Symposium Judging Rubric

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

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

Five Proficiencies

  1. Orally describes research or creative work 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. Uses visuals (poster, slides, alternative media) that are relevant, informative, and understandable with the oral presentation
  5. Articulates why this research or creative work is important to the field (theoretically and/or applicable to a problem) or, in the case of graduate artistic endeavor, its importance to the art medium and intended audience

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


  • 4 Expert Visuals were professional and memorable; in case of poster presentation, poster is visually accessible with minimal text and few and clearly understandable graphics; in case of alternative media, visual demonstration of the alternative media is incorporated into the maximum five-minute talk in a clear and logical manner; in case of talks accompanied by slides, the slides are visually accessible with minimal text and few and clearly understandable graphics
  • 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/Artistic Endeavor Relevance and Importance

  • 4 Expert Student clearly articulated importance by referring to a specific theory or problem; in the case of artistic endeavor, student clearly articulated the artistic objective of the work on the intended audience
  • 3 Proficient Student articulated importance in a general sense
  • 2 Almost Proficient Student seemed unsure about the importance of their research or artistic endeavor
  • 1 Developing Student did not attempt to articulate importance