Program Assessment

Learning Objective # 3: Communication Capabilities

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Learning Objective # 3: Communication Capabilities


  • Makes clear arguments.

  • Develops thoughts rather than simply listing ideas.

  • Connects main threads of discussion.

  • Uses generally acceptable vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.

  • Uses terms commonly used in business writing.


  • Arguments are listed rather than developed.

  • Discussion is not clearly developed and jumps from one thought to another.

  • Uses generally acceptable vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.

  • Uses terms commonly used in business writing.


  • Uses incomplete sentences and incorrect grammar and punctuation.

  • Does not respond to the issues.

  • Repeats thoughts rather than developing them.

ABET Rubrics

Outcome 12: An ability to communicate effectively (written)

Level 5 performance characterized by:

  • Articulates ideas clearly and concisely

  • Organizes written materials in a logical sequence to enhance the reader's comprehension (paragraphs, subheading, etc.)

  • Uses graphs, tables, and diagrams to support points-to explain, interpret, and assess information

  • Written work is presented neatly and professionally

  • Grammar and spelling are correct

  • Figures are all in proper format

  • Uses good professional writing style

  • Conforms to the prescribed format (if any)

Level 3 performance characterized by:

  • Articulates ideas, but writing is somewhat disjointed, superfluous or difficult to follow

  • Material are generally organized well, but paragraphs combine multiple thoughts or sections and sub-sections are not identified clearly

  • Uses graphs, tables, and diagrams, but only in a few instances are they applied to support, explain or interpret information

  • Work is not neatly presented throughout

  • One or two spelling/grammar errors per page

  • Figures are present but are flawed-axes mislabeled, no data points, etc.

  • Style is informal or inappropriate, jargon is used, improper voice, tense…

  • The prescribed format is only followed in some portions of the paper

Level 1 performance characterized by:

  • Text rambles, points made are only understood with repeated reading, and key points are not organized

  • Little or no structure or organization; no subheadings or proper paragraph structure used

  • Graphs, tables or diagrams are used, but no reference is made to them

  • Work is not presented neatly

  • Spelling/grammar errors present throughout more than 1/3 of the paper

  • No figures or graphics are used at all

  • The writing style is inappropriate for the audience and for the assignment

  • The prescribed format is not followed

Retrieved September 25, 2009 from University of Delaware Civil & Environmental Engineering,

Writing Rubric

Johnson Community College, downloaded 12/22/04 from

6 = Essay demonstrates excellent composition skills including a clear and thought-provoking thesis, appropriate and effective organization, lively and convincing supporting materials, effective diction and sentence skills, and perfect or near perfect mechanics including spelling and punctuation. The writing perfectly accomplishes the objectives of the assignment.

5 = Essay contains strong composition skills including a clear and thought-provoking thesis, although development, diction, and sentence style may suffer minor flaws. Shows careful and acceptable use of mechanics. The writing effectively accomplishes the goals of the assignment.

4 = Essay contains above average composition skills, including a clear, insightful thesis, although development may be insufficient in one area and diction and style may not be consistently clear and effective. Shows competence in the use of mechanics. Accomplishes the goals of the assignment with an overall effective approach.

3 = Essay demonstrates competent composition skills including adequate development and organization, although the development of ideas may be trite, assumptions may be unsupported in more than one area, the thesis may not be original, and the diction and syntax may not be clear and effective. Minimally accomplishes the goals of the assignment.

2 = Composition skills may be flawed in either the clarity of the thesis, the development, or organization. Diction, syntax, and mechanics may seriously affect clarity. Minimally accomplishes the majority of the goals of the assignment.

1 = Composition skills may be flawed in two or more areas. Diction, syntax, and mechanics are excessively flawed. Fails to accomplish the goals of the assignment.

Revised October 2003

Palomar College Benchmarks for Core Skills – First Draft

(downloaded 12/22/04 from

Writing: Students will write in an understandable and organized fashion to explain their ideas, express their feelings, or support a conclusion.

  • Write an essay or narrative of several paragraphs that they can read aloud understandably.

