Section Name

Research Articles


Declining enrollments and increased competition for college students have emphasized the need to demonstrate students are learning what we think they are learning. Taking a longitudinal look at speech evaluations from the basic course, this study tracked student learning gains in each rubric area on speeches evaluated between 2009-2019. Using a digital evaluation template called WebGrader (Cooper, 2011), students who had delivered informative (exposition) speeches and persuasive speeches to convince (N = 2,725) were compared, with a separate analysis comparing gains from the informative speech to the persuasive speech to actuate (N = 2,764). The study furthers instrument validation and a pedagogical model based on 3,951 archived student speeches collected from 22 instructors over the last 10 years. Results showed small, but significant student learning gains in each of the rubric areas. However, a ceiling effect appears in the initial speech evaluation, making it difficult to demonstrate gains. A principal component analysis was performed on 14 core rubrics used to rate student learning outcomes on informative speeches. Support was found for a two-factor (Delivery and Structure) model.



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