Diversity, Inclusion, and the Stage: Engaging students through a performing arts-based hybrid model

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session Best in Track Blended

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Brief Abstract

Hybrid course approaches are typically thought of as the combination of online and classroom experiences. The performing arts-based hybrid model instead features online content paired with student attendance of theatre and music experiences. Through this novel approach, students are exposed to a variety of performance types and a rich diversity of voices from the stage. Learn about how the Pennsylvania State University is using this arts-based hybrid model and the unique learning environment of the performance theatre to open discussions about diversity, inclusion, and equity with our undergraduate student population. 

Presenters

Gary Chinn is Assistant Dean & Director of the Office of Digital Learning at Penn State University. He has served as eLearning Initiative Project Manager at the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education in the College of Engineering. He previously served as instructional designer for Penn State's Blended Learning Initiative, Baruch College at the City University of New York, and Teachers College at Columbia University. During his time with the eLearning Institute, Gary oversaw the design and development of Penn State's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), titled 'Introduction to Art: Concepts and Techniques.' He is currently pursuing online projects in collaboration with the School of Visual Arts and the School of Music. Gary holds a B.S. in radio-television-film from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in instructional systems technology from Indiana University at Bloomington. His professional association memberships include Educause, the Sloan Consortium, the eLearning Guild, and the American Society for Training and Development.
Kate Miffitt is the Assistant Director of Innovation at California State University's Office of the Chancellor. Previously, she served in different roles in instructional design and digital learning at The Pennsylvania State University. She holds a B.A. in English from Stonehill College and an M.A. in education in instructional technologies from San Francisco State University.

Extended Abstract

Hybrid course approaches are typically thought of as the combination of online and classroom experiences. Course content is provided via web-based text or video, in preparation for students attending in-person sessions. This model continues to thrive in higher education, specifically in STEM disciplines. However, hybrid models involving events instead of classroom sessions also have great potential for student engagement.

Unlike a typical hybrid course approach, the performing arts-based hybrid model instead features online content paired with student attendance of theatre and music experiences. Through this novel approach, students are exposed to a variety of performance types and a rich diversity of voices from the stage. Online content provides specific background material in advance of performance attendance. This online material can include genre, performance type (three act play, musical theatre, avant garde), and key aspects of the narrative for the piece. Students then write reflective papers after attending performances focusing on their interpretations of the work. The diversity of performances available to students at a large public university offer an additional opportunity to engage student in reflection related to diversity and inclusion. This arts-based hybrid approach is in coordination with the university-wide "All In Initiative" that aims to show the institution's commitment to cultivating a welcoming environment regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, or abilities.

Student assessment data related to engagement, inclusion, and diversity will be collected and analyzed in the fall 2017 semester via a concurrent mixed methods study approach. Results of the data, as well as the survey instruments used, will be shared with attendees at the session. Survey contructs for this project include the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI) subscale, the Knowledge of Cultural Worldview Framework, and measures of pluralistic orientation. In addition, qualitative data will be collected from both students and performance event organizers. 

Research sub-groups will include the following:

  • Survey data in resposne to close-ended items. Analysis method: descriptive and correlational statistical analysis
  • Student narrative response survy and interview data. Analysis method: plot, values, and significance analysis
  • Observational data. Analysis method: narrative summaries
  • Event planner interview and focus group data. Analysis method: thematic analysis

This session aligns with a theme of student success through new models of learning by reshaping the hybrid learning environment to include the unique learning space of the stage.