The website is a repository of Frontline documentary films produced by PBS. Web links to videos, interviews, and related stories on featured topics are accessible on the site. Users may also access the Teacher Center from the homepage to retrieve learning media resources and supporting curriculum materials on topics such as health/science/technology, business/economy/financial, criminal justice, education, environment, and social issues.
In-class, homework,individual assignment, team assignment, lecture
Internet Explorer or applicable browser, Flash player or plugin for video viewing
Identify Major Learning Goals:
The learner will be able to evaluate and analyze diverse perspectives on social problems.
The learner will be able to illustrate connections between perspectives, positions, and arguments by examining investigative reports on current global issues.
The learner will be able to justify a stand or position by observing investigative reporting and viewpoints for addressing social issues presented in interviews and testimonials.
Target Student Population:
Lower and/or upper division students, survey or topic course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Use of mouse and keyboard, course or subject terminology and fundamental concepts, framework for critical thinking.
Allows the student to chose the topic, and encourages critical thinking. Presents documentary films on a variety of global issues. Includes instructor materials emphasizing critical thinking and social problems. Provides links to additional sources pertaining to global issues and current events.
The site offers a basic framework for study; however, additional resources and readings should be adopted to offer a comprehensive course or subject learning experience.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
The assignment seems fairly straightforward and the Frontline videos are timely and well produced. Some useful supplemental materials on diverse topics are provided (e.g., video interviews, testimonials, teacher support materials, etc.).
The site does not function as a stand-alone resource. Instructors and students will need to use additional learning materials and/or other external resources to re-enforce discipline specific content related to specific course learning outcomes. Films and materials do not contain Creative Common licenses for adoption and integration into curriculum as open educational resources.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site is easy to use and accessible using multiple devices. The content is engaging with use of investigative reporting, historical perspectives, interviews, and testimonials. Related links are useful and assist learners in identifying additional primary and secondary sources that coincide with reports.
System is unable to sustain streaming by multiple users at the same time. Some of the Frontline videos had poorly synchronized closed captions. The format of the questions might be better separated by line breaks.
Other Issues and Comments:
This website may be considered as a supplemental resource for courses including special topics on critical thinking, crime, criminal justice, deviance, economics, education, environment, health, race/ethnicity, gender, social problems, social policy, stratification, and/or war/terrorism.
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