Ask the Experts: Apps for Assessment

Q: My students get easily bored during assessment week, watching their classmates do the same routine over and over. What apps do you recommend for jazzing up assessments?

A: Most of the time, dance teachers assess their students by watching them and using their own expertise to decide how much their students have learned. But because assessment is so important, you should think about formalizing it—and even consider allowing your students to be part of the process. An app that allows you to give quizzes or poll your class is a great option for assessment.

Many free quiz apps are buggy or just a front for a paid app. I’ve listed a few solid options below, but I’d recommend GoClass most highly. Though it’s ostensibly a platform for flipping your classroom, at its simplest, you can use GoClass to create assessments that are multiple-choice and short-answer, or even just use the app to poll the room. Students respond from their devices and the results all come to you right away.

You can use any of these apps like you would a rubric. For example: After the class watches some students perform, allow them to assess each other with a quiz. This will not only give them a chance to reflect on what they’ve seen but also give you a chance to see what they’ve learned.

GoClass Includes options to assess and poll students, which can be timed if necessary.

QuizOperator Automatically calculates scores.

Quiz Studio Upgrade to the Pro version ($1.99) to access all of the testing features, including five different test types.

Note: If your curriculum integrates with language arts or math, then you might need to note the Common Core Standards in your assessment plans. If so, then you’re in luck: Now there’s a free Common Core Standards app.

Barry Blumenfeld teaches at the Friends Seminary in New York City. He is an adjunct professor at New York University and on faculty of the Dance Education Laboratory of the 92nd Street Y.

Photo courtesy of Barry Blumenfeld

Getty Images

Despite worldwide theater closures, the Universal Ballet Competition is keeping The Nutcracker tradition alive in 2020 with an online international competition. The event culminates in a streamed, full-length video of The Virtual Nutcracker consisting of winning entries on December 19. The competition is calling on studios, as well as dancers of all ages and levels, to submit videos by November 29 to be considered.

"Nutcracker is a tradition that is ingrained in our hearts," says UBC co-founder Lissette Salgado-Lucas, a former dancer with Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Joffrey Ballet. "We danced it for so long as professionals, we can't wait to pass it along to dancers through this competition."

Keep reading... Show less
Robbie Sweeny, courtesy Funsch

Christy Funsch's teaching career has taken her from New York City to the Bay Area to Portugal, with a stint in a punk band in between. But this fall—fresh off a Fulbright in Portugal at the Instituto Politécnico de Lisboa, School of Dance (ESD), teaching and researching empathetic embodiment through somatic dance training—Funsch's teaching has taken her to an entirely new location: Zoom. A visiting professor at Slippery Rock University for the 2020–21 academic year, Funsch is adapting her eclectic, boundary-pushing approach to her virtual classes.

Originally from central New York State, Funsch spent 20 years performing in the Bay Area, where she also started her own company, Funsch Dance Experience. "My choreographic work from that time is in the dance-theater experiential, fantasy realm of performance," she says. "I also started blending genres and a lot of urban styles found their way into my choreography."

Keep reading... Show less
Courtesy Meg Brooker

As the presidential election approaches, it's a particularly meaningful time to remember that we are celebrating the centennial of the 19th Amendment, when women earned the right to vote after a decades-long battle.

Movement was more than a metaphor for the fight for women's suffrage—dancers played a real role, most notably Florence Fleming Noyes, who performed her riveting solo Dance of Freedom in 1914 to embody the struggle for women's rights.

This fall, Middle Tennessee State University director of dance Meg Brooker is reconstructing Dance of Freedom on 11 of her students. A Noyes Rhythm teacher and an Isadora Duncan scholar, Brooker is passionate about bringing historic dance practices into a contemporary context.

Keep reading... Show less

Get Dance Business Weekly in your inbox

Sign Up Used in accordance with our Privacy Policy.