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KudoZ grading system needs to be changed!
Thread poster: sarandor

sarandor  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:22
English to Russian
+ ...
Feb 13, 2009

Hello everyone,

I don't know if this has been discussed before to death, but it's been bothering me for some time.

Kudoz is a wonderful resource, and for me personally it compensates to some degree for the lack of teamwork that I sometimes feel in my freelance life (as they say in Russian, two heads are better than one!). But I think its grading system is flawed. So, here are my suggestions:

- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)
- Have a new option of hiding the KudoZ statistics on profile pages, especially the "Questions Answered".

The reason for the last one is that, in my opinion, it prevents some people from providing answers because they think it might hurt their KudoZ "statistics". When I provide answers, earning points is the least of my goals. I want to help and share my knowledge. But if I know that my answer has a relatively low chance of being chosen, then I often abstain from posting my answer simply because I don't want to lower my ratio of questions answered to questions chosen as best. Most of the time there are more than just one valid answer, and it doesn't make sense to penalize fully competent translators whose fully valid answers were not chosen as best by lowering their statistics and showing it to everyone as some sort of objective measure of their competence.

Please share your opinion!


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Disagree with both measures Feb 13, 2009

voyager wrote:
- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)

This conflicts with the fact that (at least in theory) Kudoz points should go to the most useful answer. The only one who really knows whether an answer is useful (not necessarily correct) is the asker, the one who has the full context and knows about the final use of the text.

Other answerers can only decide which of the answers looks correct with the information provided in the question, which unfortunately is rather scarce in the lion's share of questions. So it does not make sense to let us answerers choose what reply is the best or more useful.

voyager wrote:
- Have a new option of hiding the KudoZ statistics on profile pages, especially the "Questions Answered".

I think this exists already. In your profile, you probably see an option called "Kudoz Activity". If you disable that one, your Kudoz activity disappears from the profile.

Having said this, I think it is critical that both data, i.e. "Questions answered" and "PRO-level points" appear in the profile, just because a simple mental division will tell an outsourcer whether you respond with some sense:
- 25000 points / 15000 answers = 1.6 (well, fair enough)
- 4000 points / 1700 answers = 2.3 (i.e. responds with more sense or is more useful)

Also, let me say that making people refrain from answering when they are not really sure about the reply makes total sense to me!! Removing the "Questions Answered" data would encourage answerers to respond at random, which is most undesirable.


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Birgit Richter  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Kudoz Grading System Feb 13, 2009

"- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)"

I disagree entirely. ONLY the asker is in a position to decide which answer is the most helpful for their particular translation problem as they know the original text in its entirety - the answerers don't.


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
English to French
. Feb 13, 2009

voyager wrote:

- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)


I would certainly not accept this. As an asker, I know better than any answerer what is the exact context of my text and how I translated the whole document. So I am in the best position to decide what answer helps me most and I have the right to choose whichever answer I want.

I admit tough, that some askers simply choose the first answer that comes or choose another that is obviously wrong. But it is not that often the case.

- Have a new option of hiding the KudoZ statistics on profile pages, especially the "Questions Answered".

The reason for the last one is that, in my opinion, it prevents some people from providing answers because they think it might hurt their KudoZ "statistics".


Yes but it also prevents incompetent answerers to write nonsenses or to answer questions in fields they have no knowledge of.


Most of the time there are more than just one valid answer, and it doesn't make sense to penalize fully competent translators whose fully valid answers were not chosen as best by lowering their statistics and showing it to everyone as some sort of objective measure of their competence.


I can't believe that when you give a valid answer they are always rejected for another answer. I don't think I penalize anyone when I close my answers. When I get several valid answers I choose the most documented and/or give only 2-3 points, since I can't share points among two answerers.

Stéphanie






[/quote]

[Edited at 2009-02-13 16:34 GMT]


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Contradiction Feb 13, 2009

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
I don't think I penalize anyone when I close my answers. When I get several valid answers I choose the most documented and/or give only 2-3 points, since I can't share points among two answerers.

(my italics)

Sounds to me like you do penalize answerers.

[Edited at 2009-02-13 19:36 GMT]


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Stéphanie Soudais  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:22
Member (2006)
English to French
No Feb 13, 2009

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:
I don't think I penalize anyone when I close my answers. When I get several valid answers I choose the most documented and/or give only 2-3 points, since I can't share points among two answerers.

(my italics)

Sounds to me like you do penalize answerers.

[Edited at 2009-02-13 16:38 GMT]

[Edited at 2009-02-13 16:38 GMT]


No! Let's say that my way of saying in English isn't good...I don't know how to make it clear


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 00:22
Turkish to English
+ ...
Some people do not recognise an answer staring them in the face Feb 13, 2009

voyager wrote:

- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)


We all get stuck from time to time, but let us be honest. The people who are most likely to ask KudoZ questions are those with a shaky knowledge of terminology in the field in question and who, furthermore, are not very good at researching. Such people may well not be the best judge of the answers. I have ocassionally seen cases in my own language pair where people have been incapable of recognising the right answer when it is staring them in the face and backed up with credible sources.

