By: Zoki Phantom
The truth is, every newbie craves for more beans once they join HOL, and when you learn that leaving ratings and comments to the submissions for the Art and Library Departments gives you beans, you just run there and get to work, usually overlooking or ignoring the rules. You don’t have to deny the obvious, I was a newbie once upon a time as well and I pretty much did the same, unfortunately.
What you need to realize is that if your comments and ratings aren’t appropriate, you risk the rating being removed, which means you would lose the beans you earned there. If you get too carried away, you might even lose house points and with that, lose more beans. And the worst part is, by leaving pointless or silly comments, you won’t only have a hard time making friends, but you will also earn yourself a HOLer or two who will be angry for your doing.
As much as it seems unimportant, the ratings you give submissions and the comments you leave, are in fact of great importance both for yourself and for the author of the entry. Here are some easy and very helpful tips that should lead you to rating submissions properly.
1. Check the project info
You need to see what’s the topic of the project, what people are required to submit so that you know you’re not rating high an off-topic entry. Check how many points a submission gets – the effort that people need to put for a project of 10 house points and for a project of 30 house points is obviously not the same.
Basically, you need to know what you’re rating on in order to give rightful ratings, as well as knowing the rules on comments – you need at least 8 words for it to be valid!
2. Go to through the submission (or skim it, at least!)
If you’re at the Art Department, this should be very easy – it only takes a minute or two to get a decent look at the entry. If you’re at the Library Department, it might take longer (depending on the length), but you could always just skim through it or maybe just go through half of the submission. Giving proper feedback on half the entry is way better than bad feedback on all of it!
3. Is the submission on topic?
It should be very easy to notice this, even at first glance. Differentiating between a valid and an invalid submission is crucial because if the entry is off-topic and it surely needs to be rated as one. If it doesn’t stray away from the topic, then you’re good to start judging it.
4. Make note of the effort the author put into the submission
When you look at ratings and comments, you will notice how the majority of the students rate the submissions based on how good they look, which is very wrong. Sure, a fabulous entry can charm your eye, but it doesn’t imply that another entry should get downgraded because of that one. Not everyone is the wordy type or a skilled artist on the site, there are people who do project solely for fun and one needs to take into account the amount of effort they put into their work. It might not be Shakespeare’s or Picasso’s work, but they could have done a lot of hard work to do what they did (as not everyone is talented). So don’t let your eye fool you at first sight, let your brain do some work too.
5. Simplicity actually does make perfection
Many submissions get lower ratings because people believe they are “too simple” – but why don’t you let your mind think twice about that? Take a “simple” entry and then try to imagine it with a lot more elements in it and you will see how easily that nice submission could turn into a horribly busy and overwhelming piece of work. On the other hand, a “busy” submission might work better than a simple one with another idea for that same project. Don’t be in a hurry to comment, take your time and double check you’re doing the right thing.
6. Where is the average?
The best way to go around ratings is to make some idea in your head about what you consider the “average” entry for that project – which is obviously a rating of 5. I for example like to think that as long as an entry doesn’t show lack of effort, it should automatically get at least a 5. Then I simply give better ratings to those who go beyond that (each level of effort gets them slowly to 10). Rating someone a 2 simply because you think they used wrong colors or made grammatical mistakes, is definitely wrong. Sure, those are things that could have easily been fixed – but keep in mind that it might have worked like that for the author’s idea.
7. Give good feedback in the comment
Of course you could get away with a simple “Oh I love this, that’s a wonderful submission you have there!” comment, even when you give a lower rating, but is that right? The author would be much happier if you state your reasoning rather than your emotions. Simply saying “I like this, but I think the text could stand out more and a border might make it even better.” Can actually help the author to improve for his or hers next submission.
8. Positive criticism is the better option
Even if you think that an entry isn’t good at all and shows no effort at all, you don’t have to say that directly with a rude tone. You can always play a game of words and make it sound nice, supportive, and reasonable, saying that there is still place for improvement and that it can use some more work. If you’d like to keep drama and stress away from your life, you need to learn to learn how to properly criticize without hurting the person behind the submission.
The bottom line being, be fair to everyone and be considerable – if someone submitted something then they obviously did put some effort which still needs to recognized. If you have the chance to be the good cop, why look aside and search for the chance to be the bad cop? Remember that what goes around, comes around, so unless you want people to rate your entries unfairly too, don’t do it.
Topic: Articles Tags: articles, newbie guide, zoki phantom