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iRubric: Oral Thesis Defense Evaluation Rubrics

thesis defense rubric

Rubrics for Dissertations

Introduction.

Rubrics used to evaluate research-based dissertation most often rate each section or chapter as well as the overall document. The section ratings may be holistic or broken down into components. There are examples of rubrics for the proposal and the final dissertation, as well as for the oral defense. These rubrics focus on many of the same dimensions used to rate papers (e.g., organization, thoroughness, mechanics, format). ​​​​​​​Rubrics for Written Assignments

Lovitts (2005) argued that faculty have implicit standards for evaluating dissertations and that making them explicit in a rubric makes evaluation of dissertations more valid, reliable, and consistent. In a study of faculty members in a sample of universities and disciplines, she asked participants to characterize dissertations and their components (i.e., problem statement, literature review, theory, methods, analysis, and discussion) at four levels of quality (i.e., Outstanding, Very Good, Acceptable, and Unacceptable).

Based on her data, she developed a table of the characteristics of dissertations of differing quality. For example,  outstanding  dissertations were described as

  • Original, significant, compelling, creative, engaging, interesting, and thoughtful
  • Very well written and organized
  • Synthesizing information and connecting components seamlessly
  • Exhibiting mature, independent thinking
  • Having a point of view and authoritative voice
  • Asking a new question or addressing an important problem
  • Displaying deep understanding of massive amount of complicated literature
  • Making focused, logical, rigorous, and sustained argument
  • Theoretically sophisticated
  • Using or developing new tools, methods, approaches, or types of analyses
  • Having rich data
  • Using analysis that is comprehensive, complete, and convincing
  • Showing significant results
  • Creating a conclusion that ties the whole thing together
  • Of interest to a larger community ​​​​​​​

On the other hand,  unacceptable  dissertations were described as

  • Poorly written, having grammatical and spelling errors,
  • Having a sloppy presentation
  • Plagiarized or deliberately misread or misused sources
  • Lacking in understanding of basic concepts, processes, or conventions of discipline
  • Lacking careful thought
  • Looking at a problem that is trivial, weak, unoriginal, or already solved
  • Misunderstanding or missing relevant literature
  • Making a weak, inconsistent, self-contradictory, unconvincing, or invalid argument
  • Not handling theory well, neglecting theory, or missing theory
  • Relying on inappropriate of incorrect methods
  • Presenting data that are flawed, wrong, false, or misrepresented
  • Using wrong, inappropriate, incoherent, or confused analysis
  • Including results that are obvious, already known, unexplained, or misinterpreted
  • Having unsupported or exaggerated interpretation
  • Failing to make a contribution

These descriptions could be used as a basis for a rubric to rate dissertations. Lovitts concluded that such a rubric could be used as a teaching tool during the dissertation process. Distributing it to students would set clear expectations at the outset and filling it out periodically would allow the advisor and student to evaluate progress and areas for improvement. Thus, the rubric can be a tool for faculty to provide feedback and establish benchmarks against which students can subsequently evaluate their own work. It can also be used in peer review, with students evaluating the work of their peers to provide an additional source of feedback. How to Grade a Dissertation

These are example of dissertation-related rubrics developed by Alliant schools and programs.

ELM and Ed Psych CSOE dissertation

LA Clinical PsyD proposal

LA Clinical PsyD dissertation and defense

CSPP Organizational Psychology dissertation

Examples of Rubrics for Rating Dissertation Proposals

Rubrics for Assessing Dissertations Texas A&M/Commerce Thesis and Dissertation Services

Dissertation Proposal Rubric Syracuse University Graduate School of Education

Thesis/Dissertation Proposal Rubric Fresno State Academics

Examples of Rubrics for Rating Dissertations

Rubric for Evaluating Dissertations The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Dissertation Rubric California State University/Northridge Michael D. Eisner School of Education

Dissertation Manuscript Evaluation Rubric Northcentral University Dissertation Center

Rubrics for evaluation proposal and final orals focus not only on the research itself, but also on the presentation, including how clear and organized the presentation is, how knowledgeable the student is, and how well the student answered questions.

