Experimental, ad hoc, online, inter-university student e-contest during the pandemic: Lessons learned
We are reporting on lessons learned from an e-contest for students held during the current pandemic. We compare the e-contest with the 10 previous editions of the same but face-to-face contest. While apparently the competition did not suffer because of being a virtual one, some disadvantages were noted. The main conclusions are: the basic interconnectivity means arise no serious technical issue, but the interconnectivity is more limited than the face-to-face one; online jury-competitors interactivity is poorer than face-to-face interactivity; human factors, higher uncertainties in the organization process, and less time to spend in the process for the local organizers are major limiting factors; concerns on the participation and evaluation fairness are higher; involuntary gender discrimination seems lower, but persists; there are serious concerns related to privacy, including differential privacy; some peculiarities of the presented topics and of the evaluation process emerged, but it is unclear if they are related to the online nature of the competition, to the extra stress on the participants during the pandemic, to other factors, or are random. While some conclusions may be intimately related to the analyzed case, some are general enough for being worth to other online competitions.