Orientation

DANC 110: Beginning Ballet

Welcome! 

This orientation will cover the fundamentals of this course, DANC 110: Beginning Ballet as well as cyndance.org, the Moodle site, my expectations of you, and what you can expect from me. It is a separate document from the syllabus and the schedule. The syllabus I've provided is more detailed, and more formal - be sure to read it and submit the necessary information.

Content, Resources, Activities, and Participation

We will be using two interchangeable platforms for this course: cyndance.org (my dance website) and this site, Moodle. 

  • Think of cyndance.org as your visually pleasing and inspiring community and resource hub. At this class page, Beginning Ballet Page you will find a table of contents with all of your resources together, including a link to Moodle. As you navigate around the website, you will see that it is shared with students from other classes that I teach. Feel free to investigate anywhere, including other class reels, workout reels - as it's all available for you.

  • Think of Moodle as your weekly class planner and your grade checker. If you are new to Moodle, learn some tips on Navigating Moodle and print it for quick reference. Moodle is broken down into weekly sections, with assignments/tasks required and due for each week. There is a Calendar "block" in the [upper-right portion] of the Moodle homepage to keep you informed of what's due, and when. On a given week, you will see these items in your Moodle weekly class planner (as a means to submit your weekly assignment):

    • Weekly Self-Assessment Form - Due each Friday, 1pm.

    • Beginning Ballet Forum - 1 substantial post and 3 responses to your fellow students are required each week.

    • Video Links - 1.5hrs of asynchronous class is required each week.

    • Weekly Zoom Invite - 1 hr of synchronous class is required each Wednesday from 9am to 10am, which will include a Q&A with demonstration and class discussion. (Download Zoom here) 

    •  Weekly Zoom Dance Class (Recording) If you are unable to attend the live Zoom class, a recording will be here. It will usually take a few hours for it to show up after the class.

    • Ballet Terminology List - A learning/study guide for ballet terms, spelling, and definitions.

    • Midterm/Final Exam - Exams displayed during midterm and finals week (week 8 and 15).

 

Self-Assessment

You are required to complete a Weekly Self-Assessment Form. It is an important aspect of this online course. Each week, you will be required to fill out and submit this form. It will require approximately 30 minutes to complete. The questions will remain the same each week, but your answers will change as you progress. Self-assessment can provide both of us with insight into your true comprehension and can help to identify where growth is required. This approach promotes a shift toward student-centred learning in which you can define your own goals and the steps required to meet both of them. Self-assessment also can be extremely valuable in helping you develop self-reflection, critical thinking, judgment, and ultimately, you can learn how to be responsible for and proactive with your own learning. 

Advantages of Self-assessment 

- Encourages you to critically reflect their own learning progress and performance 

- Encourages you to be more responsible for their own learning 

- Helps you develop their judgmental skills

- There is no peer pressure when you evaluate yourself

- Helps you become autonomous learners

- Helps students be more aware of their weaknesses and strengths

 

Synchronous Learning

Synchronous learning refers to all types of learning in which students and the instructor are in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place. This includes in-person classes, live online meetings when the whole class or smaller groups get together. In synchronous learning, students usually go through the learning path together, accompanied by their instructor who is able to provide support while students are completing tasks and activities. Most online teaching happens asynchronously, with synchronous learning usually taking place only if there is a specific need for live discussion or interaction (like dance), or as a strategy to build community among learners.  

 

Asynchronous Learning

Asynchronous learning is a student-centered teaching method widely used in online learning. Its basic premise is that learning can occur in different times and spaces particular to each learner, as opposed to synchronous learning at a same time and place with groups of learners and their instructor, or one learner and their instructor. In asynchronous learning, instructors usually set up a learning path, which students engage with at their own pace. 

If you are curious and want to know why professors teach asynchronous more often:

- Streaming video and connecting to online meetings uses significant amounts of data and requires fast Internet connections to which not all students may have access. Even in cases when most students do have high-speed Internet and can connect to meetings successfully, it only takes one glitch or two glitches in connectivity or audio/video troubles to affect the overall quality of the meeting.

- Audio and video troubleshooting tends to take up a significant portion of online meetings, including preparing ahead of time, and in-meeting troubleshooting. It is not infrequent for microphones that worked well to suddenly stop working, webcams to go dark inexplicably, or for files to disappear from your desktop just when you needed to share them. With asynchronous learning, instructors can take their time setting up the learning path, and making sure it is up to code before students have access.

