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Monday, 14 July 2014

Track G - Scratch Nights & Hashtag Chats: Creative Tools to Enhance Choreography in the Dance Curriculum - Lisa Uytterhoeven and Louise Kelsey (MPA/LSC)

Dr Lise Uytterhoeven, London Studio Centre, Louise Kelsey of the Dance Department, and BA Dance Studies student Kirsty Harris delivered an engaging session with what was unsurprisingly one of the more creative and intriguing session titles; Scratch Nights & Hash-tag Chats: Creative Tools to Enhance Choreography in the Dance Curriculum.
The session focused on a collaborative learning and teaching research project between the Dance Department at Middlesex University and the London Studio Centre.  The project aimed to share practices across the two institutions and encourage students from both institutions to engage with each other in a collaborative dance network to support their development as individuals and artists.
The session was heavily grounded in theory drawing on the work of Belinda Allen’s (2010) model for learning, which encourages creative approaches to learning and the curriculum and draws on the use of technology to support and foster reflective practices.
The presentation highlighted the use of twitter, student blogs, and Scratch nights, all aimed at giving students as artists in their own right the opportunity to test out and receive peer and tutor feedback on their performances in a safe environment. The presentation also highlighted the importance of students developing a critical voice when discussing their own and peers practice. This is something that is common in the Dance profession and helps students to develop essential graduate employability skills. 

It was fantastic to have an insight from Kirsty Harris who really brought the project to life with a unique student perspective. An interesting finding from the project and one highlighted by Kirsty was that students were not always willing to share their thoughts publically using a forum such a Twitter, this was out of fear of expressing themselves in a public forum, feeling they either had nothing valid to offer to the discourse or out of fear of having something made public and permanent for the world to read.
Students clearly need support in developing the digital literacy skills so important in helping them navigate the complex social media spheres that blur the boundaries between the private, professional and corporate. The team now has a wealth of experience and knowledge they will be taking forward with the future development of the programme and experience and knowledge that is of interest to others evidenced by the number of questions and lively discussion which continued well after the session had ended.

Session video
Report by Alex Chapman, Head of Technology Enhanced Learning, Centre for Academic Practice Enhancement

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