Oral Communication Skills in Higher Education: Using a Performance-Based Evaluation Rubric to Assess Communication Skills

  • Norah E. Dunbar
  • Catherine F. Brooks
  • Tara Kubicka-Miller


This study used The Competent Speaker, a rubric developed by the National Communication Association (S. P. Morreale, M. R. Moore, K. P. Taylor, D. Surges-Tatum, & R. Hulbert-Johnson, 1993), to evaluate student performance in general education public speaking courses as a case study of student skills and programmatic assessment. Results indicate that students taking the general education public speaking course are below satisfactory standards on five of the eight competencies defined by the National Communication Association and are above satisfactory standards on two of the eight competencies. Implications for this particular program, other communication departments, and communication across the curriculum in general education are discussed. We also offer suggestions for those in other disciplines or educational settings in the use of performance evaluation rubrics for assessing other student skills/knowledge and for training new teachers.


assessment general education evaluation rubrics faculty development 



This research was funded by a California State University Long Beach Assessment Grant received by the first two authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Norah E. Dunbar
    • 1
  • Catherine F. Brooks
    • 1
  • Tara Kubicka-Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication StudiesCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA

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