By Brittany Schaefer, Staff Writer
Many professors here at the University of New Hampshire utilize movies and movie clips to help with their lessons. However, teachers who show movies that are not connected to learning aren’t getting the results and attention that they are seeking.
After speaking with several students and professors, the main consensus is that movie clips are satisfactory, while full-length movies require too much concentration and are often not interesting.
“If there’s not a question sheet along with the movie, I find it difficult to follow and focus,” senior Fredi Miller said. “It’s hard to pay attention because the movies aren’t always interesting.”
A four-credit class at UNH costs $1,160 for New Hampshire residents and $1,828 for non-New Hampshire residents. Therefore, each class costs over $50 to attend, and senior Abby Huntress does not believe that a full-length movie is worth the tuition money.
“I took Italian cinema and I found it hard to stay awake while watching lengthy movies,” Huntress said. “Clips followed by class discussion engages the classroom much better.”
In a more ironic way, senior Dennis Okyere loves movies during class for various reasons.
“Sometimes it gives me a moment to catch up on some homework,” Okyere said. “I love getting to relax and even catch some sleep. As for tuition, I would rather pay for what I came here for than pay for bad parking solutions.”
Overall, UNH professors said they think that movies during class are beneficial at times and can go further than textbooks.
“I’m sure that many students find visuals engaging and useful for their overall learning experience,” said Women’s Studies and communications professor Carol Conaway.
“I show movies and/or movie clips in class to enhance subjects about which we’ve covered in lectures and discussions.
“Visuals underscore important points made earlier. Also, students who might have further questions will have another opportunity to have the points from lectures and discussions appear in a different format,” she continued.
Another professor that chooses to use movie clips in class also believes that students are benefiting from this. Robert Jackson, a professor of communications at UNH, also is interested in whether his students are benefiting from these movie clips and asks students their opinion.
“I’m optimistic about using movie scenes in class,” Jackson said. “The success or failure of a class comes from what the students do with the combination of readings, lectures, discussions, presentations, writing assignments and so forth. When I show a scene from a movie, I try to make public the theoretical, ethical and practical issues that the movie scene invites me to think about.”