  • Distinguish sentences within paragraphs, capitalizing the first word of a sentence and ending it with terminal punctuation.

  • Write paragraphs that develop a main point.

  • Produce a text in which paragraphs have a logical relationship to one another.  


  • Write an essay or narrative that moves toward a clear conclusion or thesis.

  • Write paragraphs that usually state and develop a clear point.

  • Support claims with evidence that is relevant and reasonable.

  • Diagnose some errors in usage, spelling, and grammar, correcting some independently and seeking aid in correcting others.

  • Express ideas in specific, concrete language and develop some specific examples.

  • Substantially revise a piece of writing to achieve greater clarity, persuasiveness, or vividness.


  • Develop a clear, significant, and complete thesis statement in an essay or narrative.

  • Support claims by presenting credible and persuasive evidence.

  • Develop and explain points in clear, specific language, providing concrete referents for key concepts that the audience can easily understand.

  • Diagnose errors in spelling, usage, and grammar, correcting most independently and seeking aid in correcting others.

Rubric for Action Research Report Component of the
Science Education Portfolio (SEP)

University of Michigan School of Education

Retrieved September 26, 2009 from

Based on a 30 point maximum 

1. Abstract (0-2 points)

Summary of research project briefly and appropriately
describes research project

2. Introduction (0-3 points)

    Statement of problem and its significance
          The problem must be related to the capstone “big idea”
    Relevant research and how it applies to your problem
          Use your references to describe what others have done to
          investigate this question or problem and how your research
          builds upon existing research
    Carefully worded research question or problem
          The question or problem addressed must be related to the
          scientific “big idea” of the capstone course

3. Methods (0-3 points)

    Section includes description of the students that you worked
    with and a step by step plan for investigating the problem or

4.  Results/findings (0-4 points)

     Section included the following:
          Describe how you interpreted the data that you collected-
          Pre/post test analysis
      What are your overall conclusions? (Relate this back to your
      research question/problem and to the relevant research)
          Raw data (can be numbers in table format, quotes, etc.)
          that illustrates how you reached your conclusion

5.  Discussion (0-4 points)

     Description of:
          Your feelings about the project and additional projects on
          related topics that you might do in the future

          How will the project impact your teaching of the science

          concept that you addressed?

          Reflection on learning gains indicated by the post/pre-test


          Plans for changing assessments/lessons or for next steps.

6.  Appendix (0-4 points)

     Lesson plans that reflect the results of the analysis, interview

     questions, questionnaires, observation checklists, etc. are 
     In addition, the quality and appropriateness of the assessment 
     will be judged

7.  Quality of writing (0 – 4 points)

     4 points: sentences are complete, grammar is excellent, no  
     spelling errors, organization is clear – in short the piece is   

     3 points: generally well-written but there are a few errors in 

     punctuation/spelling or organization is a bit unclear

     2 points: some sentences are incomplete, some spelling 

     errors, organization is muddled

     1 point: more than half of the sentences are incomplete,  

     paragraph structure is largely missing, difficult to determine 
     what student is saying

     0 point: description makes no coherent sense, multiple errors 

     in grammar, spelling, etc

8.  Thoughtfulness/college level (0 – 3 points)

     4 points: entire SEP component shows thoughtful 
     consideration of topic, presentation of information, science  
     content is correct, etc. is at college level

     3 points: presentation at college level but it appears that the 

     effort was “last minute”, partially incomplete

     2 points: some thoughtful analysis provided but not consistently 

     present throughout

     1 point: presentation barely at college level, mistakes in 

     concept are present

      0 point: ideas, writing are not at college level, minimal or no 

      consideration given to the topic

9.  References (0 – 2 points)

     2 points: A minimum of five print references in APA format, at 
     least two from educational journals or books. References are 
     in correct (APA or MLA) format
     1 point: most references are in correct format, and/or less 
     than two educational journals or books cited as references

0 point: no references are in correct format


10.  Format as html (0 - 1 point)

1 point: format is html

     0 points: format is not html

Engineering Rubric

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