Sherwyn P. Morreale University of Colorado at Colorado Springs
In communication, as in other disciplines, educators and administrators are beginning to respond seriously to challenges associated with accountability. Directly related to such responses are concerns for reliable and valid evaluation and assessment of students' communication competencies and their abilities to perform orally. This chapter describes a public speaking performance assessment model that has been psychometrically tested and was developed based on the communication competency literature articulated by the communication discipline ( Morreale, Moore, Taylor, SurgesTatum, & Hulbert-Johnson, 1993).
The chapter begins by providing the reader a historical background on public speaking evaluation and a rationale for standardized speech assessment. Then The Competent Speaker1 model is described including information on paradigm development and its use as an evaluative and pedagogical tool. The chapter concludes with a description of a pre- and postassessment program for the public speaking course and a discussion of other oral-competency-based methods and options for direct evaluation of students' progress. Those methods and options subsume evaluation of students' oral competency in four demains: cognition, behaviors, affect, and ethics. Concluding the chapter are recommendations for future directions for standardized assessment of public speaking.
The evaluation and assessment of competency in public speaking have been topics of vital interest to scholars for decades, if not for centuries. The____________________