How to Evaluate Your Online Dance Program

As dancers, we are constantly designing experiences for our clients. From choreography to costumes, each is completely unique. Although I would love to tell you there is one ideal way to run a studio or design a course, that is just not the case. The key to designing good experiences for dances is learning how to evaluate them from your students’ perspective, design and implement, and repeat.

Even though I have gotten a lot of good from dance my classes, there has also been a fair amount of not good experiences as well. It is impossible to please everyone, but if you are consistently ignoring student needs, they may not stick around. Good experiences create loyal dancers who will promote your classes to others. Likewise, a not good experience means you now have a dancer who not only will not come back to you, but they will not recommend you either. For digital experiences, this is even more important, because you are now competing with a global dance market.

How do you know if your online dance class provides a good experience for your students?

As I said earlier, learning how to evaluate your programs from a user-centric perspective is essential to providing them with better online experiences. There are a few ways you can ask your students about their experiences with your programs. You can utilize survey research, focus groups, and even run test prototypes with potential students to gather feedback. I will be discussing these methods in depth in an upcoming series of posts on evaluation, but for now I just wanted to quickly introduce them.

Survey Research are one of the easiest ways to gather broad feedback from your online dance students. Survey research can be useful for gathering information such as what time to hold class, or how much to charge per session.

Focus Groups provide an opportunity to gather more in-depth opinions and feedback from your dancers. Usually, a focus group will be aimed at a specific topic of discussion or problem.

User Testing is a method of observing and interviewing people while they are interacting with your program. This method provides users with the opportunity to assist in the design of your program, rather than you making the decisions and hoping they like it.

Design decisions become clearer with research, and the most successful online dance programs will be those who provide opportunities to engage and listen to their students’ feedback on an ongoing basis. By including students in your design process, you are allowing them to tell you exactly what it is they want to buy from you, and that is a benefit for everyone.

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