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for more information about the selection and use of each TEACHING tool seen here please read the summary below.

This page includes content that models for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation of teaching strategies used for performance theatre education. These can be used for both online and land-based learning. Click around and get to know our epistemology position.



Cognitivism is a learning theory that focuses on the processes involved in learning rather than on the observed behavior. Although we do require an outward exhibition of learning, we focus more on the internal processes and connections that take place during learning.

There are numerous practical applications for this method of teaching in performance theatre because it is helpful for the learner to build off of prior knowledge. Skills are built only after understanding takes place. 

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Because of the distinct types of content knowledge, instructors will benefit if they are aware that students may have one type of prior knowledge but not others. For example, students may know how to perform various statistical tests, but not know when to employ them. 

Benassi, V. A., Overson, C. E., & Hakala, C. M. (2014). Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology web site: http://teachpsych.org/ebooks/asle2014/index.php



This is a theory that learning is an active process and that people gain knowledge and understanding through the combination of experiences and ideas. Our students actively build knowledge and skills in a learning process called constructivism.

Knowledge and skills are tracked using competency based method of learning. Workshop are offered by subject andcompleteing assignments can introduce the student to more advanced skill levels.

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Competency-based learning can be delivered through a campus program, but it is increasingly delivered fully online, because many students taking such programs are already working or seeking work, and because technology enables each student a distinct pathway through content based on their prior knowledge.

Bates, T. (2019) Teaching in a Digital Age:  Guidelines for designing teaching and learning (2nd Ed.)




Connectivism is a theory of learning in a digital age that emphasizes the role of social and cultural context in how and where learning occurs. Learning does not simply happen within an individual, but within and across the networks.

We use connectives by recommending networks for students based on their subject of interest and accessibilities. Social media is a useful network but more professional networks are avaiable in the form of industry standardizations, advocacy groups, and more.

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Explaining learning by means of traditional learning theories is severely limited by the rapid change brought about by technology. Connectivism is defined as actionable knowledge, where an understanding of where to find knowledge may be more important than answering how or what that knowledge encompasses.

Duke, B., Harper, G., & Johnston, M. (2013). Connectivism as a digital age learning theory. The International HETL Review. Special Issue 2013 (pp. 4-13) https://uta.pressbooks.pub/onlinelearning/



Our self directed learning studies are an instructional strategy where the students, with guidance from the teacher, decide what and how they will learn the subject or content.

For example, the teacher may give general learning goals, such as to learn about puppetry use in education. The student can select how they want to present to information and what information is the most relevant to their professional goals.

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A process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing, and implementing appropriate 

learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.

Knowles, M. (1975) Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers, New York: Cambridge Books. 



Online Collaborative Learning

A learner-centered approach views learners as active agents. They bring their own knowledge, past experiences, education, and ideas - and this impacts how they take on board new information and learn. It differs significantly from a traditional instructor-centered approach.

In our workshops students have the opportunity to work together to reach their goal. Some assignments are recommended that students work in groups or with a partner. We offer many technologies to aid with communication among students and with the teacher.

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In the OCL theory, the teacher plays a key role not as a fellow-learner, but as the link to the knowledge community, or state of the art in that discipline. Learning is defined as conceptual change and is key to building knowledge. 



This integration framework focus on three pricipals which all start with the letter "E": Enhance, Extend, and Engage. Since this framework is important to the selection of technology use we have devoted much effort in the curation of our digital tools in a separate informational webpage. 

Technology is used in the virtual classroom but also in the land-based classroom in the form of technical theatre. We often use digital creation tools for live presentation or wireless communication options while we move around the theatre spaces.

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The Triple E is that practical tool that brings together instructional strategies, learning goals and purposeful tool selection. Most frameworks focus on how technology substitutes for traditional tools or if the technology use is creative, but not if the tools were able to actually leverage the learning goals.  

Kolb, L. (2019) Triple E Framework available from a University of Michigan professor at  https://www.tripleeframework.com/about.html



SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. This model was closely dissected to curate the digital tool box included with our teaching practices. Each of these four steps is used to define the purpose of the technology as it relates to the learning outcomes.

We always seek to include technology tools that support enhancement of learning and sometimes even get to see the higher order of learning take place in the support of transformation through the use of the virtual environments.

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For those who are just getting their toes wet with incorporating technology into the classroom, the SAMR model is an excellent model to help you get started.

Smith, K. W. (2019) Purposefully Incorporating Technology into the Classroom Using the SAMR Model. Available at the The Scholarly Teacher website:




TPACK is the framework employed to find the right  combination of resources for the project, assignment, or lecture. It is our way of using the information available to us in addition our teaching goals. 

The integration of Technology, Pedagogy, and Content give us alot of explore in the classroom. Building the best learning experiences and environments occurs in the center of this beautiful model as the knowledge gets disseminated.

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When asked to reflect on their technology integration through the TPACK lens, the social studies teachers switched from discussing specific activities to reflection on technology integration into the entire school year of learning.

Hilton, Jason Theodore, "A Case Study of the Application of SAMR and TPACK for Reflection on Technology Integration into Two Social Studies Classrooms" Secondary Education, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, USA



Practicums (also called internships or work placement programs) are designed to provide students with practical work experience. They emphasize the importance of learning by doing. They're where students can transfer their knowledge to actual work.

During a practicum, students' primary task is observation and documentation. While they will participate in the work in a limited way under the supervision of practitioners and professors, they should treat the practicum as an observational learning experience first and foremost.

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When asked to reflect on their technology integration through the TPACK lens, the social studies teachers switched from discussing specific activities to reflection on technology integration into the entire school year of learning.

When it comes to securing employment, most companies want to make sure you can put what you learned to practice. Practicums allow students to earn real hands-on experience with the best in the industry.


Putting it all together

My epistemology position is only going to be defined by more practice working with students and experimenting with the theories of learning. In my past, it is possible that I approached all learning in the objective and behaviorism realm. Handing them a tool, giving them a safety spiel, and then letting them do the work. Sometimes in my department, technical theatre, the stage becomes so work driven that counting how many screws they used is easier to measure than their knowledge gained. According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, on the surface, it would seem the skills taught and learned in my course would only cover the bottom three levels of the pyramid. This is the area of which I have the strongest skills in teaching and I have the most confidence. 


The subjects of cognitivism, constructivism, and connectivism in Bates’ digital age have extended my thinking. As I try to experiment with the higher orders of Bloom’s learning theories it will give me more understanding of the cognitivism elements. I will try things like letting them evaluate more works by other creators. If they knew more about why designers make choices they will grow as learners. I will be giving them the opportunity to create original works of their own in my online course. This will be a good opportunity to experiment with the constructivism theory, especially since every student is going to have different access to materials and supplies. Following the reasoning, being able to work with the student throughout their process I will be able to access their creative knowledge gained.


I am curious to learn more about the connectivism theory. I know that this is an area in which I benefit from academic memberships and a professional networking. Is this something I should promote more with my students? Some of these great resources are online and in the social media platforms and applications. Much of my teaching experience comes from the K-12 age groups in which the online world is still very dangerous. What measures do I take with online resource recommendations with college students? Even though connectivism, by definition, has already become my favorite epistemology concept, it does leave a lot of concern for students with social disabilities, language barriers, and privacy issues. I am excited to learn more about this area as teaching in the digital age becomes more of a necessity.