Make Them Think It Was Their Idea: Using A Student-Generated Rubric To Increase Oral/PowerPoint Presentation Scores

Submitted by Heather Muns on

In my 16 week RDG 091 course, prior to the first group presentation, I spend one or two classes teaching students the oral and format expectations of an oral PowerPoint presentation.  In Fall, 2013, I taught an 8 week version of the RDG 091 course and found that there was limited time to extensively teach these skills prior to their first oral presentation.  I provided them the rubric ahead of time and covered the information as best I could with the time I had.  However, I was very disappointed in the results. For their next presentation I approached it differently.  After a group t-chart activity, students produced an appropriate student-generated presentation rubric. The scores on the presentations increased after this activity. I again used this method in my Spring, 2014 8 week RDG 091 and my 8 week hybrid RDG 091 and again saw increased results (see attachment).  I plan to implement this method in all of my courses and monitor results.

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Average: 5 (7 votes)


Bronwen Steele Tue, 03/18/2014 - 12:31pm

Heather, this is great. Do you have a copy of the rubric you ended up generating? I face a similar situation but students only do one small presentation in class. This is making me think about what I can do to help them with a one time presentation.

Erik Huntsinger Tue, 03/18/2014 - 1:14pm

That is very interesting.  So you let the students derive their own rubric?  I think a lot of instructors would be hesitant to give our power of rubric generation over to students.  However, to echo Bronwen, I would be very intersted so see the rubric they came up with, and how similar or different they are between classes.  I think it is a very creative way for them to teach themselves and reflect on what makes a presentation good or not- probably much more effective than being lectured to about what each category means.  I would go one step further and compare their generated communication rubric with the one at EMCC to see where they overlap and how they are different.

Heather Muns Tue, 03/18/2014 - 1:30pm

Yes, I have an example that I can provide.  However, the rubric changes slightly each time since it is student-generated.  Of course, I always "direct" them to include the more general things I am hoping to assess (i.e. We are not going to include "Students are not chewing gum" on the rubric but need to include "Students made eye contact with the audience throughout the presentation.")  In my reading classes I am not overly focused on the oral presentation skills, but want to make sure that they know what makes a "good" and "bad" presentation.  What I found interesting is that students know what makes a good presentation.  They just don't do it.  By doing this activity, they have to opportunity to reflect on past experiences and determine what was "good" and "bad."  Of coure I don't let them just have a free-for all with the rubric.  I work the room to guild their discussions.  Most of my students have never had to do oral group presentations before and some have never used PowerPoint or Google Drive, so this is a good introduction to oral presentaiton skills and PowerPoint formatting guidlines. :-)

Peter Turner Tue, 03/18/2014 - 2:41pm

What I like most about this is the metacognition involved on the part of your students! Not to mention that yiou learned from your "mistakes" and continued to monitor and adjust. This is a great example of the action research cycle!

Peter Turner Tue, 03/18/2014 - 2:43pm

One question: will you do anything differently the next time you do this?

display_name_fallback Sat, 02/21/2015 - 11:10am

I think this is AWESOME and very valuable for engaging students in their learning environment with having them be in charge of charting the direction of how their grades are calculated.  It also creates a sense of pride for the selected student(s) who has their rubric used for their class and future courses.  I would also suggest allowing students tweek one instructor rubricand find a way to enhance the learning, accountability and grading on an assignment.