Assessing Evaluation Fidelity: An Examination of Student Comments and Scores on Speech Self-Evaluation Forms in a General Education Communication Course

Document Type


SoTL Category

Student Considerations

SoTL Discipline

Arts and Humanities

Publication Date



Scholars have noted that assessment is essential to not only guide the development of individual students but also to monitor and continuously improve the quality of general education programs and remain accountable to administrators and external agencies (Gardiner, 1994). Given that the introductory communication course is a key element of most general education programs across the nation, it serves as an ideal platform to implement and assess student communication skills. This study explores student comments on two versions of informative and persuasive speech self- evaluations--an open-ended self-evaluation and a form that mirrors an instructor evaluation form. Results failed to reveal a strong association between the number of student comments and scores on a self-evaluation that mirrors the instructor evaluation form. However, analyses revealed a significant difference between the overall scores that students provided on self-evaluations and scores that instructors provided on their identical evaluation form. Findings indicated that students provided critical comments, but did not provide scores that were reflective of the criteria for evaluation. The findings suggest that instructors must better train their students to be more reflective of the criteria during the self-evaluation process. Implications for general education, classroom pedagogy, and course management are discussed.


This article was published in Ohio Communication Journal. Vol. 51 (2013).