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Discover Dance

CD-ROM for dance education: Digital improvisation and interactive multimedia


This study examines the process of development and design of the Discover Dance CD-ROM for fifth graders to make and perform dances using computer-assisted instruction (CAI). The research looks at the complexity of components surrounding multimedia for dance education and sheds light on the issues surrounding the teaching and learning of dance using CAI.

Case study methodology was used to determine the effects of the Discover Dance CD-ROM on fifth graders' ability to make dances, perform dances, and inquire in the dance domain. Participants for this pilot study were 14 fifth-grade students attending a two-week summer dance and technology workshop at The Ohio State University led by the researcher. The students were instructed in dance using the Discover Dance CD-ROM and studio activities for a total of twenty hours, two hours a day for two weeks.

Data was collected from multiple sources including student journals, interviews, focus groups, and dance making. In the data collection, emphasis was placed on description and interpretation of the elements rather than measurement and predictions. The students were active co-researchers in this process.

The results of this study reveal information about the issues of learner diversity, knowledge construction, communication, and constructivist approaches to learning. The study focused on issues of CD-ROM development, interface design, interactivity, organization, and multimedia content as applied to the Discover Dance CD-ROM. The study identifies the advantages and obstacles of employing technology in the teaching of dance to children, making specific reference to the Discover Dance CD-ROM and its impact on children's dance making, dance sharing and dance inquiry.

Data reflected that when using the Discover Dance CD-ROM, students were constantly engaged, focused, and intent on learning. The workshop students and outside evaluators characterized the Discover Dance CD-ROM as a valuable resource for self-discovery, choreographic inspiration, understanding and clarifying difficult concepts, outlining and recording students' thinking and encouraging their active investigation, self-reflection, and productive dance inquiry.

This work in multimedia technology for dance education is still in its early stages. Future research can draw from these results to help expand both the development of new media technologies and the integration of interactive CAI into teaching and learning in dance education.


Parrish, M.L. Discover Dance CD-ROM for dance education: Digital improvisation and interactive multimedia. Ph.D. thesis, The Ohio State University. Retrieved April 20, 2019 from

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