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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-128
Number of pages14
JournalInnovative Higher Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Assessment
  • Evaluation rubrics
  • Faculty development
  • General education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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