20 July 2020 11:21
Video exams perspective from teacher Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe RAD RTS and The Academy Ballet in Ballarat, VIC
On the first day back in the studio after lockdown (22nd June) Victorian teacher Kellie Fishwick-Roscoe filmed two Intermediate students and one Discovering Repertoire student she had entered for RAD video exams. Despite the students having to complete their preparations online during lockdown Kellie was confident that the video exam option was right for her students at that time.
“The students were still able to experience ‘the exam experience’. The setting and format was obviously exactly the same. I had the video camera on a box on the table. I placed it in front me at my eye level and simply angled it toward the barre for the barre work, just as an examiner would turn their head slightly. For the majority of the rest of the exam it faced directly in front of my eyeline. There were only a couple of occasions, mainly grand allegro and variations, where I needed to manoeuvre the video camera to keep the student/s in view as they danced into the corner… again, no different than the examiners eyes having to follow the candidate.
As required, the video camera was filming for the duration of the entire exams. I allowed time for a short break after the barre, what I felt was necessary for candidates and for the examiner to record notes as per usual exam format such as in between variations.
I was nervous about the actual recording! I felt huge responsibility to get it right – for the students. I had a few practices with the video camera prior and ensured it was fully charged – although actually ended up using an extension cord and had it charging for the duration of filming
I followed the RAD recording guidelines, did the full verbal introduction and honestly believe that the examiner who eventually assessed the examination footage would have felt no different than if he/she had been sitting live in the exams.
There were moments, like any performance, that I would like to have been able to ‘correct’ or ‘re-do’ but nothing different to what one would normally expect of the examination experience. In fact the bonus is having the footage provides the opportunity to view the exam myself! The exams were as real as can be and have provided the students the opportunity to continue developing and progressing.
I am very grateful to the RAD for providing the opportunity to submit video examinations and would definitely do so again if necessary. I also believe that this is an option for students of any age.
If you are interested in submitting a video exam please contact your Tour Organiser who can provide you with all relevant information, guidelines and permission forms and work with you to arrange a filming date.