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August 2005, Week 3


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Tim Shary <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 21 Aug 2005 21:18:23 -0400
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    I always tell my students that screenings for film courses should be
considered the same as labs for science courses-- they are required in order
to learn the material.  And nowadays students do claim that they can see the
film on their own, but I always introduce the film at the screening and hold
a discussion afterward, which not only helps us to learn more, but which
generates questions for the tests.  That tends to motivate them to attend
the screenings.  Those who no not usually bomb the tests.

    The only instance other than illness (or family crisis, etc.) when I
excuse students from screenings is when they tell me the content of a film
will upset them, which is rare.  Sometimes students can't take war films, or
horror, and one time I had a student object to a film for religious beliefs.
In those cases, I offer them some other options to see on their own and give
them a list of issues to consider, and then waive any test questions that
pertain to the offending film.  But in about 15 years of teaching film
courses, I think the total number of such cases has been about four or five.

    To this day, I am amazed that some college students resist coming to see
movies-- especially good movies-- for film classes, as if it's such a

    Best wishes,

Dr. Timothy Shary
Director of Screen Studies
Associate Professor of Screen Studies
Traina Center for the Arts
Clark University
Worcester, MA  01610

on 8/21/05 7:06 PM, Delwiche, Aaron at [log in to unmask] wrote:

> Hi,
> I'm putting the finishing touches on a syllabus for an introductory film
> studies course. According to the university course bulletin, students are
> expected to attend weekly film viewing sessions on Tuesday evenings.
> What policies have other instructors adopted with respect to mandatory film
> viewings? Do you take roll during viewing sessions? Do you force students to
> attend the viewing sessions, or are they allowed to watch the films at their
> own leisure? Do you require students to attend a certain percentage of evening
> sessions?
> I would be grateful for any thoughts from other instructors who teach courses
> with a film component. What approaches have you found to be successful? What
> approaches have not worked?
> Thanks,
> Aaron

Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite