At the last Learning & Teaching Committee, we heard about an innovative Honours module that has been running in the School of Modern Languages this year – with Dr Julia Prest as module leader and collaborating with staff in the Music Department. Translating French Opera involves students in translating an eighteenth century libretto by Guillard (not translated in the last 50 years) from French into modern English – their efforts culminating in a performance of the translated opera (Iphigénie en Tauride by Gluck) by St Andrews Opera on 15, 17 & 18 June 2015. The project (in the context of the module) had a collective core but allowed plenty of scope for individual choice. The student versions of the libretto formed the basis for Julia’s own final version, which is what will be sung in June – with some of the students on the module performing, and Julia herself in the chorus.
The opera in rehearsal
The departments of Music, Social Anthropology and the School of Management (as a result of a successful Teaching Development Fund application) are working jointly on a project to build student confidence through video-enhanced reflective feedback. The methodology involves videoing a group performance (Music); role-play exercise (Social Anthropology) or group presentation (Management). The resulting video is then edited by the tutor into small fragments which highlight strong points. These smaller clips are then used as part of tutor-mediated feedback between the tutor and the student(s) concerned. A workshop in August with an external consultant will give staff the appropriate grounding in the VERP methodology; and a relatively small amount of technical training will be required.
For further information on the project, please contact Dr Jane Pettegree, and look out for her blog post reflecting on the first run of VERP in November!