Rubrics for Oral Presentations


Many instructors require students to give oral presentations, which they evaluate and count in students’ grades. It is important that instructors clarify their goals for these presentations as well as the student learning objectives to which they are related. Embedding the assignment in course goals and learning objectives allows instructors to be clear with students about their expectations and to develop a rubric for evaluating the presentations.

A rubric is a scoring guide that articulates and assesses specific components and expectations for an assignment. Rubrics identify the various criteria relevant to an assignment and then explicitly state the possible levels of achievement along a continuum, so that an effective rubric accurately reflects the expectations of an assignment. Using a rubric to evaluate student performance has advantages for both instructors and students. Creating Rubrics

Rubrics can be either analytic or holistic. An analytic rubric comprises a set of specific criteria, with each one evaluated separately and receiving a separate score. The template resembles a grid with the criteria listed in the left column and levels of performance listed across the top row, using numbers and/or descriptors. The cells within the center of the rubric contain descriptions of what expected performance looks like for each level of performance.

A holistic rubric consists of a set of descriptors that generate a single, global score for the entire work. The single score is based on raters’ overall perception of the quality of the performance. Often, sentence- or paragraph-length descriptions of different levels of competencies are provided.

When applied to an oral presentation, rubrics should reflect the elements of the presentation that will be evaluated as well as their relative importance. Thus, the instructor must decide whether to include dimensions relevant to both form and content and, if so, which one. Additionally, the instructor must decide how to weight each of the dimensions – are they all equally important, or are some more important than others? Additionally, if the presentation represents a group project, the instructor must decide how to balance grading individual and group contributions. Evaluating Group Projects

Creating Rubrics

The steps for creating an analytic rubric include the following:

1. Clarify the purpose of the assignment. What learning objectives are associated with the assignment?

2. Look for existing rubrics that can be adopted or adapted for the specific assignment

3. Define the criteria to be evaluated

4. Choose the rating scale to measure levels of performance

5. Write descriptions for each criterion for each performance level of the rating scale

6. Test and revise the rubric

Creating Rubrics

Examples of criteria that have been included in rubrics for evaluation oral presentations include:

  • Knowledge of content
  • Organization of content
  • Presentation of ideas
  • Research/sources
  • Visual aids/handouts
  • Language clarity
  • Grammatical correctness
  • Time management
  • Volume of speech
  • Rate/pacing of Speech
  • Mannerisms/gestures
  • ​​​​​​​Eye contact/audience engagement

Examples of scales/ratings that have been used to rate student performance include:

  • Three Levels
    • Strong, Satisfactory, Weak
    • Beginning, Intermediate, High
    • Exemplary, Competent, Developing
    • Excellent, Competent, Needs Work
  • Four Levels
    • Exceeds Standard, Meets Standard, Approaching Standard, Below Standard
    • Exemplary, Proficient, Developing, Novice
    • Excellent, Good, Marginal, Unacceptable
    • Advanced, Intermediate High, Intermediate, Developing
  • Five Levels
    • Exceptional, Above Average, Sufficient, Minimal, Poor
    • Master, Distinguished, Proficient, Intermediate, Novice
    • Excellent, Good, Satisfactory, Poor, Unacceptable
    • Always, Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never
  • Six Levels
    • Exemplary, Accomplished, Acceptable, Minimally Acceptable, Emerging, Unacceptable


Grading and Performance Rubrics
Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Creating and Using Rubrics
Carnegie Mellon University Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Using Rubrics
Cornell University Center for Teaching Innovation

DePaul University Teaching Commons

Building a Rubric
University of Texas/Austin Faculty Innovation Center

Building a Rubric
Columbia University Center for Teaching and Learning

Rubric Development
University of West Florida Center for University Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

Creating and Using Rubrics
Yale University Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning

Designing Grading Rubrics
Brown University Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning

Examples of Oral Presentation Rubrics

Oral Presentation Rubric
Pomona College Teaching and Learning Center

Oral Presentation Evaluation Rubric
University of Michigan

Oral Presentation Rubric
Roanoke College

Oral Presentation: Scoring Guide
Fresno State University Office of Institutional Effectiveness

Presentation Skills Rubric
State University of New York/New Paltz School of Business

Oral Presentation Rubric
Oregon State University Center for Teaching and Learning

Oral Presentation Rubric
Purdue University College of Science

Group Class Presentation Sample Rubric
Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School