A significant part of the theory aspect of drama is the documenting of process. How did the students get from this point to this point? This is an essential part of creating drama because it requires the students to be reflective of the creative decisions they have made and the way they are going to move forward to deal with potential problems.
The way in which most drama teachers assess this is through a logbook.
I’ll be honest and say that I have always struggled with the logbook.
I see its validity and perhaps it is just my students but I find I’ve had to heavily scaffold the structure of responses and constantly nag my students to make sure that they are doing it.
At one point, I attempted to get them to do it at home for homework but this discipline could just not be instilled in them. I’ve allocated significant lesson time (between 15-20minutes) to writing reflections which takes away from the practical aspects of class, which, when you only see them twice a week, is valuable time lost. Allocating class time I have found works a lot better but I just am not sure if it is really achieving anything.
What I’m asking is, what makes a valid reflection? Does it need to be a whole written page, need it only be a class discussion, can it be in video format (this is something that I have tried of recent)?
As teachers, we do need solid, physical evidence that a student has produced their own work from go to woe. In needing that I have heavily scaffolded the teaching of the logbook to the point where I have given page by page specifics of what I want in the logbook.
I guess the next thing I’m asking is, am I right to be teaching the logbook so explicitly? Am I right to be teaching how to be reflective at the end of all tasks?
I’m interested to know how you mark your logbooks, what you ask your students to include. If you don’t use a logbook, what do you get your students to do in order to document process? I recently tried video diaries with mixed success. I’m looking for other ways to make this part of my teaching a little bit more inspiring and a little less of a chore.