Using Theatre Techniques to Improve Teaching and Communication
January 12, 2018- Recap
The definition of “creativity” is seeing something in a new way. And at the Spring 2018 CTE Workshop “Using Theatre Techniques to Improve Teaching and Communication” on Jan 12, 2018 on the Melbourne Campus, 18 EFSC faculty participants explored creativity through fun activities, lively discussion and a lot of laughter.
Facilitated by Dr. Janet Rubin and Associate Professor Susan Houts, the workshop included activities for use in the classroom as well as concepts that explored nonverbal communication, subtext, inclusion and ensemble playing.
For example, participants led each other on a blindfold walk, part trust exercise and part empathy building activity. The post-activity discussion explored the idea that when we as faculty lead our students through brand new information, they often feel “blind”, and that can be scary and uncomfortable. Participants also discussed that if faculty lose focus while leading them, even for a few moments, students can – metaphorically – bump their heads, possibly creating distrust and frustration, hindering the future learning process.
Other activities included new takes on first week of class icebreakers: a name memorization game and “Creative Introductions”: participants interview each other and then must introduce her partner to the class using a song, poem or commercial.
The ABC Eye Contact activity both reminded about the importance of making eye contact with every student in the room while also providing an activity that helps students become more comfortable in front of the class prior to in-class presentation assignments.
The morning culminated with a “neutral scene” exercise that focused on the eight rules of theatre: Know your Script, Know your Director, Know your Designers, Know your Crew, Know your Fellow Actors, Know your Character, Know your Abilities and Know Your Audience.
Participants left this workshop with new personal connections with colleagues, fun activities for the classroom, and new ways of looking at both teaching and communication creatively.
If you are interested in hosting your own workshop, please contact the CTE or your Campus Ally. And be sure to check out the Workshop Schedule posted here for other engaging workshops and webinars throughout the semester.
And as always, please contact the Center for Teaching Excellence if we can help you with any aspect of your Faculty experience here at EFSC. “CTE: Supporting and Serving all EFSC Faculty.”