George and Jerry talking at a coffee shop

The last week of classes for the Fall semester is here, and my REL 100 students have some group projects to present in class, on Tuesday and Thursday.

The assignment: dramatize one of the questions/answers in Religion in 5 Minutes. It has to be a video that can be shown in class and on which every worked in some way, it can have only two speaking parts, must be less than 3 minutes long, have credits and a narrative arc of some sort, and filmed somewhere on campus — oh, and everyone in the group must appear on film in some way.

My hope is that a few will be worth posting in public (will anyone don togas for a Platonic dialogue?), so we’ll see how this all turns out. If nothing else, it should be fun and, if we’re lucky, informative too.

By the way, I had the impression others were using the book this semester,
so I’m curious what you’ve done with it…?

2 thoughts on “#ClassAssignment

  1. Thanks for the idea. I plan to use the Religion in 5-Minutes book in the fall and wasn’t sure how to integrate it into the course. This is very helpful. Last year I tried a similar assignment when I was using Martin’s Critical Introduction and the students had read the chapter on social constructionism for the class meeting. The class goes on for 2.5 hours, so I had the time to try something different. After a brief lecture on the material, I had the students work in small groups to create a 3-minute video that would explain and illustrate the principles of social constructionism, as identified by Martin. They had one hour to complete the task and were required to leave the classroom to do so. When they returned, they had two-minutes to introduce the video, then screen it, and finally be prepared for questions. My comments were reserved for what they did best and then to clarify any misconceptions. The best video, as determined by the class as a whole, would win for each member of the group extra credit points, so their competitive spirits were engaged. My fear was that, since the focus was on one topic, all of the videos would be the same (that is why I am drawn to the idea of using this assignment with the Religion in 5 Minutes book). They were not the same. In fact, the students proved to be amazingly creative. All was not perfect. There were, of course, a few bad videos. The other drawback was that it was a lot of time to spend on one chapter, or one issue, but since social constructionism is at the heart of everything we do in the class, the payoff for the rest of the semester was worthwhile. I would be interested in learning what other ways folks have used this idea of 3-minute videos.