Symposium Judging Rubric

Judges of the Graduate Research Symposium will be using the following rubric.

Scoring scale per proficiency: 1 (Low) to 4 (Expert)

Six Proficiencies

  1. Orally describes research in organized manner, clearly and concisely
  2. Communicates enthusiasm and great interest in the topic with confidence
  3. Uses accessible language intended for general university audience
  4. Based on the instructions, organizes screen time of the presentation
  5. Uses visuals (poster, video, PowerPoint, etc.) that are relevant, informative, and understandable
  6. Articulates why this research is important to the field (theoretically and/or applicable to a problem)

Oral Communication

  • 4 Expert Oral presentation had clear organization, and each part was effectively and concisely delivered
  • 3 Proficient Oral presentation had clear organization, was easy to follow, and included relevant information
  • 2 Almost Proficient Oral presentation had some organization but was somewhat difficult to follow (e.g., too detailed, too general, missing important sections)
  • 1 Developing Oral presentation was disorganized or unclear


  • 4 Expert Student explained their research with enthusiasm; their interest was palpable and infectious; their speech was appropriately confident throughout the presentation
  • 3 Proficient Student explained their research or topic with enthusiasm; their speech was engaging and confident for the most part.
  • 2 Almost Proficient Student showed general interest in their research or topic; often used tentative or hedging expressions
  • 1 Developing Student showed interest in their research or topic; overused tentative or hedging expressions

Accessibility of Language

  • 4 Expert Student used little or no jargon and defined terms without prodding
  • 3 Proficient Student used jargon frequently and defined terms without prodding
  • 2 Almost Proficient Student used jargon without explanation, but when asked could define terms
  • 1 Developing Student used jargon throughout and/or could not explain terms when asked

Screen Time Organization

  • 4 Expert Student appeared speaking on the screen at least half of the presentation (multiple times combined).
  • 3 Proficient Student appeared speaking on the screen about a third of the presentation (multiple times combined).
  • 2 Almost Proficient Student appeared speaking on screen for brief moments and relied on voiceover for most of the presentation.
  • 1 Developing Student appeared speaking on screen once briefly or never (voiceover only).


  • 4 Expert Visuals were professional and memorable
  • 3 Proficient Visuals were of good quality and helped tell the story of the research
  • 2 Almost Proficient Visuals were of uneven quality; some parts were good and others not
  • 1 Developing Visuals were confusing, unprofessional, and/or not clearly relevant
  • Did not use visuals: In the case of talks, visuals are optional. If visuals were not used in a talk, then this criterion will be scored based on the judge’s assessment of whether visuals were needed.

Articulation of Research Relevance and Importance

  • 4 Expert Student clearly articulated importance by referring to a specific theory or problem
  • 3 Proficient Student articulated importance in a general sense
  • 2 Almost Proficient Student seemed unsure about the importance of their research
  • 1 Developing Student did not attempt to articulate importance