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BFA in Theatre Production with an Emphasis in Design and Technology

Overview: 

The Design and Technology program aims to give students a comprehensive understanding of the theory and practice of design and technology in the theatre. The program is a thoroughly coordinated progression through design-focused and skills-focused courses. Design courses include extensive training in text analysis and conceptualization, research skills and presentational skills along with design development. Skills courses focus on developing high standards of craft that will mirror the standards of the professional arena. The focus of the classroom instruction, including production work, is to prepare the students for potential professional work or to interview competitively for graduate training.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

By completion of the BFA Theatre Production – Design and Technology Specialization a student will

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of:
    1. the theatrical production process
    2. theatre history and the historical development of theatrical design
    3. the visual history of architecture, furniture and costumes
    4. craft skills relevant to their interest area  
  1. Collaborate with a production team while taking on a leadership role in a theatrical production in a design/technical area of their specialty, organizing appropriate resources to facilitate the process.
  2. Research and communicate artistic design ideas.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of working principles and standards of the American professional theatre and an understanding of the expectations of the workplace.
Assessment Activities: 

1. Course Embedded evaluations of production work

The BFA in Theatre Production- Design and Technology program requires students to complete a minimum of 11 units of production courses. Sophomores complete a minimum of 4 units in TAR 297A and junior /seniors complete a minimum of 7 units of TAR 497A, B, C, D, E or M.  Instructors use a common rubric to evaluate the production work of each student throughout their career. The scored rubrics are then placed in the student’s file. 

In 2012, the Design Technology division head and the associate director for theatre compiled the completed production rubrics for all students in the program in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 into a summary of averages for each criterion on the rubric to provide faculty a way to review their assessment activity and the overall achievements of students in a given year. The table below shows the summary after using the rubric for the past three years.

Criterion

Rankings: 5-Exemplary, 4-Above Average, 3-Satisfactory, 2-Needs Improvement, 1-Needs Major Improvement

Outcomes Measured

Spring 2013

(n=56)

Spring 2015

(n=59)

Fall 2015 (n=49) 

Sp. 2016 (n=48)

Spring 2017

(n=41)

Demonstrates artistic, managerial and technical knowledge and skills.

#1

3.9

3.8 3.8 4.1

Communicates and collaborates verbally and visually.

#2 and #3

3.4

7.8 3.9 4.1

Organizes and completes work on time and with detail

#4

4

4 3.8 4.2

Adopts professional practices of the working theatre

#4

4.2

4 3.8 4.2

2. Portfolio

Every semester, students in the Design/Technology program present a portfolio of their work to the student body and faculty. These public presentations and the portfolios are evaluated according to specific criteria aligned with the student learning outcomes. The scored rubrics are then placed in the student’s file. 

In 2012, the Design Technology division head and the associate director for theatre compiled the completed portfolio rubrics for all students in the program in 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 into a summary of averages for each criterion on the rubric to provide faculty a way to review their assessment activity and the overall achievements of students in a given year. The table below shows the summary after using the rubric for the past three years.

Criterion

Rankings: 5-Exemplary, 4-Above Average, 3-Satisfactory, 2-Needs Improvement, 1-Needs Major Improvement

Outcomes Measured

Spring 2013

(n= 43)

Spring 2015

(n=52)

Fall 2015 (n=46)  

Sp. 2016 (n=41)

Spring 2017

(n=45)

Demonstration of knowledge of history of theatre and theatrical design and production process

#1 a,b,c,

2.3

10.5 3.69 3.59

Evidence attainment of craft skills through photos, drawings and artwork.

#1 d

3.7

4 4.03 4.34

Artistic designs presented verbally and visually

#3

3.7

4 3.92 4.22

3. Semester Evaluations

Every semester, students in the Design/Technology program are evaluated on their performance in their academic and production coursework overall. A common rubric is used by the student’s faculty advisor to evaluate the individual student performance. The scored rubrics are then placed in the student’s file. 

