Building self-evaluation skills through criterion-referenced assessment in public relations

Xavier, Robina J. & Mehta, Amisha M. (2007) Building self-evaluation skills through criterion-referenced assessment in public relations. PRism Online Public Relations Journal, 5(1 & 2).


Although technical skills in public relations are essential to practice, skills in self-evaluation, critical thinking, and problem solving are required when new practitioners move to management roles (Van Leuven, 1999). Public relations courses integrate specialist subject knowledge with graduate skill sets and capabilities in non-technical areas (Butcher & Stefani, 1995). Given that autonomy in learning is a skill valued by employers (Clifford, 1999) and advocated by accrediting professional bodies (Anderson, 1999), this study explores how public relations students build skills in and perceive the practice of self-evaluation.

Currently, the public relations education literature presents a limited treatment of self-evaluation. Therefore, this study is guided mostly by the education literature and uses criterion-referenced assessment to determine how more than 150 students understand assessment requirements, assess their strengths and weaknesses, and interpret the differences between their self and their tutor's judgement of performance. The results indicate strong support for student understanding of assessment requirements and self-evaluation techniques but lower than expected support for understanding the differences between their self and tutor judgements. These findings are significant to educators, practitioners and professional bodies as they have implications for lifelong learning for public relations professionals.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 9926
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: The contents of this journal can be freely accessed online via the journal's web page.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: public relations, higher education, self, evaluation, HERN
ISSN: 1448-4404
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 08 Oct 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2011 13:33

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