Example of activities to accompany film viewing

Films can be used to examine diverse perspectives and to develop arguments using evidence from what is being portrayed, by inviting students in discussion and in participatory, interactive activities. For example, instructors may use films corresponding to novels or those based on real life stories. Once viewing the film, students may be asked to develop a Venn diagram, in which they compare the similarities and the differences between what is being portrayed in the film the first 10 to 15 minutes to what is being projected in the first chapters in the book. Then students may be invited to discuss what has been added in the film or what has been omitted and elaborate on how this may have altered their views and perspectives. In addition, the instructor may have the students engage in a role-playing activities in which they assume the role of one character in the film with a task to write a letter to one another and explain their perspectives on the situation.

In a Sociological Theory course students are expected to search, select and analyze a video clip that is available in the web. Then students provide a summary of the video, identify the course concepts that are used in the video and discuss how the concepts connect to what the video presents. Through such an experiential engagement students acquire experience in identifying and analyzing the sociological concepts, and develop critical thinking skills.

Students can also be involved in developing their own videos as a result of their viewing and analyzing experience of the film. Their videos can be organized as response assignments to the film and can incorporate conducting research on the topic, interviewing relevant parties and analyzing the content of their work. Radio plays is another form of response to films. Students may be asked to create a script of up to 5 pages and develop a radio broadcast to be performed, recorded, and shared in class. The learning objectives will inform the expectations of the assignment. Further information on videos created by students is provided in section Video Projects.