Dance Faculty

Monica Cameron-Frichtel
Leo Goykhman
Sunshine Webster-Latshaw

Choosing Intentional, Substantial and Consistent Teaching Materials

How a Team of Professors Established Shared Open Access Resources to Tailor Individual Course Sections

The Department of Theatre and Dance wanted to establish consistency across its two-level series of 3-credit ballet courses and expand the curriculum to include the historical and cultural context of dance as well as technique and performance.

To achieve this, Professors Monica Frichtel, Leonid Goykhman and Sunshine Webster-Latshaw worked as a team to transform the course materials used in Ballet I and Ballet II with the support of an Open and Affordable Teaching Materials grant.

In collaboration with the Library, Museums and Press, the team identified open access materials and Library resources that could replace what had been previously used. They were able to find an openly available online ballet dictionary to replace ballet manuals students would need to purchase, as well as open educational books, chapters and journal articles that speak to historical, cultural and contemporary elements of dance. They also integrated streaming media resources readily available through the Library’s collections in order to provide high-quality video examples of dance and ballet performances.

With a variety of affordable resources that better meet the needs of their curriculum, the team was not only able to streamline and enhance course content, but also allow individual instructors autonomy in using the materials as they see fit in their individual course sections. They created a shared Canvas site for all ballet instructors to facilitate an easy way to share, access and adapt these open materials and related assignments.

“We are hearing lots of positive feedback,” the team of professors shared. “We have not only identified course texts, but we have also been able to better utilize video material available through [the Library, Museums and Press] … We have been able to pilot different materials and approaches to using the materials across sections of the course … Students are engaging with more and better organized historical and cultural context materials with no added costs to them.”

For more information on sourcing and using Open Source materials, please contact the library!