However, my advice would be not to take KudoZ too seriously. I don't think it makes much difference who gets the points.


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xxxEric Hahn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:22
French to German
+ ...
That's democracy Feb 13, 2009

voyager wrote:
- Let the best answer be chosen not by the asker, but by peers (it will also rid askers from the unpleasant task of choosing the best answer)


This doesn't make sense : I often saw peers choose the _worst possible_ answer !!

There should be a penalty for the most stupid answer ...


[Edited at 2009-02-13 17:40 GMT]


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andress  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 00:22
Member (2008)
English to Russian
+ ...
Removing the "Questions Answered" data... Feb 13, 2009

Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Removing the "Questions Answered" data would encourage answerers to respond at random, which is most undesirable.


It's possible to remove "Questions Answered" data but making instead a penalty for any unawarded answer - 1 (or 2) BrowniZ to prevent random response.


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Tomás Cano Binder, CT  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
I don't think so... Feb 13, 2009

andress wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
Removing the "Questions Answered" data would encourage answerers to respond at random, which is most undesirable.

It's possible to remove "Questions Answered" data but making instead a penalty for any unawarded answer - 1 (or 2) BrowniZ to prevent random response.


Hm... Yes, but you get browniz quite easily and that would not refrain people from answering at random. To me, the best measure about how useful or knowledgeable a translator is in Kudoz is a simple division of points between answers.


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Derek Gill Franßen  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:22
German to English
+ ...
Please leave it as is. Feb 13, 2009

I think the system is fine the way it is, though I have nothing against periodically rehashing the subject.

In fact, the only thing I would change, if I could, would be to remove the ability to close a question without grading... it bothers me when that happens (but not enough to really worry about it).

=my two cents


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:22
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
No contradiction in what Stéphanie says Feb 13, 2009

Stéphanie Soudais wrote:

When I get several valid answers I choose the most documented and/or give only 2-3 points, since I can't share points among two answerers.


I understand exactly what you mean, Stéphanie - 4 points for one answerer would ideally equal 2 points each for two answererss, but seeing as that isn't possible then you give only 2 points to the chosen answerer (probably the first one to answer or the one with the best references).

Let's face it, when did you last see a system that was 100% perfect? Personally, I think the major fault of KudoZ is that it involves people and their egos - we need an egoless system!


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 01:22
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
Yes, it is penalizing answerers Feb 13, 2009

Sheila Wilson wrote:
I understand exactly what you mean, Stéphanie - 4 points for one answerer would ideally equal 2 points each for two answererss, but seeing as that isn't possible then you give only 2 points to the chosen answerer (probably the first one to answer or the one with the best references).


Like it or not, this behavior DOES penalize answerers. The asker dishes out fewer points - 2 instead of 4 - even though he/she was provided with a fully satisfactory service.

On a different but related note, I completely agree with Derek - closing questions without grading should be abolished.

[Edited at 2009-02-13 19:36 GMT]


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Paul Cohen  Identity Verified
Greenland
Local time: 19:22
German to English
+ ...
Your KudoZ success rate - how important is it? Feb 13, 2009

voyager wrote:

When I provide answers, earning points is the least of my goals. I want to help and share my knowledge. But if I know that my answer has a relatively low chance of being chosen, then I often abstain from posting my answer simply because I don't want to lower my ratio of questions answered to questions chosen as best.


I don't quite see the problem. If your answer has a relatively low chance of being chosen, then there must be other answers that you can agree with.

The only other possibility I can think of is that you have a highly original answer that is somewhat unorthodox, free or daring, in which case there is nothing preventing you from adding your own two cents. People often respond to KudoZ questions knowing full well that their answer has very little chance of being chosen. Besides, we now have a handy discussion area where information pointing to alternative answers can be placed.

I wouldn't worry too much about your "success statistics" on KudoZ. I assume that most potential clients don't bother to do the math to see who provides good, helpful answers and who randomly fires from the hip.

What's more, this site doesn't allow outsiders to search for translators according to their success rates. The directory can be sorted according to language combination, native language, place of residence, PRO Certification, etc., and perhaps most importantly, the sheer number of KudoZ pointZ, but not according to a person's KudoZ success rate, i.e., the number of pointZ divided by the number of answers provided.

Come to think of it, a "KudoZ success rate" directory search feature would help erase the advantage that older, somewhat trigger-happy members with mountains of pointZ have over newcomers. I wonder if there have been any discussions of this possibility in the past? What do staff members think?

In my opinion, we don't need to change the grading system. We just need to make it easier for people to interpret what the pointZ actually mean.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 17:22
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
KudoZ "acceptance rate" has been discussed several times, indeed Feb 13, 2009

Paul Cohen wrote:

Come to think of it, a "KudoZ success rate" directory search feature would help erase the advantage that older, somewhat trigger-happy members with mountains of pointZ have over newcomers. I wonder if there have been any discussions of this possibility in the past?


Yes, there had been discussions about it, several times.
I think this one was the most recent:

http://www.proz.com/forum/kudoz/119297-hit_rate_or_points_to_closed_answers_ratio_pta.html#980033


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