New User Special Price Expires in

Let's log you in.

Sign in with Facebook


Don't have a StudySoup account? Create one here!


Create a StudySoup account

Be part of our community, it's free to join!

Sign up with Facebook


Create your account
By creating an account you agree to StudySoup's terms and conditions and privacy policy

Already have a StudySoup account? Login here

Eng 102

by: Elizabeth Reed

Preview These Notes for FREE

Get a free preview of these Notes, just enter your email below.

Unlock Preview
Unlock Preview

Preview these materials now for free

Why put in your email? Get access to more of this material and other relevant free materials for your school

View Preview

About this Document

This was for a paper
Mass Media and Society
Mrs. Whitehouse
Class Notes
25 ?




Popular in Mass Media and Society

Popular in Communications

This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Elizabeth Reed on Wednesday August 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to COM 200 at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months taught by Mrs. Whitehouse in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views. For similar materials see Mass Media and Society in Communications at 1 MDSS-SGSLM-Langley AFB Advanced Education in General Dentistry 12 Months.

Popular in Communications


Reviews for Eng 102


Report this Material


What is Karma?


Karma is the currency of StudySoup.

You can buy or earn more Karma at anytime and redeem it for class notes, study guides, flashcards, and more!

Date Created: 08/17/16
Reed 1 Elizabeth Reed Professor White ENG 102 May 2, 2016 Argument Assignment: Documentaries Documentaries are a good educational tool for modern students. Educational documentaries help students see history being made instead of reading about it. They are a good way to illustrate problems and issues that are difficult for people without background knowledge to understand. Documentary work is an important way to help people learn as long as it is understood that all stories are told from a point of view of that filmmaker. Not only can students watch and learn about concepts and information, they can also make their own documentaries for hands on learning experiences. Documentaries can give detailed looks at very complex subjects. One could argue that students today live in a world where visual images and technology dominate how they interact with the world. This makes the use of film documentaries a powerful tool for modern learning. First off, students learn through visual methods for active and deep learning. One study (Mavroudi and Jons, 2011) focused on incorporating video documentaries as a method in human geography field courses. The authors wanted to assist active and deep learning in student-centered teaching so they instructed the students to make their own documentaries about topics they were learning about in class. The professors promoted active learning by having their students actively engage with Reed 2 material in a sustained way by “doing” rather than by passively receiving information. The authors concluded that these students learned more deeply about their subjects by producing documentaries. These students had power in an actual life experience that made them learn more deeply about their topics. The deep learning process allows students to maintain the information that they have learned, allowing them to apply it later in life. Todays’ students are expected to learn about a wide variety of topics of which they have no background knowledge. Students are expected to learn about topics in areas that are not their major area of study. For instance, law enforcement majors may have to take classes to understand economic concepts. Leet and Houser (2003) state that video documentaries are a good way to illustrate economic problems and issues. This method of teaching was suggested by Leet and Houser to be especially good for teaching non-majors who needed general education classes. These students may not be particularly interested in the subject of those classes, but they are required to take those classes. Logically we know that today’s students live in a media driven world. One way to get a student’s interest is through showing film. Using documentaries can illustrate how abstract concepts play out in real life, making them more understandable to people who do not have the vocabulary or background knowledge to understand them. Especially when topics are difficult to explain and unfamiliar to students, using documentaries will help make the topic understandable and memorable. Reed 3 It is easy to see how using documentaries help students connect to new information emotionally and logically. But teachers should consider the ethical issues that might happen when using documentary films to teach. In his book, Doing Documentary Work, Dr. Coles states that documentary work is an important way to help people learn as long as it is understood that all stories are told from a point of view of that filmmaker. Dr. Coles is a professor at Harvard who has spent a large part of his career studying documentary films and their use in educating people. He acknowledges that documentaries can be excellent teaching tools. He cautions that when using documentaries to educate, students should be also made aware of possible biases in the films. Many filmmakers try to make documentaries that present facts or document historical events but because filmmakers are human their films may be biased towards their own beliefs or point of view. For instance research by Winn Emmett (2012) described how most early documentaries were racists but no one was concerned about the accuracy of the message portrayed. If a teacher is not careful, they can allow students to think that what they have seen on screen is completely accurate. Teachers need to be responsible to make sure that students know their might be another point of view or that pieces of information might be missing from the documentary. There is a caution for using documentaries to educate students. In a New York Times Article published December 2010, A.O. Scott warned that, “No code of ethics has ever been agreed upon by practitioners of the art, and what rules of thumb there are tend to be temporary, controversial, and Reed 4 broken as soon as they are made.” Since there are no strict standards about making documentaries, it would be easy for people to get confused about what is real and what is an edited version of the truth. Now days with all the reality television shows, it is sometimes hard to tell what really happened and what was staged. The same is true for documentaries. Every person who has a smart phone could be making documentaries, but that does not mean those documentaries would be of good quality or should be used in education. Before teachers use a documentary in class, they must review it carefully and make sure it comes from a credible source. As a student, I enjoy watching documentaries in class to learn more about topics. I seem to learn more when I can see things and understand what certain words or concepts mean with examples from real life. When I originally started researching this topic, I was really only thinking of how watching documentaries could be an educational experience. I had never really considered that having students make their own documentaries could also be a valuable educational experience like Mavroudi and Jons reported. After reading that study I see that documentaries are not only powerful for the viewer, but for the maker of the films as well. My teachers used documentary films in many of my high school classes. I never remember any of my teachers telling me to consider that the films might be biased towards a point of view. After reading Dr. Coles research, I now know that making sure people understand that the Reed 5 background the filmmaker can affect the films they make. Students need to be told to think about what they are watching and how there might be another point of view that they are not seeing in that film. Teaching students to think deeply and not just take everything they see in film as facts is another important aspect of education. My belief is that documentary film can be a powerful teaching tool to help students understand concepts, to learn more deeply for themselves by making a film, and to help them think critically about issues. Reed 6 Sources Mavroudi, Elizabeth and Jons, Hieke. Video Documentariers in the Assessement of Human Geography Field Courses. Routledge. Taylor and Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite, 800, Philadelphia, PA. 2011. Leet, Don and Houser, Scott. Economics Goes to Hollywood: Using Classic Films and Documentariers to Create an Undergraduate Economics Course. Taylor and Francis. 2003. Coles, Robert. Doing Documentary Work. New York. Oxford University Press. 1997. Print Winn, J. Emmett. World Cat. Documenting Racism: African Americans in US Deparment of Agriculture Documentaries, 1921-42. 2012. Scott, A.O. New York Times. How Real Does it Feel?. December 9, 2010. Print. Reed 7


