Dancers are constantly designing experiences for our audiences. From choreography to costumes to the classroom, each unique experience is worth assessment. Although I would love to tell you there is one ideal way to run a studio or design a course, that is just not the case. The key to creating good dance experiences is learning how to evaluate them from your students’ perspectives.
I have gotten so much good from my dance classes, but I have also had negative experiences. And it’s not just myself. The other day, I was in a ballet class where the teacher asked about our dance experience. Many students told stories of studios they had danced at for years but chose to leave because of one too many bad experiences.
It is impossible to please everyone, but students may not stick around if you consistently ignore their needs. Good experiences create loyal dancers who will promote your classes to others. Likewise, a negative experience means you now have a dancer who not only will not come back to you, but they will not recommend you either. For digital experiences, this is even more important because you are now competing with a global dance market.
How do you know if your online class provided a good experience for your students?
As I said earlier, learning how to evaluate your programs from a user-centric perspective is essential to providing them with better online experiences. There are a few ways you can ask your students about their experiences with your programs. You can utilize survey research, focus groups, and even test prototypes with potential students to gather feedback. I will be discussing these methods in-depth in an upcoming series of posts on evaluation, but for now, I just wanted to introduce them quickly.
Survey Research is one of the easiest ways to gather general feedback from your online dance students. Survey research can help collect information such as what time to hold a class or charge per session.
Focus Groups provide an opportunity to gather more in-depth opinions and feedback from your dancers. Usually, a focus group discussion will focus on a specific problem or topic of discussion. User Testing is a method of observing and interviewing people while they are interacting with your program. This method provides users with the opportunity to assist in the design of your program, rather than you having to make all the decisions and hope they like it.