A new VLE at Surrey

This summer has seen the arrival of SurreyLearn a new Virtual Learning Environment that will provide an easy to navigate visually attractive platform for all dance modules. Members of staff have been developing further materials using the learning object creator WimbaCreate to support students’ independent learning. This semester second year Ballet students and first year students of Arts and Society modules will have an opportunity to engage in a series of new interactive activities that aim at developing their creativity, reflective and critical skills and digital literacy.

SurreyLearn homepage for Arts and Society

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Future use of copyright and ophan works

Some interesting developments in the way that copyright and orphan works could be monitored in the future. Will the Hooper report’s recommendations be feasible?


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Copyright clearance of CCC:EED project images

Recently Project Assistant Mike Reed has been working with a number of photographers on rights clearance of images for use in the project.  We would like to thank all of the photographers who have participated for being so helpful.

Another part of this work is ensuring that every possible care has been taken in trying to find the rights holders.  There are three photographers that we have not been able to find.  Please contact us if you are one of the photographers below, or if you can help by providing contact details for them:

Colin Shaw

Kate Green

Paul Gibb



Clockwise from top L: Yolande Snaith Theatre dance by Richard Dean, V-TOL Dance Company by Andrew Lang, Kokuma Dance Company by Philip Grey,  Yolande Snaith Theatre dance by Richard Dean.

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Newly digitised Rudolf Laban material from the NRCD archives

As part of the CCC:EED project we have recently digitised a handmade book from the NRCD’s collection of Laban materials and artwork.

The book entitled ‘6 Stages of a Book’ was made by a group of Laban’s students and friends on the occasion of his 60th birthday. The book’s illustrations show Laban pondering the creation of a book, with each of his movements  accompanied by notation.

Project assistant Mike Reed will also be digitising a range of other previously unseen Laban materials including his personal holiday drawings and human anatomical diagrams.

Pages from ‘6 Stage of a Book’

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Diaries of Eilean Pearcey

We have had a volunteer assisting with the project by looking at Eilean Pearcey’s diaries to help form a better picture of her life.

The information collected will help the project assistant Mike Reed write a learning package on Pearcey for the Visual Arts Data Service.

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New focus on Arts and Society

First year students exploring choreography in a class, photo by Mike Reed

Although the initial plan for the project was to focus on year 2 Dance, Politics and Identity module, we will be working instead on a learning package for year 1 Arts and Society module. The decision is trying to address some of the educational issues identified during the past semester with respect to students’ familiarity with and use of technology in their dance studies. It is hoped that by introducing e-learning activities and training during their first year they will acquire basic digital skills crucial to continue to the next level.

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Negro Spirituals

The end-of-year show at the PATS dance studio included a selection of Helen Tamiris’ famous choreographies for Negro Spirituals. The dances were revived by Dr Johnson-Jones from a labanotation score and performed by second year student Sophia Davis. The CCC:EED project is looking into the creation of an e-learning package that includes information on the piece, a film on the reconstruction process and the scores.

Sophia Davis in a rehearsal of Negro Spirituals, photo by Jean Johnson-Jones

Negro Spirituals is a suite of eight protest dances choreographed by modern dancer Tamiris between 1928 and 1942. The pieces were notated in 1967 in labanotation and can be requested at the Dance Notation Bureau (New York).

A black and white performance by Tamiris can be watched at: http://dancemedia.com/v/3456

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Student feedback

In the past few days the project team has been collecting feedback from Choreography and Movement analysis and notation students on their e-learning activities this term. Two focus groups were organized, conducted and recorded just after students handed in their final assignments. In order to ensure that all students’ experiences are taken into account, those who could not attend these meetings, but who have been engaging with e-activities, were sent a list of questions via email. In addition, a student volunteered to test a reflective activity using Photo Story3 and provided some general feedback on her knowledge and views about technology for dance learning. A report on these experiences will be shortly available in the Evaluation area of this webpage.

iPad photo by Inma Álvarez

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Why Openness in Education?

A new e-book on new learning models and technologies is now freely available online: Diana G. Oblinger (ed.) Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies (Educause, 2012).

This chapter “Why Openness in Education?” is particular relevant to  teachers who would like to understand the reasons for going open. Click on the image page below to open pdf.

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