Evaluating Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking in TandemSince ideally one wants people to develop skill in communication, creative thinking, and critical thinking in tandem, it is helpful to have a rubric to guide simultaneous evaluation of all three areas. Barbara Wright, a professor of music at the University of Charleston in West Virginia, has developed such a tool (MSWord).
The Wright rubric defines 4 levels of expertise, which I have adapted below to make the rubric more relevant to the business setting:
Level 4 (highest)
Communication Demonstrates a clear awareness of audience and task; displays a clear logical order, with logical transitions; uses precise language and word choice; uses engaging delivery strategies that enhance understanding; has few errors in usage and grammar and speaks in complete sentences.
Creativity Responds to creativity in a substantial and well-developed manner; engages in creative processes, with substantial results and detailed reflection on the processes.
Critical Thinking Consistently draws warranted, non-fallacious conclusions; thoughtfully analyzes and evaluates alternative points of view; consistently identifies the relevant arguments and accurately interprets evidence.
Communication Establishes and maintains a clear purpose; maintains a logical sequence of ideas; uses some precision and variety in language; incorporates presentation strategies to enhance understanding; occasional errors in usage and grammar do not interfere with audience understanding.
Creativity Demonstrates a good understanding of the nature of creativity; engages in creative processes, with useful results and solid reflection on the processes.
Critical Thinking Accurately interprets evidence; offers analyses and observations of alternative points of view; justifies most results/reasons; identifies relevant arguments most of the time.
Communication Establishes and maintains purpose adequately; demonstrates some ordering and sequencing; employs some variety in language; attempts to incorporate some presentation strategies that enhance understanding; commits a number of errors in usage and grammar, but they do not interfere with understanding.
Creativity Demonstrates only a vague awareness of the nature of creativity; engages in creative processes, but with skimpy results and only some reflection on the processes.
Critical Thinking Misinterprets some of the evidence; fails to identify significant counter-arguments; is superficial in evaluating alternative points of view; justifies some results.
Level 1 (lowest)
Communication Has confused focus and purpose; offers information that is irrelevant, with little or no development of ideas; has only chaotic organization; does not have control over sentence structure or word choice; uses presentation strategies that interfere with understanding; makes severe errors in usage and grammar that interfere with understanding.
Creativity Does not demonstrate any awareness of the nature of creativity; engages in creative processes with little or no reflection on the processes.
Critical Thinking Produces biased interpretations of evidence/information; fails to identify counter-arguments; does not explain reasoning; exhibits close-mindedness, using arguments based on opinion only.