Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

First Advisor

Associate Professor Nicola Johnson

Second Advisor

Dr Renee Newman

Third Advisor

Dr Alistair Campbell

Fourth Advisor

Dr Jeremy Pagram

Abstract

This research examined the use and effects of digital technology in supporting and enhancing practical high stakes assessments in a senior secondary dance course in Western Australia (WA). The participants comprised twenty students from one school who were enrolled in ATAR Dance for 2016/17 and ten WA secondary dance education experts. A mixed method embedded design allowed for the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative results to gain perspective and understanding of using digital technology to facilitate the current Western Australia Certificate of Education (WACE)/Australia Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) dance examination as well as the preparation for it and marking of it. An existing assessment application prototype from Edith Cowan University was used and further developed into the dance assessment application (the DAapp) in the study.

Student participants were asked to perform their usual school based practical dance assessment, whilst the markers were asked to assess the performances in either live (traditional format of examination) or digital (using the application to view the captured performances) contexts. An alternate interview was also administered to the students as part of a workshop where they (and their classroom teacher) explored the ways in which the technology might be used to support the examination, the preparation for it and marking of it. The study was enriched by a survey and focus group interviews.

Amongst the participants was a shared desire to use technology where possible to support and enhance learning as well as increase a shared understanding of the assessment challenges. While the teachers and markers were bound by historical practices, viewpoints, and the dominant summative model, they were willing to explore new possibilities. Not only does this research contribute to an under researched area of assessment, it provides strategies to enhance the preparation of and enactment of assessment in dance performance.

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