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Cal Poly Oral Communications Assessment Report 2017

California Polytechnic State University’s (Cal Poly’s) 2016-2017 oral communication assessment was a yearlong project that had two phases: the first was focused on assessing lower-level GE courses with the second dedicated to upper-division courses found in multiple colleges, including the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences (CAFES), College of Architecture and Environmental Design (CAED), College of Liberal Arts (CLA), and College of Science and Mathematics (COSaM). Using a 21-item rubric measuring seven oral communication skill areas (verbal delivery, non-verbal delivery, organization, content, language use, and visual aids), 196 artifacts were coded and analyzed, 100 from lower-level GE courses and 96 from upper-level courses. Each rubric item had four possible ratings: Limited Proficiency, Emerging Proficiency, Proficiency, and High Proficiency.

Key findings include the following: (1) Student artifacts taken from combined lower-level GE courses were rated between “Emerging Proficiency” and “Proficiency.” This finding is consistent with the 2010 oral communication assessment effort. (2) GE artifacts gathered from the Quarter Plus summer program were similar to those gathered from the regular lower-level GE courses in all areas except nonverbal communication, where Quarter Plus students performed better. (3) Student artifacts taken from upper-level courses were rated between “Proficiency” and “High Proficiency.” Upper-level student speeches were significantly different from GE speeches in all areas except content, where ratings were similar. This result points to modest improvement in student performance across the four colleges included in this study.

Read the full report here.


Oral communications in Phase two (2015-17) education and improvement
  • Continued sharing of results
  • Determination of appropriate areas for improvement
  • Develop educational workshops to enhance leaning of core competency


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