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Presentation Rubric Revised

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on February 20, 2011 at 7:20:33 am

"Is there such a thing as "good" rubric?" (paraphrasing @joe_bower)


First, before answering that question, we have to agree on what we're talking about. This is not a rubric, it's a checklist. This is not a rubric, it's a scoring chart. In this wiki, I explored that attributes of quality rubrics in a variety of ways but in general, a quality rubric does two things:


1. It communicates degrees of quality to the learner that identifies what is present (rather than focusing on what is missing). This enables the learner to find or identify themselves.


2. It supports student self-assessment. This generally means that the students are involved in the development of the rubric, use the rubric during their process or product creation, and have examples or anchors to refer to as frame of reference.


Without a tool for self-assessment during process or product creation, learners are dependent upon their peers or teachers to provide feedback. A rubric can support a learner during that revision process and provide a framework for design that focuses on quality not quantity.


So that's the framework I'm coming from. If you have specific concerns with rubrics, tweet me @datadiva and I'm happy to talk through any concerns or issues. Below is a sample rubric that was designed with students and modified by the teacher. The task (as determined by the school curriculum - set aside arguments about grading and the nature of school for a moment) is design a brief presentation summary for your classmates about your research topic (similar to a poster session or brown bag that often occurs at research universities). The rubric below was provided as a means for students to self-assess and revise their presentation.


Task: Design a 5 slide PowerPoint presentation (see checklist at bottom) that informs the audience (your classmates) about the key ideas of your research topic.


Novice Presenter

Amateur Presenter

Professional Presenter

Mentor Presenter

Slide Design:
The aesthetic quality of the slides used to supplement the presenter
Text overpowers the visuals in the presentation, forcing the audience to read. Visuals appear to be selected for their visual impact, rather than their connection the text or message. There is a balance between text and visuals. The audience may struggle to see the connection between the text, images, and overall theme though the presenter may see a clear connection. The presentation is designed around visuals, with words and phrases providing clarification and impact. The audience sees the connection and the theme the author followed.
The presentation is designed around a single visual theme that is explicit without text. The audience is compelled to follow along, anxious for the next “reveal”.
Information: The quality of the information in the presentation
The information in the presentation is about a different topic than the one shared by the author. At the end of the presentation, the audience is left confused or unsure about the content. The information is biased or one-sided. At the end of the presentation, the audience is left feeling as if they didn’t hear the whole picture. The information is balanced between a variety of perspectives and sources. At the end of the presentation, the audience is left feeling well-informed. The information reflects the depth and breath of the presenter’s review of the content. At the end of the presentation, the audience considers the presenter an expert on the topic.
Presence: The presenter’s attitude and presentation skills
The presenter shares his or her learning with those in the first row and seems unaware of their audience. Information is frequently lost in mumbles or in a speeding blur. The presenter seems focused on just surviving the presentation. The presenter shares his or her learning with the room but his or her flow is throw off by noise in the room (for example, papers rustling, someone walking in). The rate of delivery varies throughout the presentation. His or her focus is on the presentation, rather than the content. The presenter shares his or her learning with the room at large and is comfortable with noise in the room. His or her rate may start off too fast or too slow but quickly evens out and stays consistent and clear for the duration. His or her focus is on sharing his or her learning with the audience. The presenter shares their learning with each individual in the room. Interruptions don’t occur because everyone is so wrapped up in the presentation. His or her rate varies as a means of engaging the audience. His or her focus is on making sure each person in the room learns something new about their topic.  


Research Novice Researcher Amateur Researcher Professional Researcher Mentor Researcher
The variety and usefulness of sources used by the presenter
The sources primarily consist of what’s commonly known about the topic (For example: “Henry VIII was King of England”) . It may differ from the presentation in terms of accuracy or have little to do with the content of the presentation itself. When prompted, the presenter would not be able to describe a particular book in his or her reference list, suggesting he or she included references he or she didn’t actually read. The sources contain specifics about the topic that can be found in the first chapter of a book or in the first paragraph on Wikipedia (”Henry VIII's actions created the Church of England.”) The documentation and the presentation are unbalanced or disconnected. When prompted, the presenter can describe a book from his or her reference list but struggles to recognize a source’s name. (For example, “What is Starkey’s opinion of how Henry handled his first  divorce?”) The sources contain a balance of general and specific information about the topic. It acts as a companion piece to the presentation. When prompted, the presenter recognizes titles of well known books about the topic and has included them in his or her reference list. He or she can cite an author’s opinion or perspective on a topic and can recommend a book for someone to read to learn more about the topic. (“I really liked Weir’s book. It was easier to understand than Starkey’s”) The sources should be added to the school library as a reference source on the topic. It acts as a supplement to the presentation, extending and expanding on what was said.  When prompted, the presenter can cite books, well and lesser-known authors on the topic, and  makes recommendations that will answer someone's particular need or question. (”If you want to know more about Anne of Cleeves, I really recommend her biography by Norton.”)

Got it? Checklist:
____ I have exactly 5 slides
____ I’ve used at least two different sources
____ Every word that appears is spelled or used correctly
____ All of my images are my own or are shared through Creative Commons or public use

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