In 2012, the Design Technology division head and the associate director for theatre compiled the individual semester evaluation rubrics for all students in the program into a summary of averages for each criterion on the rubric to provide faculty a way to review their assessment activity and the overall achievements of students in a given year. The table below shows the summary of average scores for Fall and Spring semesters in AY 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 after using the rubric for the past three years.

Criterion

Rankings: 5-Exemplary, 4-Above Average, 3-Satisfactory, 2-Needs Improvement, 1-Needs Major Improvement

Outcomes Measured

Spring 2013

(n= 45)

Spring 2015

(n=52)

Fall 2015 (n=50)     

Sp. 2016 (n=43)

Spring 2017

(n=48)

Adequate demonstration of knowledge of history of theatre and theatrical design, production process and attainment of craft skills.

#1

3.7

3.6 3.83 4.03

Evidence of abilities to work independently.

#1 & #4

4.7

7.2 3.82 4.05

Evidence of knowledge and abilities in the workplace

#4

4

3.6 3.82 4.09

Clearly stated evidence of   collaborative and leadership abilities.

#2

3.7

3.7 3.83 4.03

Creative artistic design ideas clearly researched

#3

3.9

3.7 3.77 4.11

Adequate technical skills in craft and organization evident in work.

#1

3.6

3.6 3.81 4.06

Ideas and materials clearly presented and communicated

#1 & #3

3.6

8.3 3.80 4.07

Adequate skills in time management, organization and ethical behavior.

#4

3.7

3.8 3.82 4.09

Assessment Tool #1

To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3 and #4, BFA students are evaluated in writing each semester by their advisor with input from all Design/Tech Division faculty.  The evaluations assess academic progress and student work in production.  The assessments are verbally presented to the students with time for student response and/or questions.  The written assessments are made available to the student after the presentation.

Assessment documentation: Semester evaluation forms.

Assessment Tool #2

To assess Learning Outcomes #1, #3 and #4, BFA students are required to prepare and present a portfolio of class work and realized production work.  The portfolio is to follow a prescribed structure featuring certain types of design work, demonstration of thought processes relevant to design or production, design and/or production research materials and relevant artwork and/or technical drawings.  The portfolio must be prepared in a digital format and a traditional paper format and orally presented to faculty each semester. All of the student portfolios and presentations are evaluated by the Division faculty each semester of the student’s residency, according to a faculty developed rubric.

The student’s advisor prepares a written evaluation and verbally presents faculty feedback to the students.

Assessment documentation: Portfolio guidelines and portfolio review forms.

Assessment Tool #3

To assess Learning Outcomes #2, #3 and #4, BFA students are evaluated in at least one production situation by their advisor.  Students are given full descriptions of job performance expectations and target dates for meeting the expectations.  Advisors evaluate student progress on a weekly basis through the 20-week long production process and prepare a written report based on the job description and the weekly evaluation forms.

Assessment documentation: Production assignment job descriptions and weekly evaluation forms.

Assessment Tool #4

To assess Learning Outcomes #3 and #4 BFA students participate in at least one Showcase of Talent during which industry professionals review student work and suitability for entry into the profession. Students receive an evaluation from the outside reviewer, based on a Division developed rubric. In addition, placement data after graduation is collected and reviewed to assess Learning Outcome #4.

