Rubric for Assessment of Oral Communication Skills (for Individual Presentations)

Background: CSE 601, the one credit course on social and ethical issues in computing (required for all BS-CSE majors, tech elective for BS-CIS majors), requires all students to make an oral presentation from a specified list of topics related to the course. Each BS-CSE capstone course also requires each student to make one or more oral presentations. The presentations may be either individual presentations or team-based; in the latter case, each student is required to participate in a significant manner in the presentation(s). The presentation may be either directly related to the student's design project in the course or may be on a different topic such as a new tool, technology, or process that may or may not be related to the project. The capstone courses (each of which has 601 as a prerequisite) include this activity in order to further develop the oral communication skills of the student.

The rubric below is used to evaluate students' presentations with respect to the program outcome (g), an ability to communicate effectively, in both CSE 601 and in the capstone courses. Team presentations in the capstone courses are evaluated using a slightly different rubric. The results of the evaluations are discussed regularly (typically once a year) by the Undergraduate Studies Committee; possible changes in the program to address any widespread problems are considered based on this evaluation and the discussion in UGSC. Note that the recent addition of Communication 321, the five credit course on public speaking, as a required course in the general education portion of the BS-CSE program has gone into effect only recently. It is expected that this will be reflected in more polished oral presentations in both 601 and the capstone courses in the course of the next two years or so.

Rubric: The student's presentation is evaluated along four dimensions, these having to do respectively with the organization of the presentation, the mechanics (mainly quality of slides), effectiveness of delivery, and how well the speaker relates to the audience. Each of these dimensions is assigned a score of 1 through 4, these values representing increasing degrees of achievement in the particular dimension, as described in the table below in the rows corresponding to the various dimensions. The last column are the actual scores assigned to this particular student's presentation along the four dimensions. The overall total score is assigned by simply adding together the scores corresponding to the four dimensions.

Some of the ideas for this rubric came from the one at:

Name of person being evaluated:  __________________________________________
Course and quarter of evaluation:  __________________________________________

   1 2 3 4 Points
Organization Audience cannot understand presentation because of poor organization; introduction is undeveloped or irrelevant; main points and conclusion are unclear; Audience has difficulty following presentation because of some abrupt jumps; some of the main points are unclear or not sufficient stressed; Satisfactory organization; clear introduction; main points are well stated, even if some transitions are somewhat sudden; clear conclusion; Superb organization; clear introduction; main points well stated and argued, with each leading to the next point of the talk; clear summary and conclusion.   
Mechanics Slides seem to have been cut-and pasted together haphazardly at the last minute; numerous mistakes; speaker not always sure what is coming next; Boring slides; no glaring mistakes but no real effort made into creating truly effective slides; Generally good set of slides; conveys the main points well; Very creative slides; carefully thought out to bring out both the main points as well as the subtle issues while keeping the audience interested.   
Delivery Mumbles the words, audience members in the back can't hear anything; too many filler words; distracting gestures; Low voice, occasionally inaudible; some distracting filler words and gestures; articulation mostly, but not always, clear; Clear voice, generally effective delivery; minimal distracting gestures, etc., but somewhat monotone; Natural, confident delivery that does not just convey the message but enhances it; excellent use of volume, pace etc.   
Relating to audience Reads most of the presentation from the slides or notes with no eye contact with audience members; seems unaware of audience reactions; Occasional eye contact with audience but mostly reads the presentation; some awareness of at least a portion of the audience; only brief responses to audience questions; Generally aware of the audience reactions; maintains good eye contact when speaking and when answering questions; Keeps the audience engaged throughout the presentation; modifies material on-the-fly based on audience questions and comments; keenly aware of audience reactions.   

Evaluator's name:  __________________________________________
Date of evaluation:  __________________________________________