A rubric for science communication courses

In the face of systematic public misinformation campaigns against science,  scientific institutions are fighting back by establishing science communication courses and workshops for scientists.  In addition, science enthusiasts, like Alan Alda, have established non profit organizations to help scientists learn the art of communication with a non-expert audience. Science advocacy organizations such as the American Association for Advancement of Science have established a dedicated resource to help scientists with public outreach and engagement with policy makers.  Many scientists have also gone rogue by taking advantage of blogging, podcasting and social media to learn the ropes of public outreach on their own, and some have been very successful in building a large engaged audience.

Science Communication Courses could use a good rubric

For a science and social media enthusiast like me, it is a joy to witness the rise in the voices of scientists in cyberspace.  I also find the collaborative spirit of the online science communication community inspiring.   I love seeing scientists share resources for setting up science communication courses and workshops.  Having plenty of experience in teaching as well as practicing science and communication, I decided to create and share a rubric for measuring learning outcomes for science communication courses.

This rubric, which is shared here and publicly available, introduces 5 learning goals for science communication courses, and offers three levels of learning outcome for judging the quality of a communication plan produced by students of these courses.  This rubric can also be used by rouge science communicators who have not had formal communication training and are interested in taking their communication plans to the next level.

This rubric is meant to be a living and breathing collaborative document. If you are setting up science communication courses or are already teaching a course, you are welcome to contribute to this rubric.  If you are interested in this collaboration, please complete this 4 question survey so I can give you editing access to this Google document.

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