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Assessment practices

Only a few studies focused on assessment in teaching and learning, revealing that this is an area that need to be both further developed and studied. Assessment seem to be mostly based on the teacher's choice of preference, even though systematic and criteria-based assessment practice are shown to increase learning.


A study from higher-education context, revealed that aside from the student conferences (individual feedback sessions) on the faculty, most of the assessment strategies were based on teacher interpretation, and the majority of the students’ grades were determined by attendance, participation, and attitude (Sims & Erwin, 2012).

In another study, teacher’s conceptions of quality in relation to summative assessments of dance knowledge in a Swedish upper secondary school, was explored (Andersson, 2016).

The findings demonstrated that there were no regulations on how teachers should communicate the grades nor on the basis on which grading was performed. However, there was a common practice with grade conferences and conversations between teacher and student around the student’s achievement on a specific course.

In addition, the study identified that conceptions of quality were expressed through two pathways. Namely, the teacher’s focus on abilities linked to dance specific technique and syllabus, genre specific movement principles, and general abilities like effort, motivation, reflections and also through views of dance knowledge progression.

Furthermore, the assessment by the teacher was depended on his or her own experiences or lack of experiences based on background, education, dance tradition and context (Andersson, 2016).

Finally, in an effect study that examined the effect of criteria-referenced vs. implicit formative assessment on achievement in the arts, results showed that, overall, criteria-referenced formative assessment had a statistically significant, positive, but small effect (d = .26) on students’ dance achievement (Chen et al., 2017).

Andersson, N. (2016). Teacher’s conceptions of quality in dance education expressed through grade conferences. Journal of Pedagogy, 7(2), 11-32.

Chen, F., Lui, A. M., Andrade, H., Valle, C., & Mir, H. (2017). Criteria-referenced formative assessment in the arts. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 29(3), 297-314.

Sims, M., & Erwin, H. (2012). A set of descriptive case studies of four dance faculty members’ pedagogical practices. Journal of Dance Education, 12(4), 131-140.


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