ASSESSING DRAMA

It is sometimes difficult to quantify the benefits of participating in drama activities but Arts On The Move has created some FREE Drama Achievement Reports to help teachers to assess students’ progress in drama and theatre activities.

The reports are divided into four age groups: 3-5 years, 5-7 years, 8-10 years and 11-13 years and focus on development in personal, social and performance skills.

Other methods of assessment include:

Teacher Observation

Take time to sit and observe your students from the back of the class occasionally. It’s amazing how much you can learn from a small amount of silent observation. Watch how they interact, plan, respond to each other, generate ideas, develop those ideas, whether they lead or follow – and why. See what they enjoy, what sparks them and which activities they struggle with. Make mental notes and occasionally take actual notes. It’s a good habit for drama practitioners to adopt.  

Discussion and Reflection

Discussion is an essential element of drama. Whether this comes in the form of responding to questions about form, practice, or product, or as method of self-reflection, it is critical that the drama process includes both discussion and reflection. This could also involve reflecting on performances by other students or from visiting theatre practitioners, or on the work of professional or amateur theatre companies, and evaluating those different performances. Alongside this, personal reflection, analysing strengths and weaknesses and evaluating progress are essential to development and improvement in drama.

Involvement

Involvement in many simple drama activities such as games and exercises, role-play activities, brainstorming, improvising, group or whole-class discussion, storyboarding and hot-seating all perform the role of informal assessment. Encouraging quieter students to engage, calming the energetic student, teaching students to take turns, respect each other, know their limits and expand them – these are the nuts and bolts of drama and form the skeleton of any assessment criteria.

Drama Journals or Blogs

If you don’t want your students to have the stress of writing regular drama journal entries they can create online blogs instead. Journals are time-consuming to both write and read but blogs can be produced and responded to very quickly. Either way, these are both effective methods of informal assessment.

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