Instructor: Thomas Hajduk
Course: 45-791: Interpersonal Managerial Communication,
70-343: Interpersonal Business Communication, Tepper School of Business
Assessment: Rating Scale for Assessing Leadership in Videoconference Meetings
A key business communication skill is the ability to run meetings effectively and efficiently. These meetings increasingly use a videoconference format. I believe that it is crucial for students to practice this skill in an authentic way and to receive accurate assessments of their performance. Students also appreciate knowing the criteria that I use to determine their grades. Therefore, I wanted to create a systematic and consistent assessment of students’ leadership in videoconference meetings.
I constructed a rating scale that decomposes the skill of leading meetings into three chronological components: (1) preparing for the meeting, (2) conducting the meeting, and (3) following up after the meeting. Each component is described as a set of measurable behaviors, which are scored on a numerical scale. As part of the course activities, students take turns leading meetings in a special room in the Tepper School that is equipped with videoconferencing technology. Each student leads several meetings throughout the semester. I complete the rating scale and write notes in the margins as a student runs a meeting. I give the student feedback on the first two components immediately after class, and I give the student feedback on the third component after the student sends out a written summary of the meeting.
Consistent use of this rating scale allows students to see their progression, especially if they have been working on a particular aspect of their leadership skills. It has also made my teaching more focused because I am more aware of what students are working on.
Because students lead several meetings during the semester, I interpret the scores not only as snapshots of students’ strengths and weaknesses at a given time, but also as improvements over time. I have used and occasionally revised this rating scale for years, and evaluating students as they lead videoconference meetings is a standard course component.
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