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Restructuring the classroom

Updated: Aug 1, 2021

Blog N° 16

Rethinking structures

My research has enabled me to restructure the training according to the video conferencing with satisfactory results.

This format was conceived for contemporary dance classes, but with the necessary adaptations it can be transferred to other dance methods, at least as far as the basic principles are concerned.

Indeed, the purpose of my research was to highlight all aspects associated with the transmission of dance content through a video conference regardless of technique or style.

Providing enough information and content to allow anyone who wants to delve into the subject to have all the elements to do it.

Support of external platforms

Depending on the results and content to be achieved, external educational platforms can be used either to add content or to make the conference more effective.

As I have already indicated in Blog No.11 -First Lesson with Zoom-, I gave my first online classes at a university institution.

At this institution, they made available to the teaching staff several digital pedagogical tools in addition to Zoom. One of these platforms, called Moodle(*), was already regularly used by some dance theory and criticism teachers to offer students written and video materials to consult. It was possible to create a database for video tutorials and other educational content to be made available to students.

Positive aspects

The integration of this system allowed the students to prepare the class exercises in advance on the video tutorials created by different teachers, thus optimising the videoconference classes and saving the time-consuming explanation of the newly proposed exercises.

Negative aspects

Creating video tutorials requires an additional investment of time, adequate equipment for filming and editing the videos.

Since an important element of my teaching is to regularly change the structure of the exercises, this way of working was particularly time-consuming. Also, if for some reason a student does not consult the videos, the advantage is reduced because the exercise still has to be explained more slowly.

Therefore, the decision has to be made: whether to consider the video tutorials as part of the training and therefore their consultation is obligatory, or whether they should just be an aid and/or enrichment so that students can follow the dance classes more easily.

During the period in which I taught, during the first phase of the pandemic, everything was extremely unclear and the decision of the rectorate was not to make online classes compulsory, so much less could be expected to force students to consult video tutorials.

However, offering video material as a support to the direct classes, which can be freely consulted by the students represents an enrichment for the classes themselves, and should be considered as a practice to be included at least partially, beyond the emergency period of the epidemic.

Even when a full return to face-to-face classes is possible.

Video Tutorials

The links to the tutorial classes I created with and for the university institution where I worked will not be published in this Blog, for obvious privacy reasons.

Below you can see two Tutorials I have made for my classes.

The videos are stored on my personal Vimeo platform.

(*) Moodle (acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) is a free and open-source learning management system (LMS) written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. The software offers the possibility to support cooperative teaching and learning methods, inspired by constructivism, a theory according to which all learning is facilitated by the production of tangible objects.

Developed on pedagogical principles, Moodle is used for blended learning (1), distance education (2), flipped classroom (3) and other e-learning (4) projects in schools, universities, workplaces and other sectors.

With customizable management features, it is used to create private websites with online courses for educators and trainers to achieve learning goals. Moodle allows for extending and tailoring learning environments using community-sourced plugins.

(1)Blended learning is an approach to education that combines online educational materials and opportunities for interaction online with traditional place-based classroom methods.

(2)Distance education, also called distance learning, is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school.

(3)Flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning, which aims to increase student engagement and learning by having students complete readings at their home and work on live problem-solving during class time.

(4)E-learning, also referred to as online learning or electronic learning, is the acquisition of knowledge which takes place through electronic technologies and media. In simple language, e-learning is defined as “learning that is enabled electronically”. Typically, e-learning is conducted on the Internet, where students can access their learning materials online at any place and time. E-Learning most often takes place in the form of online courses, online degrees, or online programs. ( )

Moodle Alternatives & Competitors

As I wrote in the introduction, I developed my research using all the time I had available, this allowed me to enrich my work with new insights. The education course I took, for example, for the, Dance and Medicine certificate, allowed me to base part of my blogs on scientific grounds.

For this reason, before proceeding with the description of the class structure I have developed, I have decided to devote some blogs to provide useful definitions, which will be helpful in understanding my work. In addition, some of this information regarding Training has also been the subject of further study in my classes.

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