Virtual Collaboration in the Teaching of Interior Design and Dance: An Investigation in Interdisciplinary Student Projects Via Digital Technology

By Andrew L. Nance and Michelle Nance.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper documents and evaluates a collaborative assignment for undergraduate students in Dance and Interior Design. Digital technology was used as a communicative/demonstrative tool between the students and instructors; as well as a leading factor in the creation, presentation, and assessment of the projects. The catapult for the assignment was an investigation of the formal properties of light, resulting in a project in each discipline’s medium respectively. Each Interior Design student created a ‘light sculpture’ that investigated one or more properties of light. Each Dance student (partnered with an Interior Design student’s project) then created a ‘dance study’ in response to a video presentation of the ‘light sculpture’ via web streaming technology. Both sets of students submitted written descriptions (available on-line for all students to read) of the particular investigated properties of light as a companion for their projects. Although the students were geographically located on the same campus, they did not meet face-to-face until the final dance studies were completed. Interactions between the Dance students and the Interior Design students were limited to: streaming video, TRACS (Teaching Research and Collaboration System) course and project sites, and e-mail. Questions asked are: (1) How do students respond to combining face-to-face learning activities with remote activities? (2) How do students engage in peer learning both within and outside of their own disciplines and peer groups? (3) How does student collaboration and asynchronous learning affect the assessment of student projects?

Keywords: Interior Design, Dance, Collaborative Learning, Peer to Peer Learning, Asynchronous Learning, Interdisciplinary, Virtual, Digital Technology, Assessment, Remote Collaboration, Collaboration

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.153-164. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.934MB).

Andrew L. Nance

Assistant Professor, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, Division of Interior Design, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Mr. Nance is currently an Assistant Professor in Interior Design at Texas State University-San Marcos. He has taught both Architecture and Interior Design at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas at San Antonio, and San Antonio College; as well as serving as a guest lecturer/juror at several institutions. His primary teaching interests are concentrated in the design process and mixed-modalities in pedagogical approaches. Andrew is also a registered architect in the state of Texas and founder of A-gruppo Architects, a design/build firm based in Texas. Over the past 15 years, he has continued to work on a variety of project types at all scales. His interest in technology and construction has pushed A-gruppo in the investigation of emerging building and production technologies. Mr. Nance holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Texas-Arlington.

Michelle Nance

Associate Professor, Dance Division, Department of Theatre & Dance, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Ms. Nance enjoys teaching World Dance and Culture, Modern technique, Jazz technique, Composition/Choreography, and Production at Texas State University. Her teaching interests include cross-disciplinary and collaborative learning. She also is active as a choreographer and performer. Her work has been commissioned and produced in the USA and abroad. International teaching and performing engagements include: Scotland, Costa Rica, Greece, and France. Locally, Michelle has appeared as a choreographer and performer with Texas-based, REALMdanceproject, Forklift Danceworks, 3/A Modern Dance Company, and the Shay Ishii Dance Company. From 1996 to 1998, she served as Assistant School Director and instructor with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company in New York. Michelle holds a Master of Fine Arts in Performance/Choreography from the University of Colorado-Boulder.