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BA in Theatre Arts

Overview: 

BA students in the Theatre Studies Division receive a broad-based education that is designed to inspire their imaginations as lifelong theatre practitioners, audience members, or readers of dramatic literature.  The Theatre Studies Division also provides students crucial skills in critical and creative thinking, collaboration, and communication—valued skills that are applicable across a wide range of careers.

Expected Learning Outcomes: 

At the completion of the degree, students will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding the relationship of dramatic text to theatrical production, the history of theatre and theatre's role in community.
  2. Know and understand the working practices and standards in the historical, contemporary, and global theatre endeavor
  3. Communicate artistic intent through acting, directing, design, and/or research and collaborate within a production team.
  4. Organize time, human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process.
Assessment Activities: 

TAR 342/343/344 Final Research Essay – The Research Essay requires students to construct a 7-9 page research paper (5 source minimum) on a course-appropriate topic of their choosing. The assignment is scaffolded across the semester in several stages: a research proposal (to be approved by the instructor; students may revise); a plagiarism risk quiz; a 5-source annotated bibliography (students may revise); and the Final Research Essay itself.   Final Research Essays are critiqued here on a scale of 0-4 (to match the means by which grade point averages are calculated) with 0 indicating “auto-fail” and 4 indicating mastery. Below are the metrics used in each category, followed by the Student Learning Outcome it is designed to produce.

  • Assignment demonstrates an understanding of the relationship between text and production (ELO 1)
  • Assignment demonstrates an understanding of the history of the theatre and/or the role of the theatre in the community (ELO 1)
  • Assignment demonstrates knowledge of the practices and standards of the historical and global theatre endeavor (ELO 2)

TAR 395A Career Development Portfolio - Students will create a portfolio of creative accomplishments of their time at the University, with a clear understanding of their future. They will have an understanding of the types of national theatre organizations. They will create a job-seeking resume for post-graduation opportunities.

Portfolios are critiqued here on a scale of 0-4 (to match the means by which grade point averages are calculated) with 0 indicating “auto-fail” and 4 indicating mastery. Below are the metrics used in each category, followed by the Student Learning Outcome it is designed to produce.

  • Assignment demonstrates knowledge of the practices and standards of the contemporary theatre endeavor (ELO 2)

Assignment demonstrates the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3)

TAR 432 Production Management Casebooks - TAR 432 deals specifically with organizational skills related to planning and executing live theatre events.  Study at this level requires good working knowledge of the basic processes and skill sets required by theatre artists.  Two projects are embedded in the course to assess skills gained.  The Prompt script project represents a clear understanding of the various processes and procedures applied.  The management book project is a compilation of project work focused on non-profit theatre finances and organizational structures.

Portfolios are critiqued here on a scale of 0-4 (to match the means by which grade point averages are calculated) with 0 indicating “auto-fail” and 4 indicating mastery. Below are the metrics used in each category, followed by the Student Learning Outcome it is designed to produce.

  • Assignment demonstrates the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3)
  • Assignment demonstrates the ability to organize time, human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process. (ELO 4)

TAR 497W Assignment - After the completion of creative work in the Studio Series, students compose a 5-6 page (1,250-1,500 words) reflection upon their experience working on the Studio Series production.  The assignment allows students to note the skills they have gained, the challenges they encountered, and the overall evolution of their processes as theatre-makers.  The assignment asks students to clearly communicate their working experience, analyze their performance, and consider possible goals for the future.

Portfolios are critiqued here on a scale of 0-4 (to match the means by which grade point averages are calculated) with 0 indicating “auto-fail” and 4 indicating mastery. Below are the metrics used in each category, followed by the Student Learning Outcome it is designed to produce.          

  • Assignment demonstrates the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3)
  • Assignment demonstrates the ability to organize time, human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process. (ELO 4)


Activity


Outcome #s


Fall 2016 – Spring 2017 Average

n=( Number of BA Theatre Arts students participating)

TAR 340/341 Research Essay

(Points Possible: 4)

1,2

Fall        N= 20         Avg. 2.9

Spring   N= 12       Avg.   3.1    

TAR 395A Portfolio

(Points Possible: 4)

2,3

Spring only   N= 16    Avg. 3.9

TAR 432 Theatre Management Prospectus

(Points Possible: 4)

3,4

Fall only N=23    Avg. 2.9

 

TAR 497W Assignment

(Points Possible: 4)

3,4

Fall N=21      Avg.  3.95

 Spring N= 13    Avg. 4.0

Total: N=34      Avg.3.98

(This table should demonstrate a quantitative and qualitative evaluation that is supported by your assessment tools)

Indirect Student Assessment

Exit Survey BA Theatre Studies

Spring 2017

Avg. Score

n=17

The BA in Theatre Arts lived up to the description of the program I received in informational materials (web page, instructor descriptions). 3.24
Through my studies. I developed an understanding in the relationship of dramatic text to theatrical production, the history of theatre and theatre's role in community. 3.76
I was provided with knowledge and understanding of the working practices and standards in the American professional theatre. 3.53
As a result of my studies, I developed the ability to communicate artistic intent through acting, directing, design, and/or research and collaborate within a production team. 3.14
I learned skills to organize time, and the human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process. 3.35

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

Assessment Findings: 

Narrative Interpretation of Findings

TAR 340/341 Research Essay - In Fall 2016, results from this assessment suggest that a strong majority of all BA students enrolled in the course are performing at or above an acceptable level in terms of the expected learning outcomes for the course.  80% of students are producing work that demonstrates that they understand: the relationship between text and production (ELO 1); the history of the theatre and/or the role of the theatre in the community (ELO 1); and the practices and standards of the historical and global theatre endeavor (ELO 2).

