The research project is the culminating activity in the course. Organized in a ‘scaffolded’ manner, the ultimate goal is to enable students to write authoritatively about film and/or other time-based media. The project includes four exercises, all addressing a common topic. To begin the process, students are given a homework assignment asking them to choose a topic for study related to key film movements and to conduct preliminary research on the subject.
The topic selection and early research stages are facilitated by the availability of information, readings and film clips linked to the ‘topics’ page on the course blog. Once the topic is chosen and preliminary research has been conducted, students are put in groups based on common interests and given ‘discussion prompts’ to assist them in more clearly defining individual research topics and the approach to be taken by the group in an collective presentation of research findings.
The first exercise asks students to build a blog site (i), to gather video, literature, and other relevant sources for their group presentation (ii) and as a delivery platform for an annotated bibliography (iii) that will comprise short reviews of the materials gathered for the study. The research project concludes with a written analysis (iv) of a key film from the movement researched.