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Insert 3.1 Sample Assignment Collaborative Documentary Response This assignment is based upon student reactions to a selected PBS Frontline


documentary. Therefore, the assignment can be adapted to fit any course for which there may be a documentary pertaining to the discipline. This assignment may also be used in a Writing or Media studies course. (The process outlined in this lesson could also be duplicated in a movie, newscast, or radio program reflection and response.)


1. Purpose/objective Students will apply material from the course by responding to the ideas put forth in a selected Frontline documentary. (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/) Students will


● Critique and reflect upon the issues raised in the documentary ● Write collaboratively ● Edit and publish a collaboratively authored written response to the film ● (Faculty might also encourage students to conduct research on order to provide facts in support of their responses)


2. Resources Students will need access to a television and PBS channel if the documentary is to air in real time. Frontline offers a collection of 97 archived documentaries for free older programs for viewing online. To watch archived documentaries and to collaborate in Google Documents, students will need computers with internet connections.


3. Process Students will watch a selected documentary at the Frontline archived films page (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/view/?utm_campaign=homepage&utm_mediu m=bigvideo&utm_source=bigvideo). (The faculty can select the film that most appropriately fits the content area.


If this assignment is argument for analysis for a


Writing or Media course, then student groups may select the film.) Students will select a time to watch the documentary. They will watch it in their own rooms, but will watch it at approximately the same time. While viewing the film, students will outline the major arguments put forth in the documentary. This will be a collaboratively authored outline in Google docs. Once the video is completed and students have authored the outline, they will decide upon the major themes of the argument. Students will come to the next class session ready to share their outlines and themes. The instructor will then direct them to complete the second part of this collaborative writing assignment during the subsequent week. Students will coauthor a response/reflection to the themes espoused in the documentary.


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