- Successful online meetings with large groups require a lot of stars to align. Having a good meeting means everyone logs in on time, has few or no tech issues, is able to control their individual learning spaces, makes sure the dog doesn’t bark or the baby doesn't cry. Some instructors prefer not to deal with this, if they know learning outcomes can be reached asynchronously just as well.

- Online collaboration and group work can very well be done asynchronously. Remember that hour-long meeting that could have easily been an email? The same thing goes for learning. While it is always good to have synchronous check-ins, office hours, and Q&As, most thinking and grappling with course content can be done asynchronously. Keep live meeting times short and use them to answer questions and run through difficult-to-write-down topics or issues.

- Whether students are choosing to learn online, or there is a circumstance that makes online learning their only choice, hour-long lectures or web meetings will quickly exhaust learners. If you absolutely must schedule synchronous meetings, keep them short and sweet and allow as much interaction between participants as is technologically possible.

 

Using Zoom

How to use Zoom as a student This video goes over the main Zoom meeting controls as a participant, and addresses some of the common questions that Dr. Ben Finio, Lecturer at Cornell University has seen come up when training professors and TAs to transition to teaching online.
 

Forums

You are required to participate in the Beginning Ballet Forum. It is an important aspect of this online course. Each week, you will be required to complete: 

  • One (1) substantive post to the forum no later than Friday at 1pm of each week. Posts should address discoveries, new ballet terms learned/explored, video class topics, and/or question(s) presented by me in the forum.

  •  Post three (3) responses to your fellow students. These posts must also be completed by Friday, 1pm of each week. 

Active and informed participation is a basic expectation for all students. To stay completely informed - read all posts by everyone - your fellow students and me  (which I may ask follow-up questions). In many situations, my replies/follow-up posts will be aimed at the class as a whole (not necessarily the student to whom I reply, unless stated so explicitly). As such, my questions/replies of this nature should be addressed by everyone. I will be as involved in these discussions as you are.

The Forum can be accessed by clicking this title link at cyndance.org: Beginning Ballet Forum. This forum is for class-related topics including questions and comments as well as starting new conversations about class work. NOTE: If you have a question that is personal or private natured, then feel free to email me.

Grades 

Grades and comments/feedback on assignments, quizzes, forum participation, or other activities can be found in Moodle by entering the Grades area from your Settings block. From the “User report” screen, you will see your grades and any feedback left, but you can also click on individual items to see for additional details/capabilities.

 

Tip: Lost your way? Just use the bread crumb trail to get back to the homepage. This is the series of  topic-list links (at top left and across) of the browser window; the homepage link is the one that includes the CRN, subject and section for this course. [The CRN for this class is 94713)]

Questions

A question can be directed through three difference sources, depending on its nature. It will be answered within 24hrs, if possible:  

  1. Beginning Ballet Forum If you have a question or need clarification about anything course-related and feel others in the class may also benefit.

  2. cyndance.org chat (the conversation bubble at the bottom right corner of the site).  If you have a question or need clarification about anything course-related and wish for it to be a one-on-one conversation. 

  3. Email (dufaulc@potsdam.edu) Should you need to contact me for some other issue or problem not related to course material.  

 

Next Steps

At this point you're ready to get started. Here's what to do next:

  1. Read the syllabus.

  2. Submit Guidelines and Expectations Agreement found in the syllabus.

  3. Watch this video Teaching Online Dance Instruction: Community Hubs a presentation that I delivered this summer at REMOTE: Connected Faculty Summit hosted at Arizona State University an international event with over 27,000 views.

  4. Sign up in The Club in the Hub at cyndanance.org to fully access the website. Please include: 

    • your name rather than just your email address NOTE: If your name is different from your school registered name, please let me know in the Cyndance Chat;

    • a portrait photo of you (rather than of your pet cat, for example). 

  5. Explore cyndance.org and get to know the resources and community hub. 

  6. Download Zoom if you don't have it.  (Download Zoom here)

  7. Introduce yourself in the Beginning Ballet Forum.

  8. Begin the Week 1 activities and assignments during the first week of class. 

  9. On Wednesday, Sept. 2 before 9am, go to your weekly class planner in Moodle and click on the Weekly Zoom Invite, where you will enter our first ballet class. See syllabus for attire, space, and other details. 

 

Look forward to seeing you!!

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©2020 by Cynthia DuFault

For SUNY Potsdam dance students with LOVE!

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