Coalition for Quality Children's Media
KIDS FIRST! JUROR MANUAL

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 505-989-8076.

5. THE EVALUATION FORM

All evaluation forms must be filled out completely. Be sure to fill in your name, the title of the film, video, DVD, or CD-ROM you're reviewing, screening date, children's ages, and children's genders at the top of each evaluation form. KIDS FIRST!® requires Adult and Child Jurors to provide thorough explanations and specific descriptions, as well as numeric ratings for each category. Direct quotations are especially helpful. We encourage you to use the back of the evaluation form should you need more space. When using the online form, you should have sufficient space for each response.

Clear and specific comments help us:

  • More thoroughly understand your acceptance or rejection of a given title.
  • Provide accurate and specific information that we pass on to media users in CQCM print and online publications, and other publications.
  • Collect statistical, demographic, multicultural, and socioeconomic jury information.
  • Share your opinions and assessments with producers and offers suggestions that may improve the quality of future products.

Adult Jurors should type, print, or write evaluations clearly. Illegible evaluations are not useful. If you are writing your evaluation, ask someone else, perhaps a family member, to read your completed evaluation for legibility. Typed evaluations are always appreciated. Online evaluations avoid this problem and are preferred over manual forms.

To elicit comments from children, ask them specific questions during the screening. Suggest to older children that they make notes while they're watching. Encourage them to think independently of the others in their group and to not be shy about voicing their opinion.

A. Evaluating Appeal

Is the product interesting? Is it fun to watch, listen to, think about? Does it capture a child's interest? Would it appeal specifically to girls or boys? To special interest groups? Comment on why the program appeals to you and the children in your jury.

Sample Appeal Responses

Helpful Juror Response: "Yes! It provides great insight when learning about scientists such as Galileo." "The eight-year-old girls were glued to the screen. They really liked it." (Clear, specific information)

Unhelpful Juror Response: "Fairly appealing, kept my attention." (How? In what way? Vague, unclear information.)

B. Evaluating Content

What is the program about? If a story, consider how the story is told, how the characters are portrayed, and how the story affects the audience. When it's a games or an instructional program, evaluate the methods used to teach and how well one can learn from those methods. Remember: Provide thorough explanations and specific information.

Sample Content Responses 

Helpful Juror Response: "Excellent use of historical facts that makes it a useful teaching tool." (Clear, specific information)

Unhelpful Juror Response: "Good social commentary." (Huh? What do you mean here? Vague, unclear information) 

C. Evaluating Production Quality

This is a technical question to analyze nuts and bolts applied in the production of the program.. We are looking for specific comments about production such as: design, acting, sound quality, animation, image quality, editing, costumes, cinematography, and special effects.

With interactive media, tell us if the program is too difficult to use or poorly designed. Be sure to fill in the questions about the equipment you used - mhz, RAM, and CD-ROM - at the top of the evaluation form. If you don't know or are uncertain, please tell us.

Sample Production Responses

Helpful Juror Response: "Beautiful scenes and colors that keep children's attention." (Specific, helpful information)

Unhelpful Juror Response: "Excellent" (Excellent in what way? Much too vague.)

D. Evaluating Benefits

Here's your chance to give feedback on what you or your kids really enjoyed about the program and to help others know what to look for when choosing children's media. Although KIDS FIRST! is evaluating entertainment media, this is where you can address the educational benefits as well. Please don't mark down a title that isn't "educational" as that is not part of our baseline. These are some of the most useful comments, especially for All-Star titles, because they may be printed in final reviews that KIDS FIRST!® publishes. Let us know if these programs inspired you. Often, jurors include comments about how programs lead to discussions afterwards. Be sure to let your enthusiasm, or lack of, show.

Sample Benefit Responses

Helpful Juror Response: "Many children were interested in learning more about the mystery about Anastasia and immediately wanted to go to the library to find our more." (Specific, helpful information)

Unhelpful Juror Response: "It was nice." (What was nice? Be more specific.)

Juror's suggested age range:

Based on your own experience, recommend age range you believe it is most suitable for, from youngest to oldest. 

Juror's Suggested Age Range

Please don't forget to fill in this box on the evaluation form. This is one of the most important pieces of information you give us and is often overlooked. Be specific, once again. Give clear age ranges such as "6-8" rather than "6 and up." Use numbers to indicate ages, rather than "pre-school" or "school-aged." Look for this box in the bottom left hand corner of your evaluation tool.

E. Eliciting children's comments

It is helpful to ask open-ended questions that prompt children to elaborate on their thoughts. Open-ended questions generally begin with statements such as, "Why do you think...." or "How do you know..." For example, on the pre-school video form, question #3 asks, "How well did it show characters treating each other nicely?" A typical unhelpful response will be, "They were nice." As an Adult Juror, you could continue with the questioning by asking, "Who was nice?", "How were they nice to each other?" "What else happened that made you think they were nice to each other?" It is also important to be mindful of not swaying children's juries. Try to be neutral, regardless of your own opinion of the program. Remember that children are very sensitive to the body language and facial gestures of an adult.

 

Where would you like to go next?

JUROR HOME PAGE

1. General Procedures

2. Evaluation Procedure

3. Guidelines: Working with Young Jurors

4. Criteria for Accepting/Rejecting Titles

5. The Evaluation Form

6. Talk to Us