Examples of Rubrics for Rating Oral Defense

Dissertation Defense Oral University of Mississippi Medical Center

Dissertation Defense Rubric Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine

University of Rhode Island Graduate Council ​​​​​​​ Thesis/Dissertation Defense Evaluation

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Masters Thesis Defense Evaluation Rubric

From the department of geology, bowling green state university.

Used to evaluate Masters thesis defense presentations, a key element in assessing the graduate program.

Implementation

This instrument is used when students prepare and defend 1) their thesis proposal and 2) their final thesis.

Use of the Data

A report is sent to the college office. The results are also presented to the faculty so they can modify their courses and other interactions with students to address weaknesses in the program.

Effectiveness

This has worked fairly well, and has allowed us to identify a weakness in our graduate program. I don't know that anything has been done to address the weakness.

Download the Masters thesis defense evaluation rubric (Microsoft Word 46kB Feb9 09)

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COMMENTS

  1. PDF THESIS DEFENSE RUBRIC

    of the academic merit of the thesis , and a pass/fail determination will be made. For the rubric, comp lete both sections below by marking an (x) in the appropriate box for each rubric line. The chair will summarize the rubric scores on form 2252 Thesis Defense Report. Instructions for Thesis Committee Chair: For each rubric row (i.e ...

  2. PDF Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis or PhD Dissertation and Defense (Final

    Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis or PhD Dissertation and Defense (Final Oral Exam) Committee Members, Readers and Students are responsible for being aware of this evaluation rubric in advance of the defense. (This page will be completed by CGS and a copy of the rubric will be distributed to the committee, ...

  3. PDF Part I: Written Thesis Rubric

    Demonstrates logical sequencing of ideas. Thesis is organized, and all required information is presented. Minimal difficulty with sequencing ideas. Thesis organization is adequate or has a logical organization, but idea sequencing is not fully developed. Thesis is disorganized and poorly structured, or the flow of information is confusing.

  4. PDF Thesis Defense Rubric

    Thesis Defense Rubric . Student Name: _____ Date: _____ Thesis Committee Chair: _____ Each section should receive a score of 1, 2, 3, or 4 (to be filled by committee chair with consensus ... oral presentation of the thesis, following which the committee members will ask questions. The grade will be assigned based on the written document, oral ...

  5. PDF Thesis/Dissertation Defense Examination Assessment Rubric

    overall level demonstrated by the student in their final thesis/dissertation and defense examination. Rating . 1. Reviews the literature in a manner that demonstrates comprehensive knowledge of previous and current research in the field of study. 2. Identifies a viable question within the field of study and poses a worthwhile

  6. PDF Student Name: Form Polytechnic GEC 9

    All examination documents (rubrics and written comments) must be completed regardless of the outcome of the Thesis Defense. A copy of the completed forms (both rubrics and written comments) must be sent tothe Associate Dean for Graduate Programs within 48 hours of the conclusion of the Thesis Defense. Student Name: Form Polytechnic GEC 9.

  7. PDF Presentation Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis & PhD Dissertation ...

    Presentation Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis & PhD Dissertation Defenses. Committee Members and Students are responsible for being aware of the evaluation rubric in advance of the defense. At the conclusion of the defense, each committee member must complete the attached response sheets. For each attribute that a committee member feels is ...

  8. PDF Scoring Rubric: M.Ed. Thesis Final Defense

    Date of Defense: Concentration Area: Scoring Rubric: M.Ed. Thesis Final Defense. Elements. Sophisticated 4. Comprehensive 3. Basic 2. Limited 1 Relationship to Conceptual Framework and Program Outcomes Results. Results are accurately and clearly presented and are explicitly connected to the research question/s.

  9. PDF Report/Thesis/Dissertation Oral Defense Evaluation Form

    between 1 (Poor) and 5 (Excellent) for each of the criteria described below using the attached rubric. Briefly comment on the rationale if your score is less than 5. Submit your completed scoring sheet to the committee chair before leaving the defense. Score (1 - 5) Criterion Comment Organization of Oral Defense Presentation Style ...

  10. PDF Assessment Rubric for Defense of Dissertation

    Assessment Rubric for Defense of Dissertation . Criteria High Pass (HP) Pass (P) Low Pass (LP) Fail (F) Assessment (HP, P, LP, or F) Student demonstrates ability to describe clearly a well - conceptualized problem. Demonstrates excellent ability to describe and conceptualize research problems. Demonstrates good ability to describe and

  11. Thesis Evaluation Rubric

    This rubric is intended to provide guidelines for thesis committee members and students. Each project should be considered individually in the context of its discipline and the thesis chair's discretion. Coherence (Thesis controls entire discussion.) Honors thesis evaluation rubric.