In Spring 2017, results from this assessment suggest that nearly all BA students enrolled in the course are performing at or above an acceptable level in terms of the expected learning outcomes for the course.  92% of students are producing work that demonstrates that they understand: the relationship between text and production (ELO 1); the history of the theatre and/or the role of the theatre in the community (ELO 1); and the practices and standards of the historical and global theatre endeavor (ELO 2).

TAR 395A Career Development Portfolio- Average result: 3.9 In Spring 2017, results from this assessment suggest that the BA students enrolled in this course are performing above an acceptable level in terms of the expected learning outcomes for the course. 99% of the students produced web portfolios that demonstrate they understand at an excellent level: knowledge of the practices and standards of the contemporary theatre endeavor (ELO2); and the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3).

TAR 432 Theatre Management Prospectus- Average result 2.9.  First offered in Fall 2015, results from this assessment suggest that the BA students enrolled in the course are performing at or slighlty below an acceptable level in terms of the expected learning outcomes:  the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3); and the ability to organize time, human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process. (ELO 4)

TAR 497W Assignment – Average result: 3.98 Offered four times throughout the AY 2016-2017, scores on student reflections accomplished in one or more Studio Series production suggest that 99% of the BA students are performing at the mastery level in terms of the expected learning outcomes: the ability to communicate artistic intent as a collaborator within a production team (ELO 3); and the ability to organize time, human and financial resources to facilitate the theatrical production process. (ELO 4)

Exit Survey – Average results to the questions suggest that students agreed that they had developed key understandings and skills as a result of the their studies (ELO 1). However, students disagreed that the program lived up to its description and that they had gained knowledge and understanding of the working practices and standards of American professional theatre (ELO2). Another point of slight disagreement was with the feeling that they had learned skills to organize time and resources to facilitate the theatrical production process (ELO 4).

Change in Response to Findings: 

(Data reported and changed each spring on assessment Web Site)

TAR 340/341 Final Research Essay

For Fall 2016, average scores overall are lower than in AY 2015-2016. This average represents a slight drop from the previous semester’s assessment scores, largely owing to the fact that more students than usual, 20% in this case, are failing to reach an acceptable level of mastery of the course outcomes. While more investigation is needed to understand the reason behind the drop in D/F scores in the Fall term, we might look more closely at the increase in sophomore-level enrollments in the 300-level courses. We should also examine the ways in which students are being prepared to develop longform research essays across the curriculum, should these trends hold.  

For Spring, in the instructor's evaluations of the essays, the single criterion which dropped the projects into the good/average/below average category was the element of ELO 1 which tasked them with connecting their papers back to theatre history.  This connective narrative may need to be emphasized more in the future.  Also, in breaking down the evaluations by class rank, the seniors scored higher than the sophomores and juniors.  This suggests that experience helps make better essayists, so more attention may be needed for these developing scholars, in terms of the outline/first draft/final draft stages of the project.

TAR 395A Career Development Portfolio

The score of 3.9 is up from Spring 2016 and matches the 3.95 of Spring 2015. In Spring 2017, enrollment was 16 students compared with 21 in 2015-16. 9 students were juniors and 7 were seniors. Only one student performed at a B level out of the 16. The portfolio is now accomplished entirely online through the creation of an individual web site. Students are motivated to create a lasting web presence and to update regularly prior and after graduation.

TAR 432 Theatre Management Prospectus

The average score of 2.9 is up slightly from the average of 2.8 in 2015-16 indicates that while the project is difficult for many students, they are receiving more guidance and feeling slightly more confident in their abilities to complete the assignment.

TAR 497W Assignment – The score of 3.98 is consistent with the 4.0 score in TAR 497W from 2015-2016.  BA students are highly motivated to perform at a high level in this performance course. BA students are comfortable reflecting on their creative experience working on a Studio Series production and analyzing their performance. Students are provided a basic assignment for each production while each director/instructor did the evaluation for each production. The Studio Series relies on outside director/instructors, thus there is an inherent diversity in scoring of the written assignments. The artistic director of the Studio Series meets with each director/instructor and provides feedback for scoring the assignment.  

Exit Survey - Results from this year’s exit survey are consistent with the results from the previous year. Students mentioned playwriting, dramaturgy and participating in TAR 497W (Studio Series) has having strengthened their knowledge and understanding of working practices of the American professional theatre.  Students continue to indicate a desire for access to more performance courses in acting, Shakespeare, stage combat and musical theatre. 

Updated date: Wed, 05/17/2017 - 12:56