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Articles - CfP Topic

Vol. 8 No. 2 (2022): Academic Teaching with Short Films in Religion and Ethics

Flipping (and Giving) the Script: Using Short Films in Religion Exams

April 26, 2022


For many years now I have put a question on the final exam in various religion courses that asks students to apply ideas from the course to a short film screened during the exam. This is a film we have not watched or discussed before, so it is essentially new data for the class. In this article I discuss some of the challenges I encountered when I began using short films in exams and how I resolved them. I also discuss the many advantages of this approach, some of which I had anticipated (or at least hoped for), while others surprised me. These surprises include congruencies between using short films in exams and principles of trauma-informed pedagogy. The article includes specific examples from three courses of exam questions and films, and answers that three students provided.