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ECLAP // Best Practice Recommendations for performing arts education and training, June 2013

Kiadja a Josefien Schuurman Tues, 2013-06-25 15:08

In performing arts education there is a huge need for online accessible, usable resources and yet there is a great lack of these trusted, digital resources. Parallel, digital tools and strategies are slowly adopted in performing arts education and innovation in terms of the integration of learning and task related applications is lacking behind. The focus of the ECLAP Working Group for education and training is to describe best practices to overcome the most experienced barriers in this domain and best practices related to the integrated use of digital heritage and IT in performing arts education. Via a step-by-step approach we arrive at practical recommendations applicable for different performing arts educational users and stakeholders.
The recommendation below are based on the best practice work and report of the Working Group DE5.2.3. Performing arts education, heritage and educational IT. Best Practice recommendation. and are meant for everybody involved in education in the performing arts. We discern between teachers and their students on the one hand (those who are involved in the primary process of teaching and learning) and on the other hand the wider circle of stakeholders, such as educational managers, developers of educational software, publishers, experts in educational departments of museums, archives and performing arts companies, policy makers, directors of performing arts schools, curriculum designers at all educational levels, and so on.
Questions underlying the recommendation are: What are best practices in creating educational access to performing arts (digital) heritage?; What are best practices for integrating digital heritage in performing arts educational IT?; What is a best practice approach in using digital performing arts heritage in teaching?; How to assess existing practices in relation to the demands and needs of a particular educational situation?. Via interviews, surveys and desk research the needs and practices of the domain as well as the barriers experienced by stakeholders were identified and analyzed.

For more information please read: [URL / Eversmann and Schuurman, Title, June 2013].


Generic to Education

1. Following the outcomes of the EdReNe project (2010) digital heritage archives, and IT programs in the field of performing arts education should:
1.1. Leverage the support of existing communities of practice by supporting their needs
1.2. Take advantage of generally used open standards to allow for the broadest range of partnerships, future adaptability and innovation
1.3. Engage with all stakeholders early in the planning process and base development on user needs
1.4. Support open licensing to increase impact of funding and maximize possibilities for re-use and repurposing
1.5. Acknowledge that integration with a range of tools and services will greatly benefit uptake and use of digital learning resources
1.6. Carefully build a sustainable business case based on the broad existing evidence base.

2. In order to be applicable for education it is essential for digital heritage projects to provide their objects with plenty and accurate information; the digital content needs to be of high quality in terms of intellectual and technical content.

3.When first using digital resources in the classroom one should start to introduce the students to the basic paradigms in finding and using digital resources.

4. In creating repositories and linked educational IT one should explicitly integrate learning and teaching in digital literacy and research skills

5. Digital repositories should act as open, transparent, participatory networks

6. In developing virtual learning environments the teacher should be put in the centre and be provided with semi-finished educational products and inspiring examples.

7. Virtual learning environments should combine learning-process-driven modules with communication and network tools.

8. Virtual learning environments should endorse scalability and openness: respecting general IT standards, archival standards and educational IT standards in an integrated manner

9. Virtual learning environments should use open educational resources and/or open courseware under licenses permitting the use and reuse of their materials by others

10. In developing virtual learning environments one should address questions of sustainability and secure adequate financial support

Specific to Performing Arts

11. Educational IT for the performing arts should take into account its domain specific characteristics:
11.1. Performances are  (usually) collective endeavours
11.2. Production and reception develop simultaneously
11.3. Performing arts take place in an absolute here-and-now
11.4. Performing arts are local: in a restricted timespan and within a restricted 3-d space
11.5. Performing arts are dependent upon live performer(s)
11.6. Performing arts are multi medial
11.7. Performing arts are characterised by ostension and iconic identity resulting in a heightened sense of immediacy and ‘realness’

12. Audio-visual recordings of rehearsal processes are particularly relevant to facilitate knowledge of the unfixated nature of the performing arts.

13. For new projects in performing arts repositories one should involve professional archivists / collection managers with expertise in the domain from the very start (and not only academics and artists). Conceptualisation of virtual learning environments should be based on close cooperation between developers, archivists and pedagogics.

14. Virtual learning environments should be designed so they can be used at home, in a classroom and in mobile settings  (theatres, studios, outdoors, etc.)

15. Assessment of educational objectives of programs/IT-applications in the performing arts should reckon with: knowledge transfer, library skills, analytical skills, practical & design skills, physical skills, stimulating creativity, collaboration, stimulating domain specific awareness and creating/stimulating user engagement