Date of Award

Winter 1-15-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Vivien Marcow Speiser

Second Advisor

Dr. Marion Nesbit

Third Advisor

Dr. Olivia Cheever


The purpose of this action research study was to gain an understanding of the learning experiences and outcomes of 12 undergraduates enrolled in Creative Dance, a general education choreography course, in Fall 2019 and the teaching strategies and practices that guided their learning. Research questions that guided this study were: what does student work reveal about their learning and the teaching strategies that guide their learning? and what curricula and teaching changes will more effectively facilitate student learning processes and stronger outcomes? Qualitative data included standard instructional materials created for and utilized in the course and students’ choreographic and written work. The teacher-researcher coded, analyzed, and interpreted the data within three subareas of student learning: cognitive domain of learning, development of physical skills in relationship with choreography and performance, and affective responses to learning experiences. Plans for modifications of teaching materials, strategies, and practices for Fall 2020 to improve facilitation of emerging adult learning of choreography were outcomes of this research. Interpretation of findings revealed the need for teaching modifications to support (a) the interrelationships between thinking, moving, and feeling; (b) learning as a cyclical process; and (c) learning as a social process more strongly using both Kolb’s (2015) Learning Cycle and Arnett’s (2000) Theory of Emerging Adulthood as a theoretical foundation. This study contributes to dance education and the wider field of higher education by serving as an example of critically reflective teaching and course design that used student experiences to guide teaching modifications.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.




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