Watch This Clip: Using Film as an Augmentation to Lecture and Class Discussion

By Parker, Richard D. | Academy of Educational Leadership Journal, December 2009 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Watch This Clip: Using Film as an Augmentation to Lecture and Class Discussion

Parker, Richard D., Academy of Educational Leadership Journal


As technology continues to enhance the development of business education in institutions of higher learning (e.g. the abundance of Microsoft PowerPoint presentations being used across all business disciplines; increased online course offerings; et cetera) and professors continue to deal with students who have grown up with the Internet, video games, television and movies as central parts of their lives and therefore expect the utilization of technology in the classroom, it becomes increasingly important to note there will be challenges for effectively teaching basic and advanced business concepts in the 21st century. Professors increasingly must deal with students who are easily distracted in class and who may be more technologically savvy overall. By employing clips from popular films and television shows business professors may be able to enhance their connections with students in the classroom and illustrate concepts that may be difficult for some students to appreciate such as customer service, professionalism in meetings or leadership techniques.

The notion of using film as an effective teaching tool has been recognized for many years by scholars in numerous disciplines. Professors and instructors in history, political science, human development, psychology, family counseling, social work, physics, astronomy, advertising, marketing and management have successfully used film in their classes to enhance their pedagogies. The practice of using film to enhance university level education reaches beyond the shores of North America; universities in Great Britain are also using film to augment teaching techniques (Johnston 2001).

The idea of using film in business education dates back to the mid-20th century, when Ohio State University professor W.J. Fleig (1950) argued that "movies make it possible to bring to students types of industrial activities which are foreign to their locality. The films may be presented during regular class hours and can be tied in with a class discussion. All or part of a film may be repeated if desired." Although Fleig was arguing for the use of films produced by corporations not motion picture studios, his points are salient in the 21st century when considering the use of popular cinematic productions. The use of film as a teaching tool has been implemented in a variety of disciplines for many years. The consideration of how other disciplines outside of commerce and business may provide valuable insights as to the benefits of using film to those who teach in traditional business areas.

Several studies detail the advantages of using film in the classroom. The use of popular film as a "framing tool" is noted in scholarly articles (Higgins and Dermer 2001; Harper and Rogers 1999). The alternative to additional reading assignments is also noted by several researchers (Weinstein 2001; Higgins and Dermer 2001; Huczynski and Buchanan 2004). The most praised advantage is the ability of film to stimulate discussion and thinking on the part of the students (Huczynski and Buchanan 2004; Boyer 2002; Higgins and Dermer 2001; Weinstein 2001; Harper and Rogers 1999; McPherson 2001; Witze 2004).

In psychology and counseling literature, the use of film as an effective teaching tool is noted. Higgins and Dermer (2001) point out that "films can demonstrate difficult-to-teach concepts." Harper and Rogers (1999) reported that "films can dramatize and enlarge theoretical issues in ways that clarify and promote discussion." Christopher, Walter, Marek and Koenig (2004) effectively teach students about stereotype formation and prejudice using the 1985 John Hughes film The Breakfast Club.

The University of Central Florida offers a course to non-science majors entitled "Physics in Films" (Witze 2004). "More than four-fifths of one class surveyed said it was more interesting than the standard physical science course" (Witze 2004). Other colleges have instituted similar courses for non-science majors that are interdisciplinary (Borgwald and Schreiner 1994).

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Watch This Clip: Using Film as an Augmentation to Lecture and Class Discussion


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?