Posted by: codecalla | May 31, 2015

Film and Literature

One of the coolest things about teaching is that you can try new things. For this fall’s literature course, I’m going to implement a new assignment that relates to the works they read for the course. The academic requirements need to be met are fulfilled through the course readings, quizzes, and two papers, but I want to create a creative assignment that will explore their interpretations of the works.

I would love to have them create a fiction work based on the literature, but some students may struggle. I think I will give an option for a thematic work that is based on the literature or related to the themes in the literature for the subject of their assignment. I will give the assignment at the beginning of the semester, so that they can work on it throughout the semester.

They can create a research “documentary” short film, or create an original work.

My goal is for students to find their voices in ancient literature and feel the human connection, even if it is thousands of years ago.

The technology will be whatever the students have available, including Windows Movie Maker or some other editing software. They could use iMovie or other applications from their phones. We’ll have to discuss copyright, copyright infringement, and the difficulties in keeping the material relevant to their vision of their work. The cameras could be smartphones, video cameras, digital cameras, photo stills, and other visuals, if they want to create art.

Some of the ethical concerns, other than copyright, would be avoiding plagiarism, clear assignment guidelines, and rubrics. The tone of the message may alter with the creator, so freedom of speech and political correctness will have to be discussed. Time constraints and the commitment to the course should be considered in relation to their workloads. I may have to adjust some reading schedules or reevaluate how the course will progress through the sixteen week semester. The goal is creative engagement with students.

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