Possible rubric criteria for group member evaluations: Communication skills

This is the 7th post in a series titled ‘All Things Group Work’. The home page is here.

A lot of group member evaluations will seek to develop some or all of the graduate attributes of teamwork, communication, career readiness, self-awareness /emotional intelligence, as depicted in this illustration by Rebecca Smith from the University of Adelaide. In this series of posts, I present a range of variations of one of these central themes, rationalise why it may be of use, and suggest design strategies to maximise their use.

Communication skills

  1. ‘The group member listened to others’ – listening is of paramount importance, and incorporates elements such as being respectful when others are talking and being able to receive constructive feedback. This evaluation usually requires a comment on top of the rubric indication to provide this detail. This criterion seems innocuous, but a lack of skill in this area may be a central reason for group dysfunction. Modelling what good listening means will help those who lack the skill to understand how to do it, and reinforce it to those who already do.
  2. ‘The group member promoted the organisation of the group’ – this criterion would be useful when there is extensive communication required to organise and sustain a group’s progress. Groups typically need to organise and conduct meetings, organise how progress will be evaluated and at what points, and organise submission. If not already done, they will also need to organise the distribution of tasks. All of this requires a level of commitment to communication. To make the most of this criterion, it would be useful to encourage groups to establish communication channels via technology, and to establish milestone moments when communication about progress is required from each person in the team. Understood frequency and method of communication, possibly established in a tutorial using a group charter before the task begins, will provide greater validity when the rubric evaluation is carried out. Encouraging students to add a comment to contextualise the aspect most deficient or that which is of the greatest strength would be advisable using this criterion.

The next post discusses Career readiness.

I’m Paul Moss. I’m a learning designer at the University of Adelaide. Follow me on Twitter @edmerger or on LinkedIn

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