Living in a ever-more technological world we often discover technological tools and apps, that can be applied to many different disciplines and practices. This morning a group of students from the BA Theatre course, who attend the Schools module, were introduced to an app – ‘Coach’s eye‘ to use for analysing workshop practice. The session was taught collaboratively between Kay Hepplewhite, Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Dasha Zhurauskaya of Learning and Teaching Development here at York St John University.
The session began with students creating workshop scenarios that involved teaching younger children and some issues that may be faced when teaching. Using the ‘Coach’s eye’ app on the university’s iPads’, the students could record the workshop and then later analyse strengths and weaknesses of the workshop delivery. The app allows for a commentary to be added over the video, it also allows users to highlight specific areas in the video and to zoom in for deeper analysis.
In discussion after the session many of the students agreed that the use of the technology allowed for a closer critique of how a facilitator delivers a workshop. The app also could be used in general theatre practice for analysing live performances. Kay Hepplewhite asked students whether they would like feedback given through an app such as ‘Coach’s eye’. Many responded with positive feedback for use of the app commenting ‘it’s such an easy form to be able to display shortfalls and strengths of practice’. The videos created can also be easily shared on sites such as YouTube and the University’s Media Library.
Personally I can begin to see the benefits of the integration of technology when trying to analyse workshop process. It also stands as a form of documentation for a devising process for performance. After spending more time using the ipad and associated apps, it will become a useful asset for both an applied theatre practitioner and a theatre maker.
On behalf of the module participants, I would like to thank Dasha Zhurauskaya of Learning and Teaching Development for introducing the technology and both Kay Hepplewhite and John Merrylees for organising and facilitating the session.