Film in Rome, evaluation

Today I had an assessment interview with a number of colleagues from  my university who were involved in the development of the course Film in Rome/Rome on Film. Both the student evaluation and the teacher evaluation were discussed.

What the student evaluation concerned: first of all, the course was judged positive to very positive. In the future we will bring more balance in the program, ie a less demanding program in week 1 and just more contact moments in week 2. Presumably  introductory lectures on Italian film and political history are necessary, as well as more room for discussion, such as aftertalks after the films and discussions around the research’ progress. Geoplaza was unfortunately hardly used. so improvement is necessary there; the Galileo app was hardly used either. On the other hand, both the knowledge clips and the film clips on the iPads were clear enrichments for the course, the ‘iPad moment “became a household name and provided a sharper look. To stand on the Forum Romanum and – despite a nasty drizzle – to be able to compare ‘in situ’ with a classic epic like The Fall of the Roman Empire was ‘epic’, as young people say. Finally, there was praise for the teachers, the combination of history / film studies and the organization.

The teachers (Arthur Weststeijn, Gerdien Smit and myself) responded positively as well, in particular regarding the iPads and knowledge clips, but they also found that the potential of Geoplaza not enough been exploited. On the one hand this could be remedied by a more explicit treatment in the lectures by the teachers – eg within a separate lecture on Roman urban development – and by specific assignments to the students. We will convert the students’ results in Google Maps to the Geoplaza site for our course, including all the visuals the students gathered during the course.

The busy week 1 could be overcome by giving 1 or 2 days of lectures in the Netherlands, including film screenings, preceding the course in Rome. We could also make use of so-called webinars, ie presentations accessible from home by the students, during which the teacher can interact with the students. This prevents students residing far away from Amsterdam to travel, but it would enable teachers from the Dutch Institute’s own staff to teach without coming over to Holland. We would work with a moderator who can insert pauses in the presentation and can help with short assignments distributed on the spot. The VU University has already experience with this. Screening films this way might be possible as well, but this needs more investigation.

The experience of Rome Course will be used in a master course on film locations in Amsterdam, which I am giving in April-May (The Art of Comparison: The Cinematic City). Probably I will collaborate with the same team of people now involved.

~ by Ivo Blom on November 29, 2012.

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