Submitted Fall, 2005
We posted a flyer on the theatre call board alerting performance majors to start putting together their acting portfolio early in the Fall of 2004. A letter was sent out to a select number (6) of our performance majors on March 30th, 2005 informing the selected six students that the UNK Theatre faculty would be assessing the Performance Studies aspect of the Theatre program. Monday, April 18th was the deadline for their portfolios to be turned in to the faculty. We also arranged for individual feedback sessions with each student.
The theatre faculty used the performance rubric that was created two years ago. We analyzed three of the six requested portfolios because only three turned theirs back in to us. We assessed the physical layout of the student’s portfolio individually, then came to a group consensus of what would be communicated to the student. The three other student learning outcomes on the rubric was assessed by individual faculty. We did not discuss these as a group. The rubric was used exclusively (including portfolio review) to measure student outcomes.
We asked for six students to participate in this assessment and we only received three portfolios. Three students were thoroughly assessed, noting that all three of them had learned the basics of creating a believable character and had grown in their performance techniques in direct relation to the amount of their stage time. The other three students were duly noted of their high level of acting and performance skills by their stage time alone. All six performance students were well on track with whatever year they were in; i.e. sophomore, junior, senior. Etc. Our department is very small and offers numerous opportunities for acting/performing, thereby giving our students a fertile ground to grow as an actor.
Conclusions and Recommendations
UNK Theatre currently has 8 performance minors. There are several students who have taken our performance classes and performed in our plays who are musical theatre, voice performance, and general theatre majors. The students selected for this assessment was a cross-section of this mix. Based on the rubric used, we found out that the importance of a strong portfolio needs to be clearly communicated to the performance student from the very beginning their education with us.
Because we only received three out of the six reported portfolios and we only interviewed three out of the six students, we feel it is important to have direct contact with those students asked to participate in assessment. Encouragement from the faculty could go a long way to help them put together their materials. A stronger emphasis of portfolio work will be stressed in future acting classes and with any student acting in a UNK play.
Two of the three students assessed were attending career preparation classes and had had some experience working with portfolios. The one student whose portfolio was almost perfect had attended this class two years ago. The one thing all the students needed was more guidance on what to put into a portfolio and what not to put into a portfolio.
The other areas in the rubric were consistent from the faculty. Each student is comfortable with full-bodied characterizations. Weaknesses from the students included time-management, a speech impediment, and proper channeling of energy. None of the students we assessed were afraid of taking risks and had good energy on stage. We did recommend to the students to work on individual weaknesses. The individual feedback time with the three students was a good experience for everyone involved.
Use of Results
As the writer of this report, I, as the Performance Professor, will emphasize the importance of keeping every program, every review, photos from shows, etc. to my students, starting with the students in my Fundamentals of Acting students.
Each Faculty Director will also place an emphasis on keeping program and history of performances to their individual actors in their plays. In the Fall of 2005, a meeting of the faculty will be held to further assess the Performance Assessment Rubric to analyze its usefulness to our program.