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At the movies: An interpretive study of the use of films with university students

, The University of Oklahoma, United States

The University of Oklahoma . Awarded


This study explores the phenomenon of film as an educational tool. Specifically, it explores how the use of film in the classroom can contributes to the process of a learning experience for university students. It also considers how instructors can make the best use of films, and how film can be integrated and combined with other instructional methods.

This qualitative study draws on the guidelines of interpretivism, a methodology that seeks to gain an understanding of a phenomenon through inquiry and the process of meaning making with faculty members who use film as part of their curriculum and university students who have been in classes in which films were used.

The findings reveal four themes associated with the use of film each with five learning dimensions. The themes include the aesthetic use of film, the instructional experience, the experience of awareness, and the shared experience. Within each of these themes, the five related learning dimensions are identified: Emotional, cognitive, personal, social and cultural. Therefore, the use of film in the classroom provides a meaningful way for educators to connect familiar settings of popular culture with philosophical, theoretical, and educational issues.

The use of film is an aesthetic tool that generates enriched and diverse experiences for students in the classroom creating an atmosphere conducive to students’ involvement. Film is viable educational tool that creates a space where the subject can be the central focus in relation to the film. When students connect to the subject through film, their experience in the classroom is enhanced.


Roden, K. At the movies: An interpretive study of the use of films with university students. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Oklahoma. Retrieved November 14, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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