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Personal and professional development with improvisation theatre

TLC voucher project
Duration
2023 until 2025
Project member(s)
Dr T. Miedtank (Tina)
Project type
Research

Motivation

In academic education, the focus is often on teaching and training cognitive skills. However, developing emotional and behavioural skills is just as important, but it receives far less attention in educational programmes. How can improvisational theatre contribute to developing those personal and professional skills after all?

In the Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) course within the Business Administration programme, the necessary communication skills are practised through role plays. However, students are not prepared for these exercises. Improvisation exercises prior to the role-play exercises could contribute to students' self-confidence and to their interconnections in the role-plays. This, in turn, could feed through to the improvement of both their personal and professional skills outside the SHRM subject.

Tina Miedtank (assistant professor Strategic Human Resource Management) aims to use the improvisation exercises to further develop students' personal and professional skills. Specifically, she aims to practise communication and listening skills, but emotional intelligence and aspects of leadership are also subjects of the exercises. In addition, it creates a positive atmosphere to learn in and should ensure more connection among students.

Plan of action

To measure the effect of improvisation exercises, Tina and her colleagues conduct a five-week experiment in two groups of three or four students. In group one, short improvisation exercises are done as a warm-up prior to the pre-existing role-play. The second group do not do improvisation exercises. Both before and after the role-plays, mandatory surveys are handed out in which various social skills are questioned. Skills such as empathic listening, leadership skills, but also psychological safety within the group are examples. In addition, Tina expects improvisational theatre to contribute to a pleasant learning climate and interconnection among students.

Funding

This project is funded by a TLC voucher from the Radboud Teaching and Learning Centre. This voucher programme aims to set up projects in the field of educational innovation, lecturer development and educational research.

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Contact information

Would you like to know more? Do not hesitate to contact the voucher stakeholder.