Indirect Student Outcomes

Exit Survey BFA Design/Technology

Spring 2017

Avg. Score n=12

The BFA in Design and Technology lived up to the description of the program I received in informational materials (web page, brochures, and faculty descriptions). 3.17
The BFA in Design and Technology enabled me to develop an advanced and broad knowledge of the theatrical production process. 3.42
The BFA in Design and Technology enabled me to develop an advanced and broad knowledge of theatre history. 3.25
The BFA in Design and Technology enabled me to develop an advanced and broad knowledge of production theory and the historical development of theatrical design. 3
The BFA in Design and Technology enabled me to develop an advanced and broad knowledge of the visual history of western architecture, furniture and costumes 2.92
The BFA in Design and Technology provided me with a strong ability to express artistic thought and concepts relative to their design and/or technical area of emphasis through research relating to a design project 3.25
The BFA in Design and Technology provided me with a strong ability to express artistic thought and concepts relative to their design and/or technical area of emphasis through the ability to analyze dramatic literature as part of the design process 3.33
The BFA in Design and Technology provided me with a strong ability to express artistic thought and concepts relative to their design and/or technical area of emphasis through the ability to present artistic ideas to a group of collaborators 3.17
The BFA in Design and Technology provided me with a strong ability to express artistic though and concepts relative to their design and/or technical area of emphasis through the ability to express artistic ideas through drawing, drafting, painting, model-making or other professionally accepted methods. 3
The BFA in Design and Technology provided me with collaborative skills within a theatrical production team while taking on significant leadership roles as part of a theatrical production in a design/technical area of their specialty, organizing appropriate resources to facilitate the process, and ability to successfully contribute to a professional theatrical production. 3.38
The BFA in Design and Technology prepared me with skills compatible with the working principles and standards of the American professional theatre and an understanding of the expectations of the workplace. 3.25

*Score Range: 4=strongly agree    3=agree    2=disagree    1=strongly disagree

Assessment Findings: 

Findings

Use of Assessment Results #1

The results of the semester evaluations are compiled and evaluated by the faculty each semester using the above mentioned rubric, which contains detailed criteria for success.  If the evaluations demonstrate that 75% have met or exceeded the criteria, we deem that the students have met Learning Outcomes #1, #2, #3, and #4.  It is the job of the faculty to make recommendations to the Division Chair for changes to the program based on the semester evaluation.  The Chair will make the needed changes and meet with the faculty for further action.

Use of Assessment Results #2

The results of the portfolio evaluations are compiled and evaluated by the faculty each semester using the above mentioned rubric, which contains detailed criteria for success.  If the evaluations demonstrate that 75% have met or exceeded the criteria, we deem that the students have met Learning Outcome #1, #3, and #4.  It is the job of the faculty to make recommendations to the Division Chair for changes to the program based on the evaluation of the portfolios.  The Chair will make the needed changes and meet with the faculty for further action.

Use of Assessment Results #3

The results of the individual advisors’ written production reports are compiled and summarized by the Division Chair each spring. These results will be discussed with the Division faculty the end of each academic year. If the evaluations demonstrate that 75% of students are meeting or exceeding the production criteria, we deem that the students have met Learning Outcome #2, #3, and #4. The discussion and responses to the issues raised by the evaluations will determine if changes need to be made to the program. The Chair will make the needed changes based on the results of the faculty meeting.

Use of Assessment Results #4

The results of the outside reviewers during Showcase of Talent will be compiled and summarized by the Division Chair at the event.  Placement data gathered from graduating seniors will be collected and reviewed each fall. Results will be discussed with the Division faculty during the fall semester so that faculty can become aware of patterns and trends in how students have achieved the learner outcomes. This evaluation helps us determine where the weaknesses are in the program.  If the data indicates that 80% of students are favorably reviewed by outside professionals and at least 75% are placed in professional theatres, then we assume they are meeting objectives #3 and #4.

Change in Response to Findings: 

Based on the three assessment tools we use to evaluate students (semester review, portfolio presentation review, and production assignment review) all of the assessed areas were collectively above “satisfactory” level for Spring 2017. Exit interviews show that collectively exiting students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with outcomes statements. One question in the exit interviews was relatively low at 2.92. The question was “The BFA in Design and Technology enabled me to develop an advanced and broad knowledge of the visual history of western architecture, furniture and costumes”. Recent faculty retirement and some gaps in the teaching of these topics can explain the Spring 2017 assessment. New faculty have been hired and we expect this topic to be more assimilated by the students beginning in Spring 2018.

Updated date: Mon, 05/15/2017 - 16:02