Buy Material

Are you sure you want to buy this material for

25 Karma

Buy Material

BOOM! Enjoy Your Free Notes!

We've added these Notes to your profile, click here to view them now.


You're already Subscribed!

Looks like you've already subscribed to StudySoup, you won't need to purchase another subscription to get this material. To access this material simply click 'View Full Document'

Why people love StudySoup

Jim McGreen Ohio University

"Knowing I can count on the Elite Notetaker in my class allows me to focus on what the professor is saying instead of just scribbling notes the whole time and falling behind."

Allison Fischer University of Alabama

"I signed up to be an Elite Notetaker with 2 of my sorority sisters this semester. We just posted our notes weekly and were each making over $600 per month. I LOVE StudySoup!"

Bentley McCaw University of Florida

"I was shooting for a perfect 4.0 GPA this semester. Having StudySoup as a study aid was critical to helping me achieve my goal...and I nailed it!"

Parker Thompson 500 Startups

"It's a great way for students to improve their educational experience and it seemed like a product that everybody wants, so all the people participating are winning."

Become an Elite Notetaker and start selling your notes online!

Refund Policy


All subscriptions to StudySoup are paid in full at the time of subscribing. To change your credit card information or to cancel your subscription, go to "Edit Settings". All credit card information will be available there. If you should decide to cancel your subscription, it will continue to be valid until the next payment period, as all payments for the current period were made in advance. For special circumstances, please email


StudySoup has more than 1 million course-specific study resources to help students study smarter. If you’re having trouble finding what you’re looking for, our customer support team can help you find what you need! Feel free to contact them here:

Recurring Subscriptions: If you have canceled your recurring subscription on the day of renewal and have not downloaded any documents, you may request a refund by submitting an email to

Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not satisfied with your subscription, you can contact us for further help. Contact must be made within 3 business days of your subscription purchase and your refund request will be subject for review.

Please Note: Refunds can never be provided more than 30 days after the initial purchase date regardless of your activity on the site.