Rubric for OLT at UBC

I’ve decided to take the challenge of being brief and to the point in evaluating the presentation of the OLT at UBC. I adapted a marking rubric that we use at the elementary school level in order to facilitate this (it actually looks a lot better as a Word document):

UBC’s OLT Pitch Pool Marking Rubric


Not Within Expectations

Minimally Meets Expectations

Fully Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

CEO Credibility – Does this person exude capability and convey confidence that they will achieve success against all obstacles? Michelle Lamberson seems quite comfortable in the setting. If anything the format is too casual to truly evaluate her credibility.
Management Team – Have they assembled a stellar team along with the other human and material resources required for success Unclear. Not a lot of attention given to this subject.
Business Model – Is this feasible? – have they done their homework? – are their arguments and information accurate and compelling? Unclear. It appears to be a work in progress.
Competitive Products – What is a realistic market size, market share and selling price that these products or services can capture in a very competitive world? Since this is a ‘home grown’ initiative there would not appear to be the need to be as competitive as they would if they were trying to compete in an open market.
Market Readiness – How long and difficult is their critical path to success? Unclear. A work in progress.
Technical Innovation – Do they have an edge, and can they keep it? At the time of recording Michelle Lamberson indicated that her department was unique among universities. This could be seen as giving them an edge or it could be seen as a detriment as others observe and learn from their success and mistakes.
Exit Strategy – Do they really know what success looks like – is their destination clear A work in progress but Ms. Lamberson does indicate that a successful department will be able to look after the technological needs of an institution. An ‘exit’ strategy really doesn’t seem to apply here in that if the online learning department is successful the will always need a department like this one.
Overall Investment Status – Am I going to risk my investment capital on this proposition? Yes- not based on the interview given but based on the assumption that online learning will continue to grow and as a result a unified, efficient strategy/department is vital.


The format of the interview was not formal enough to make a reasonable judgement as an EVA. Michelle Lamberson was obviously at ease and familiar with the interviewer and this led to an overly casual environment (as far as trying to evaluate the ‘Pitch’). Ms. Lamberson seems excited about her role and is confident as she discusses it. I would have liked to see a formal presentation (an actual ‘Pitch’) so that I could understand clearly what it is that her department does and what its vision of the future is.


1 Ashley Jones { 09.15.09 at 7:50 pm }

Great rubric Ed! Makes it really easy to evaluate.

2 Marjorie del Mundo { 09.15.09 at 11:41 pm }

Great idea with the rubric, Ed. Nice way of putting each point into perspective.

3 Sean McMinn { 09.16.09 at 2:53 am }

Great rubric, Ed.

You also seem to be thinking the same things as me. A lot of what she is saying seems to be unfocused — not related to a solid business model — and there’s no clear idea of a team and their purpose. Of course, some of this could be due to the questions being asked and the environment of the interview. That, and she’s in an academic setting with a more intraperneurial goal.

Still, a lot of what she says seems to be logical, and I get the impression that she’s knowledgable and motivated about the project(s?) she’s working on.


4 David Vogt { 09.16.09 at 8:08 am }

Michelle actually has a solid business background, but as many of you will know it’s not always productive to be overtly “businesslike” in an academic environment. The intrapreneurial challenge inside a large institution is reasonably similar to the intrapreneurial challenge inside a large corporation. Success is driven most by people skills.

5 Brian Powell { 09.17.09 at 11:53 pm }

I like your rubric. It displays better in a feed reader.
I thought of a table but not a rubric with several columns as this.
Your analysis gives me a fresh perspective because you’re relying solely on the appearance and information given during it. I’m very influenced by the contextual knowledge I have beyond that interview.
I’m sure EVAs are composed of people fresh to the pitch as well as people with insider knowledge. As an EVA I would like to have a lot of insider knowledge beyond the management team making the pitch. As long as the source is reliable.

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