PROFESSIONAL REPORT
WRITING
IDTA LONDON
MEETING 2014
TERMS OF REFERENCE
 You are all examiners who have a wealth of knowledge in a
range of areas of dance
 You have been working in the dance business for many years
 The change in structure to the examination process has meant
the development of a uniformity of practice needed across all
areas
 To be able to do this we are going to explore together the
dif ferent aspects of the process
 My knowledge in this area comes from creating, developing
and analysing reports for 20 years
 This is a two way process and I am learning as well as giving
advice, so please feel free to interject and to make points if
you feel they are appropriate
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A REPORT
 A report is a statement of the results of an investigation or of
any matter on which definite information is required
 The statement in this case will focus on – DEMONSTRATIONUNDERTANDING AND APPLICATION OF THEORY – THE ABILIT Y
TO TEACH THE SUBJECT- SOFT SKILLS (Presentation,
Communication etc.)
 What kinds of underpinning investigative terms are used in
this type of professional report – TECHNICAL – KNOWLEDGE
OF THE AREA – ST YLE – PROJECTION – COMPETENCY –
EXPERIENCE - ETC
HOUSEKEEPING
 A report should be written in the third person avoiding words
such as “I”, “we” and “you”.
 It should be logical
 The tense should be regularised in the past (The candidate
showed a high level of ability in….)
 The report is feeding back to the candidate, the exam board and
the teacher/coach and thus should not be personalised
 The report should always be constructive
 Never trust a spell check unless you have changed it to English
from American English as it will not pick up certain terms used
 Avoid words like nice, and good as they are meaningless and do
not attribute a value. Appropriate must be used in conjunction
with some form of theoretical advice
 Use a Thesaurus to find alternative words
THE EXAMINATION MODEL
Knowledge
and
understanding
Application in
context
Competence
Ability
Stylistic
integrity
WHAT IS THE FOCUS OF THE REPORT
OBJECTIVITY
AND NOT
SUBJECTIVITY
THE REPORT
STRUCTURE
CONTENT
STYLE
CONSISTENCY
WRITING ST YLE
 Have you used clear and concise language?
 Are your sentences short and jargon free?
 Have you used the correct technical terms for the level
examined?
 Are your paragraphs tightly focused?
 Have you used the active or passive voice in the same way
throughout the report?
 It is not appropriate in a report to use colloquialisms e.g.
“singing from the same hymn sheet” or “at the end of the day”
etc.
WHAT THE REPORT IS NOT ABOUT
 Trivia
 Non dance related activity
 The way the candidate looks, (apart from grooming) e.g. the
candidate has nice hair
 Personal remarks about the candidates attributes, e.g. weight
 Making assumptions
THESE TYPES OF COMMENTS ADD NO
VALUE AS THIS IS NOT WHAT THEY
ARE BEING EXAMINED ON
WHAT THE REPORT IS ABOUT
 A balanced investigation, which clarifies the terms of
reference for the examination
 The use of a range of terms that will be helpful in both
understanding the result and to help with preparation for
future examinations
 The whole experience should be both examination and
preparation and it is a two way experience e.g. a constructive
and critical appraisal not a discussion of what was presented
WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE A SUBJECTIVE
UNIFORMIT Y IN THE REPORT
 To ensure that each time that a candidate receives a report
they are getting a balanced examination
 To ensure that the money that they are paying for their
examination is thought to be good value
 To prepare the candidate for their next examination
OBJECTIVITY MEANS THAT YOU STICK
TO THE FORMAT AND DO NOT MAKE
PERSONAL REMARKS IN REGARD TO
THE CANDIDATE
THEATRE BRANCH CONFIGURATION
Theatre Branch Examination
20%
Technical Knowledge etc.
Choreographic Skills etc
Presentation & Communication
20%
60%
BALLROOM BRANCH CONFIGURATION
Ballroom Branch Examination
25%
25%
Demonstration
Solo Demonstration
Teaching Ability
Theory
25%
25%
PRACTICAL ANOMALY
AREA
100%
SOLO DEMONSTRATION
100%
TEACHING ABILITY
100%
TECHNIQUE
100%
KNOWLEDGE & INFORMATION
Examination Time
KEY POINTERS
 When marking out of 100% it can be very dif ficult and time
consuming however, if you identify the following areas it can
be much easier




Create objective categories
Break up the main chunks
Identify a marking framework
Utilise anchor points
Over time this becomes second nature
THE WHITE SPACE CONUNDRUM
REDUCTION OF COMPATIBILIT Y
45%
Examiner 1
Examiner 2
Likelihood of
Compatibility
10%
Examiner 1
Likelihood of
Compatibility
Examiner 2
THE EXCELLENCE SCALE
DESCRIPTION
ANALYSIS
&
APPRAISAL
CRITICAL
ANALYSIS
&
APPRAISAL
CONSIDERING THE REPORT AS A WHOLE
 There are a number of sections in the report that are not
mutually exclusive – For example – Demonstration – Theory –
Teaching ability and - portfolio
 All of these elements are linked as the understanding of the
theory will be demonstrated and will come out through their
ability to teach and may be reproduced in the portfolio. Thus
by using the examination as an holistic tool you as examiners
can give a more rounded assessment of the subject
 The report must refer to the mandatory sections of the
examination
POOR COMMENTS ON THE FORM
 Too little information creates uncertainty and a feeling of
being short changed – Good portfolio with information and
photographs
 Very factual but has absolutely no indication for the candidate
why the mark was given or how to improve on their mark
 The majority of questions were answered correctly and the
candidate had obviously studied very hard
 Again factual but does not state which areas were weak and
which were strong and the sentence ending does not make
any sense.
 Nice hair, nice smile and the candidate has a very nice
personality
 What relevance has this?
WELL PREPARED COMMENTS ON THE
FORM
Comprehensive comments
A very expressive and rhythmical performance
showing a strong use of syllabus figures. For
even more progression the candidate must
work to lock the supporting leg during the
backward walks and allow the last backward
walk during some figure work to complete the
action in full. Otherwise excellent work at this
level
WELL PREPARED COMMENTS ON THE
FORM
 The candidate shows an excellent understanding of
technique at this level with most pleasing ideas for
teaching this work throughout. Faults and their
correction were confidently discussed and pleasing and
additional exercises to aid the development of strength
and flexibility were offered. Anatomy has been studied
and applied to discussions on the exercises arranged.
The importance of good posture and the ability to alter
this to create character style was explored. An excellent
portfolio of work was presented.
WHAT IS IT REALLY ABOUT?
 This is not about the amount of comments but the quality of
the feedback and the enablement of the candidate to cross
reference reports year on year
 White space does not look good
 It is about giving the candidate a feeling that the examiner is
interested, showed them the courtesy of giving them some
feedback and was there to help them in their dance career
 A caring comment at the end may go down well but beware of
too much personalisation
CONSIDERATION – COMPETENCY - CARING
WAYS TO IMPROVE A REPORT







Create intended learning outcomes
Checklists
Electronic format
Level descriptors
Support website
Report writing sessions for new examiners
Taking out the issues of bad practice
ANY QUESTIONS?