Theatre Arts Discipline Assessment 2006-2007


Scope of assessment activities

         ___√__Course-embedded assessment

                     ___√___ Pre- and post-testing

         ___√__ Outside the classroom

         ___√__ Across the discipline

Direct measures of student learning

         ___√__ Capstone experience

         ___√__ Portfolio assessment

         ______ Standardized tests

         ______ Performance on national licensure, certification or

                     preprofessional exams

         ______ Qualitative internal and external juried review of

                     of comprehensive senior projects

         ___√__ Externally reviewed exhibitions and performances in

                     the arts

         ______ External evaluation of performance during internships


Discussion and Description

Discipline goals, direct measures, and improved student learning


         1. Theatre Arts discipline learning objectives

Š      To provide a fundamental knowledge of the art, discipline, techniques and history of the theatre.

Š      To develop the ability to produce good theatre.

Š      To develop an appreciation of quality theatre.


         2. Capstone course: Senior Project.

         In this course, the student demonstrates competence in some area of theatre arts. The project might be completed independently, for example through a research paper or solo acting performance, or as part of a group effort. Acting, scenery, lighting, costume design, playwriting, and theatre history are some of the areas in which the project may be undertaken. All faculty are involved in the assessment of each project.


         3. Portfolio assessment.

         The portfolio comprises all of the theatre work of significant value that students have done during their career at UMM, including items such as photographs, articles, notes, and performance and design projects. During their third year, students present their portfolios at the weekly meeting of Theatre Arts majors for faculty evaluation. They continue adding to their portfolios and take them out into the world of theatre for interviewing.


         4. Course-embedded assessment. Pre-test/post-test.

         Stagecraft. The course objective is for students to gain “knowledge and appreciation of the history, theory, tools, materials and techniques employed in the construction, painting, and shifting of stage scenery.”[1] The pre-test is a multiple-choice exam administered at the beginning of the course. From the results the instructor determines which topics require particular emphasis and need particular attention in pre-exam reviews. An unexpected benefit was that students realized at the very beginning of the class what the instructor held to be important. The post-test was a multiple-choice final exam similar but not identical to the pre-test. The pre- and post-test averages were 44.5 and 85.9. No one failed the post-test.


         5. External review of performance.

         Theatre Arts students have received recognition in externally reviewed performances. Most productions are assessed by outside evaluators. Some productions are evaluated by members of the audience immediately after the performance.


General education categories spanned by the discipline


            Almost all Theater Arts courses carry one of the following general education designators: ArtP, artistic performance; FA, fine arts; or Hum, communication, language, literature, and philosophy. Directed study, Backstage on Broadway, London Theater Tour, and Senior Project carry no general education designator.


[1] The quote is from the Stagecraft Assessment Report in the appendices.