Rating Scale for Assessing Performance Appraisal Reports-Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation - Carnegie Mellon University

Instructor: Thomas Hajduk
Course: 45-791 Interpersonal Managerial Communication,
70-343 Interpersonal Business Communication, Tepper School of Business
Assessment: Rating Scale for Assessing Performance Appraisal Reports

Purpose:

A key business communication skill is the ability to give written feedback to one’s subordinates. I believe that it is crucial for students to practice this skill 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 business meetings.

Implementation:

I constructed a rating scale that decomposes the performance appraisal report into five major components: (1) planning for each individual report, (2) providing useful content, (3) creating a supportive tone, (4) creating an effective writing style, and (5) using a clean layout and design. Each component is described as a set of measurable behaviors, which are scored on a numerical scale. Over the course of the semester, students are given business scenarios and prepare performance appraisal reports that respond to them. Then I score the reports using the rating scale and add my own written feedback.

Results:

Consistent use of this rating scale allows students to see their progression, especially if they have been working on a particular aspect of their writing. It has also made my teaching more focused because I am more aware of what students are working on.

Comments:

Because students write several performance appraisal reports 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’ writing is a standard course component.

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