Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Instructor: Robert Dammon
45-901 Corporate Restructuring, Tepper School of Business
  Rating Scale for Assessing Oral Presentations


A key business communication skill is the ability to give effective oral presentations, and it is important for students to practice this skill. I wanted to create a systematic and consistent assessment of students’ oral presentation skills and to grade these skills consistently within the class and across semesters.


This oral presentation is part of a larger finance analysis assignment that students complete in groups. Each group decides which members will be involved in the oral presentation. I constructed a rating scale that decomposes the oral presentation into four major components: (1) preparation, (2) quality of handouts and overheads, (3) quality of presentation skills, and (4) quality of analysis. I rate preparation as “yes” or “no”; all other components are rated on a five-point scale. Immediately after the class in which the presentation was given, I complete the rating scale, write a few notes, and calculate an overall score, which accounts for 20% of the group’s grade on the overall assignment.


The presentation gives students important practice in oral communication, and the rating scale has made my grading much more consistent.


I have used this rating scale for several years, and the oral presentation is a standard course component. I have considered adapting the rating scale so that students also rate the oral presentation; however, I would want to give the students an abbreviated rating scale so that they focus primarily on the presentation.

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