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About courses with performance-oriented elements and labs

Plans for experiential learning in the Fall 2020 remote coursework environment

Humanities Area: Art, Music, and Theatre Arts/Dance

Studio Art

ARTS 250 (Beginning Photography)
ARTS 350 (Intermediate Photography)
ARTS 497 (Practicum: Studio Art)

These classes will be led synchronously on Teams. Classes will meet at the regularly scheduled times and days. All of the content for these classes, lectures, discussions, assignments, and demonstrations will be submitted and received on Teams, although a different system will be devised for receiving the large number of images expected from students.

ARTS 160 (Beginning Drawing with Melissa Gill)
ARTS 220 (Beginning Printmaking)

These classes will hold one synchronous meeting each week on Teams, which will include discussions, lessons, Q&A, etc. The other class meeting will begin with a check-in on Teams, then students will work on their projects. All course materials will be posted on the Teams, and a dedicated Wordpress blog site will serve as the central location for students to submit their works in progress, finished projects, and for them to write comments on each other’s works. The blog screen will be shared with the class during group critiques in Teams. All technical demos will be recorded and posted on a dedicated YouTube channel. Zoom may be used as a backup platform for class discussion and smaller group discussions if Teams presents challenges. Student work will be evaluated using a single point rubric and grades will be posted by email.

ARTS 210 (Beginning Mixed-Media 3-D)
ARTS 310 (Intermediate Mixed-Media 3-D)

Each student will be sent a set of pre-cut polygons and a copy of Principles of Three-Dimensional Design by Wucius Wong (Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1977). Beginning students will begin by assembling polygons into the five platonic solids. Coursework for the rest of the semester will be based on these objects.

Lectures will include the history of polyhedra, the history of sculpture, the history of contemporary sculpture and the history of geometric sculpture. Students will follow the textbook and use the principles within to explore three-dimensional design based on polyhedra. Quizzes are prepared to accompany the lectures and textbook contents.

Model making is at the core of these classes; models created are the sculptor’s version of a sketch book. Students will be graded on quality and quantity of models created. Students will be introduced to a computer-based 3D rendering program so that they can explore the ideas of 3D design remotely and have the ability to create physical objects using the College’s 3D printers. All students will be required to create two finished pieces of sculpture during the semester, which will be critiqued in a group setting.

ARTS 160 (Beginning Drawing with Layet Johnson)

Students will meet Monday/Wednesday mornings via Teams. Classes will include four daily elements: introduction to drawing history and concepts, drawing demonstrations, group drawing time, and independent assignments. Students will learn to draw from observation while using technology such as photography and researched images in developing independent artworks. Drawing demonstrations and group drawings will use a two-camera system, with one camera fixed on a still life while another shows live drawing. This way, students will be able to watch the instructor draw before trying it themselves. Various still lives and alternative subjects will be designed for each course segment which students will work from as a group. The instructor will make rounds, visiting each student virtually to review their work and discuss concepts. For homework, students will set up independent still lives to draw “from life,” using techniques discussed in class, as practice in relating two relevant contemporary art strategies: developing artworks from flat image references compared to the three-dimensional world. As observational drawing is often taught through the western methods of one- and two-point perspective, this screen-based drawing process will serve as a natural teaching tool, training students to use their own eyes as “cameras,” while simultaneously encouraging their development of personal studio practices at home. Throughout the semester, students will photograph and share their work with one another in virtual critiques, discussing concepts, techniques, and ideas related to the drawing process.

Music Lessons

Students will sign up online through Google Forms; students’ class schedules are sent to adjunct faculty who reach out to students individually to schedule lesson times. Remote student lessons will be the same amount of time as an in-person lesson. Lessons will occur via Teams or Zoom. This year, the Google Form will include questions concerning whether students need to borrow an instrument. Students and their teachers will need to discuss honestly any challenges regarding how students can find appropriate practice time and space.

Class Piano

This course will be taught in a synchronous model. Students without access to a piano will need keyboard apps. Based on the experience of colleagues at other institutions, online instruction will focus more on aspects of notation and theory and less on actual performance.

