numerical scale within that rubric and are urged to provide comments in the feedback areas.
What to the educators and administrators gain from judging our products?
Judges tell us they enjoy the process and find that it is a learning experience. It gives them a chance to not only see new products, but also to provide feedback to the companies that could prove useful in revising the products. They consider the judging process to be a contribution to their field.
Learn more about the CODiE Awards judges or nominate before the September 20 deadline (October 4 extended deadline) at www.siia.net/CODiEs.
Karen Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation