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Rubrics and Portfolio Assessments in Dance

Male dancer dressed in all white jumping in air

Professor: Susan McGreevy-Nichols

Tuition: $215 member / $290 non-member

4 Weeks; 1 NDEO-Endorsed PDCs

This course is the process of gathering evidence that may be used to effectively measure student learning. Assessments may be used in any dance education environment: private school of dance, conservatory, recreation center, preK-12, or post-secondary education. We can both monitor students’ progress during the learning process (formative assessment) and at the end of a period of time (summative assessment), perhaps a semester, a season, or a year. This 1 unit course will give participants a basic understanding of assessment as it pertains to dance education and understand how to use rubrics and portfolios as tools for assessments.

Book required: None

Questions about this Course?  Email

Past Student Testimonials


"This course forced me to do work that I had been putting off or just didn't make time for. It stressed the importance of creating and using rubrics, and identified the importance of portfolios. While I use a portfolio system in my classes I didn't really understand that was what I was doing. This helped me to identify it and will help going forward to present student growth, including how to show progress over time when there isn't a performance to present (making the invisible visible)."

"This course will continue to help me create more specific and concretized expectations from the students which will advance their achievement."

"It helped me think about ways to structure my class in the future and encouraged me to dialogue more with my students."

"The course readings and assignments not only gave me great ideas for assignments/assessments/rubrics, but also included examples that we could use to design our own. I really liked the readings about assessing creative work/creativity."

Professor Bio


Susan McGreevy-Nichols is Executive Director of the National Dance Education Organization and a national arts education consultant. Susan provides professional development in assisting teachers in designing and documenting student work that meets standards and in helping teaching artists understand educational reform efforts and how to make their work in schools more relevant to reform. She coaches districts in Los Angeles County as part of the Arts for All initiative and in Northern California in Alameda County as a part of the county’s initiative Revitalizing Classrooms Through Arts Learning: Strategic Plan. These initiatives provide strategic planning, technical support, curriculum development, assessments, survey development, and data collection. She supports districts in identifying local advocates and strategies for providing equity and access to the arts. Susan founded and directed the dance program at the renowned Roger Williams Middle School in Providence, Rhode Island from 1974-2002. Every student at the school participated in a program that treated dance as a core subject and emphasized the creating, performing and responding processes as they link to the arts and other disciplines. She is the developer of a cutting edge reading comprehension strategy that uses text as inspiration for original choreography created by children. In 1995, Susan was honored as the National Dance Teacher of the Year. Susan co-founded the Professional Development Institute (PDI), a partnership with Rhode Island College that offered teachers the dance education course work needed to obtain state dance certification. She also collaborated on developing and coordinating Alameda County’s Arts Integration Specialist Program (CA). Susan is the co-author of five books: Building Dances(1995), Building More Dances (2001), Experiencing Dance (2004), Dance About Anything (2006) and Exploring Dance Forms and Styles (2010). Susan teaches OPDI-112: Implementing the New National Core Dance Standards, OPDI-M1: Pedagogy - Learning Styles and Theories, OPDI-M3: Assessment Concepts, OPDI-M8: Designing Model Cornerstone Assessments.

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