Music Ensembles

Each ensemble will have its own agenda of online topics and activities, designed by the conductor. In chamber orchestra, Geoff Robson will work one on one with individual students and on technical and musical skills that will improve their ensemble playing. This will include some listening exercises and some recording group projects. Choir will involve daily (or close to it) singing exercises, along with several topics for group discussion, listening activities, etc. We are looking into a virtual choir project, although this is a highly time intensive activity that would be limited likely to one piece, perhaps for Candlelight. Wind Ensemble, likewise, will be involved in several projects throughout the semester, including improvisatory exercises and weekly synchronous meetings.

Theatre Arts

Faculty will conduct the classes in Acting and Directing synchronously using both Teams and Moodle platforms available through Hendrix College. Introduction to methods and practices will be achieved through demonstration, both live and recorded. Students will develop skills of communication, collaboration, and creative and critical thinking through scripted and improvisational exercises, and will practice reflective writing as a means of charting personal progress. Faculty will coach students privately and in class.

Voice and Movement

Voice and Movement class will be conducted through Teams and Moodle. The class will require vocal work and thus a space where the student will have the freedom to “make noise” is recommended. An outside space is certainly acceptable. Students will upload audio and video files of their assignments.

Production and Design Classes

Production and Design classes will maintain a highly engaged and hands on pedagogy. Classes will be taught through Teams and Moodle using recorded and live lectures and demonstrations. Students will be required to purchase materials necessary to complete projects; this information will be provided by the faculty of each course. Students will meet synchronously as well as meeting individually with faculty to review their work. The students will meet the learning goals of the classes by developing the work for a design and observing the implementation of the skills through a video demonstration.


Faculty will conduct the classes using Teams synchronously, including live and recorded demonstration and live discussion. Students will be required to send personal videos of movement assignments.  All classes will be recorded in the event of technology failure. All syllabi, text-reading outline, and other important class materials will be stored in Teams “class materials.” Students will need the ability to play music for their recorded exercises.

Dance Ensemble

Dance Ensemble will meet synchronously and develop movement pieces that will be recorded and streamed for the public. Students will audition for the ensemble through video demonstration.

Theatre Arts Productions

Hendrix Players Theatre Productions will be readings of plays: Playwright’s Theatre student winner; a reading for students on campus that will provide an opportunity to discuss the protests of the summer regarding racial inequity; and a devised piece that responds to the times using student writing. These productions will be recorded and streamed on Teams or Zoom.  Auditions and rehearsals will be held online.

Natural Sciences Area: Laboratories

Science laboratories teach how science works in the world. The scientific process includes experimental design, hypothesis, execution, data analysis, assessment, and presentation. In some science laboratories, small kits can be used develop hands-on skills and create data. In other online science laboratories, execution will have to be deemphasized, but this gives space for other equally valuable skills to be developed including working with large data and/or using computational methods. All teaching delivered through web-based platforms and applications will be guided by the same principles of inclusive, intentional, and engaging pedagogy that Hendrix is known for. In subsequent semesters, laboratory programs will adjust to over-emphasize execution to readjust the balance of laboratory skills.


Students will work in small groups and engage in experimental design, data analysis, and presentation, the most crucial elements in the scientific disciplines. The cornerstone of the laboratory curriculum will be bioinformatics, modeling, simulation, and data analytics. These approaches have become critical career competencies in the biological disciplines. Virtual labs will be used to learn standard molecular genetic laboratory techniques.


Introductory Majors’ Chemistry (General Chemistry I &II CHEM 110 and CHEM 120) will maintain many of the hands-on skills by sending out kits to teach analytical skills with dyes and pre-weighed samples. Some virtual laboratories will be used for proof of concept work. All of these labs will involve instructor-facilitated group activities.

Organic Chemistry (CHEM 240 & CHEM 250) faculty commit to maintaining a challenging learning experience for our students and preparing them for continuing in our program. In-house materials will demonstrate techniques. As usual, the laboratory will emphasize organic analysis including thin layer chromatography, IR and NMR spectroscopy. Our emphasis on safety and green chemistry principles remains the same.


Workshop Physics with Calculus (Workshop Physics PHYS 235 & 245): This workshop-based course will focus on computation - modeling and data visualization. These skills are increasingly important for understanding physics and highly transferable across many professions. Basic coding skills will be incorporated to aid students in evaluating and presenting complicated data.