Documentary Film: An Introduction
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  I: Administrative Information   II: Course Details   III: Topical Outline(s)  Printable Version
Section I: Administrative Information
  Total hours: 42.0
Credit Value: 3.0
Credit Value Notes: N/A
Effective: Spring/Summer 2015
Prerequisites: N/A
Corequisites: N/A
Pre/Co/Equiv Notes: N/A

Program(s): Cross College Courses
Program Coordinator(s): Sarah Sinclair
Course Leader or Contact: Mike Baker
Status: Approved (APPR)

Section I Notes: N/A

Section II: Course Details

Detailed Description
Students critically examine documentary films from acclaimed international film-makers as an evolutionary process - from early achievements to current productions. Three major different approaches to documentary film-making are investigated. Determining films that are documents of "reality" attempting to reveal truths establishes the first part of the course. Secondly, students scrutinize films that are propagandistic or powerfully persuasive and recognize their construction and methods. Lastly, students analyze films by contemporary non-fiction filmmakers as to their personal visions and expressions. There are screenings, interactive lectures, reflective journal work and guided discussions.

Program Context

Cross College Courses Program Coordinator: Sarah Sinclair
This course is part of the General Education curriculum which is designed to contribute to the development of the students' consciousness of the diversity, complexity, and richness of the human experience; their ability to establish meaning through this consciousness; and, as a result, their ability to contribute thoughtfully, creatively, and positively to the society in which they live and work. General Education courses strengthen students' generic skills, such as critical analysis, problem solving, and communication, in the context of an exploration of topics with broad-based personal and/or societal importance.

Course Critical Performance and Learning Outcomes

 Critical Performance

By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated the 
ability to determine what constitutes documentary films, scrutinize 
the methods of persuasive film production, and analyze contemporary 
non-fiction films.

Learning Outcomes

To achieve the critical performance, students will have demonstrated 
the ability to:

1.  Examine various approaches to documentary film-making.
2.  Identify the on-going process involving international film 
3.  Investigate documentary films that attempt to expose "realities".
4.  Scrutinize persuasive documentary film-making methods.
5.  Analyze the personal visions and expressions of contemporary 
    non-fiction film-makers.
6.  Engage in topical discussions related to documentary film
7.  Explore further concepts of documentary film interpretations.
Evaluation Plan
Students demonstrate their learning in the following ways:

In-class written responses(6@5%)................... ....30%
Critical Review Assignment...............................20%
Mid-term test............................................25%
Final test...............................................25%
Total: .................................................100%

Please note that all six written responses to film screenings are 
conducted as in-class assignments. (5% each) 

The mid-term and final tests are scheduled and completed in-class 
during the scheduled times.        (25% each)


To encourage behaviours that will help students to be successful in 
the workplace and to ensure that students receive credit for their 
individual work, the following rules apply to every course offered 
within the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
1. Students are responsible for staying abreast of test dates and 
   times, as well as due dates and any special instructions for 
   submitting assignments and projects as supplied to the class by 
   the professor.
2. Students must write all tests at the specified times. Missed 
   tests, in-class activities, assignments and presentations are
   awarded a mark of zero.  If an extension or make-up opportunity 
   is approved by the professor as outlined below, the mark of zero
   may be revised by subsequent performance.  The penalty for late
   submission of written assignments is a loss of 10% per day for up
   to five business days (excluding weekends and statutory holidays),
   after which, a grade of zero is assigned.  Business days include 
   any day that the college is open for business, whether the student
   has scheduled classes that day or not. 
3. Students, who miss a test or in-class activity or assignment or 
   fail to submit an assignment on time due to exceptional  
   circumstances, are required to notify their professor in advance 
   of the class whenever possible.  A make-up test may be supplied 
   students who provide an acceptable explanation of their absence   
   and/or acceptable documentation explaining their absence (e.g., a 
   medical certificate).  All make-up tests are to be written at a
   time and place specified by the professor upon the student's 
   return.  Alternately, students may be given an opportunity to 
   earn the associated marks by having a subsequent test count for   the 
   additional marks.  Exceptional circumstances may result in a 
   modification of due dates for assignments.
4. Unless otherwise specified, assignments and projects must be 
   submitted at the beginning of class. 
5. Students must complete every assignment as an individual effort  
   unless, the professor specifies otherwise.
6. Since there may be instances of grade appeal or questions 
   regarding the timely completion of assignments and/or extent
   of individual effort, etc., students are strongly advised to 
   keep, and make available to their professor, if requested, a copy 
   of all assignments and working notes until the course grade has 
   been finalized.  
7. There will be no resubmission of work unless this has been 
   previously agreed to or suggested by the professor. 
8. Students must submit all assignments in courses with practical 
   and field components in order to pass the course.
Provincial Context
The course meets the following Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities requirements:


Essential Employability Skills
Essential Employability Skills emphasized in the course:

X Communication X Critical Thinking & Problem Solving   Interpersonal
  Numeracy   Information Management   Personal

Notes: N/A

General Education
This General Education course relates to the following themes as specified by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

X Arts In Society   Civic Life
  Social and Cultural Understanding   Science and Technology
  Personal Understanding    

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition
PLAR Contact (if course is PLAR-eligible) : Office of the Registrar

Students may apply to receive credit by demonstrating achievement of the course learning outcomes through previous relevant work/life experience, service, self-study and training on the job. This course is eligible for challenge through the following method(s):

Challenge Exam Portfolio Interview Other Not Eligible for PLAR
X X X    

Notes:  N/A

Section III: Topical Outline
Some details of this outline may change as a result of circumstances such as weather cancellations, College and student activities, and class timetabling.
Print Effective Term Professor Applicable Student Group(s)
Spring/Summer 2015 Multiple Professors General Education Elective
Spring/Summer 2015 Multiple Professors Professor: Michael Baker General Education Students

Sheridan Policies

All Sheridan policies can be viewed on the Sheridan policy website.

Academic Integrity: The principle of academic integrity requires that all work submitted for evaluation and course credit be the original, unassisted work of the student. Cheating or plagiarism including borrowing, copying, purchasing or collaborating on work, except for group projects arranged and approved by the professor, or otherwise submitting work that is not the student's own, violates this principle and will not be tolerated. Students who have any questions regarding whether or not specific circumstances involve a breach of academic integrity are advised to review the Academic Integrity Policy and procedure and/or discuss them with the professor.

Copyright: A majority of the course lectures and materials provided in class and posted in SLATE are protected by copyright. Use of these materials must comply with the Acceptable Use Policy, Use of Copyright Protected Work Policy and Student Code of Conduct. Students may use, copy and share these materials for learning and/or research purposes provided that the use complies with fair dealing or an exception in the Copyright Act. Permission from the rights holder would be necessary otherwise. Please note that it is prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote. It is also prohibited to reproduce and/or post a work that is not your own or your own work with the intent to assist others in cheating on third-party commercial websites including but not limited to Course Hero or OneNote.

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Course Outline Changes: The information contained in this Course Outline including but not limited to faculty and program information and course description is subject to change without notice. Any changes to course curriculum and/or assessment shall adhere to approved Sheridan protocol. Nothing in this Course Outline should be viewed as a representation, offer and/or warranty. Students are responsible for reading the Important Notice and Disclaimer which applies to Programs and Courses.

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