Making Multi-Media Lectures for Classroom Use: A Case History
- Film & History: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Film and Television Studies
- Center for the Study of Film and History
- Volume 2, Number 4, December 1972
- pp. 84-89
- Additional Information
Archive and the Dutch Film museum, the SFW, the national Archive Council, the municipal archives, the organization ofhistorical teachers, several historical institutes in universities and so on, trying to arouse interest, to co-ordinate, to raise funds, in short to make the audio-visual media in The Netherlands into a useful aid in historical research and education. The "Stichting Film en Western Chap " at Utrecht HISTORY THROUGH FILM Over the past year we have published in this department ofthe magazine a series ofsyllabi of "History Through Film " course currently being offered in American Universities They have been enthusiastically received by readers, many ofwhom are planning their own courses We will continue to make available this kind ofinformation to the profession and hope that you will help by sharing your experience with us. Send along your syllabus with an introductory statement describing your approach, the goals your course hopes tofulfill and whatever insights you might already have into teaching "history throughfilm. " We realize that not everyone interested in usingfilm in the classroom wishes to use it this extensively but we can all learnfrom each other's experience In that spirit the experiences offilm archivists andpro- are welcome here as well. The article below is not strictly speaking a course syllabus but It offers systematic guidance for the use ofvisual materials in the classroom that we think worthy ofyour special attention. MAKING MULTI-MEDIA LECTURES FOR CLASSROOM USE: A CASE HISTORY By Gerald Herman Northeastern University 84 I suppose I should begin by recounting how I got into the business of even thinking in terms of creating media presentations for my courses. Teaching Contemporary and Intellectual history, I had always made extensive use ofmedia, since these fields are ideally suited to them. Thus I have always used films in my contemporary European and American History courses, and slides and music in my intellectual history classes. I have developed extensive collections ofslides in the fields ofnineteenth and twentieth century art and architecture and have made master tapes (with explanatory texts) of between one and two hours in length and containing selections from the music of each period of intellectual history that I cover. Finally, in order to -better service our "civilization" survey course, which at the time was run as an 1 100 student lecture course, we began developing a slide set consisting of pictures, maps, graphs, and "word lists" - outlines and vocabulary lists which constitute a working outline that the students copy as they periodically are projected during the lectures. Photographed and processed by individual faculty members and by Northeastern's Office ofEducational Resources, the collection now contains over 10,000 slides and is used in many courses. Parenthetically , we are now considering creating a fully integrated educational system of audio and visual tapes for this course, It was from these activities that the notion of the multi-media lectures was born. The specific content of the lectures arose from the nature ofthe courses for which they were designed . In intellectual history, I devote some three weeks to the study of Romanticism as an integrated movement. The first week was devoted to its background and to an investigation of its guiding principles as well as to an analysis of the literature that argues for and against its existence as a valid term. The second week is spent in an explanation of "Romantic" philosophy, 'Romantic" political, social, and economic theory, and "Romantic" science. In the third week, the various arts are investigated and conclusions, including a "Romantic" Zeitgeist or synthesis, are postulated. When I began teaching this course, I dealt with the arts as separate entities - art, architecture, music, poetry, literature - narrating the history of each movement, giving some examples from each medium - through the use ofrecords and slides and the reading excerpts - and drawing them together at the end. I did not find this approach very satisfactory as the students became enmeshed in the details ofeach discipline and often found it difficult to grasp the broader synthesis. So I gradually began combining the various examples and media around the thematic principles laid down in the first week and a coherent theory of Romanticism began to emerge. But the cumbersomeness of trying to...