  12. PDF Rubric for the Thesis and Reading List Oral Defense1

    Microsoft Word - oral thesis v2.doc. Rubric for the Thesis and Reading List Oral Defense1. Providing brief comments will give additional feedback to the student as well as inform the post-defense deliberation among committee members. A student who attains honors will typically receive a rating of at least satisfactory (4) on each of the ...

  13. PDF RESEARCH RUBRICS FOR FINAL ORAL DEFENSE

    Form 5b - Rubrics for Final Oral Defense RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Indicators 5 4 3 2 1 1. Tables and figures are scholarly presented 2. Drawing implications from the discovery of the study were done properly. 3. Analysis of datasets is well-written and done. 4. Interpretation of the results is objectively and subjectively presented. 5.

  14. iRubric: Oral Thesis Defense Evaluation Rubrics

    iRubric FX62562: The oral thesis defense evaluation rubrics is designed to be used by student nurses who are presenting their final research paper for evaluation by a panel of experts. Students are scored in five categories-- organization, language and delivery, content, question and answer and timeliness.. Free rubric builder and assessment tools.

  15. Thesis Statement Guide/Rubric

    A thesis statement: is potentially interesting to the intended reader. is specific. limits the topic so that it is manageable. evolves as your thinking about the subject evolves. Construct a working thesis. Test the working thesis. Try substituting other words—if the same statement can be made about another subject, the thesis needs to be ...

  16. Rubrics for Dissertations

    Rubrics used to evaluate research-based dissertation most often rate each section or chapter as well as the overall document. The section ratings may be holistic or broken down into components. There are examples of rubrics for the proposal and the final dissertation, as well as for the oral defense. These rubrics focus on many of the same ...

  17. PDF Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis

    Rubric for Evaluating MS Thesis. At the conclusion of the defense, each committee member should fill out the response sheet. For each attribute which a committee member feels is somewhat or very deficient, a short explanation should be provided. Since completed forms are to be treated as confidential, they are to be turned in to the Committee ...

  18. PDF Dissertation Oral Defense Rubric

    Dissertation Oral Defense Rubric Student: _____ Committee Chair: _____ First Reader: _____ Second Reader: _____ I. Learning Goals Students will demonstrate the ability to defend, clarify, and expand upon arguments made in the written dissertation. Students will demonstrate the ability to articulate their understanding of the nature of the ...

  19. PDF Dissertation Defense Rubric

    Dissertation Defense Rubric. Dissertation Defense Rubric. 0 Unacceptable 1 Acceptable Overall Conceptualization. The investigation lacks originality and critical thinking. The purpose and significance are unclear. Academic merit of the research is not well developed. Parts do not fit together logically.

  20. DOCX Rubric for Evaluating PhD Dissertation

    Thesis. and Defense Form . with . Rubric. for Evaluation . Page 4. Page 1. NAME: _____ DATE: _____ Research Thesis and Defense. For completion of the degree of Master of Science in Bacteriology - Research Option, the student must write a formal thesis and defend it to their research committee at an oral exam. ...

  21. BGSU Thesis Defense Rubric

    Instrument. Download the Masters thesis defense evaluation rubric (Microsoft Word 46kB Feb9 09) From the Department of Geology, Bowling Green State University Purpose Used to evaluate Masters thesis defense presentations, a key element in assessing the graduate program. Implementation This instrument is used ...

  22. 2256 Thesis Defense Rubric

    Instruction s for Thesis Co mmittee C hair: 1. Assign a numeric score, listed at the top of the column, depending on the committee member's choice (i.e., 2. Total the scores fro m each committee member for that rubric row, then average them. E.g. average is 3.67.

  23. PDF Student Name Defense Date

    Student Name Defense Date. Rubric adapted from Dallas International University Form E-3, Version 24 Nov 2022. THESIS DEFENSE RUBRIC. Student Name Defense Date. Thesis Title (can be abbreviated) Committee Member Name. The purposeof this rubric is to provide consistency and reliability of thesis assessment over time.