Teaching Tools



Posted by: San Francisco Film Society

Once the larger goals of a media arts lesson have been identified and determined, there are of course a multitude of practical considerations that must be addressed in lesson plan design. While many of these elements can easily start to feel like roadblocks, it is important to remember that constraints actually have the potential to lead to more creativity and critical thinking. Taking a realistic survey of available resources will help keep media projects manageable. Think about the following questions:

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• Who are the students? 

• What prior experience do they have with media? 

• What learning styles do they present? 

• Are there are any special needs to take into consideration? 

• Are there any special skills that can be taken advantage of? 

• How will different types of learners be engaged? 

• Who are the instructors and support staff? 

• What skills do they bring? 

• Are there opportunities to collaborate with other classes, students, teachers or staff? 


• What is the physical set-up of the learning environment? 

• What control do you have over lighting? 

• What control do you have over sound? 

• What can be transformed and what must remain the same? 

• Are you able to travel with students? 

• What nearby locations can you easily access? 

• What outside elements can be brought in? 


• What equipment and materials are available? 

• In what quantity? 

• What format or medium is most realistic or achievable? 

• Are there any work-arounds for resources that are lacking or unavailable? 

• What supplemental or secondary projects or assignments can come out of the larger project?


• When does the final product need to be finished? 

• What milestones can be identified along the way? 

• How can you make the project timeline transparent to students? 

• How can students be held accountable for time management? 

• Is there a plan B in case of unforeseen interruptions? 


• Are there any existing programs, courses or events already in place into which this project can be incorporated? 

• What are the costs associated with the project, and how will they be met? 

• How will the success of the project be determined? 

• How will students be evaluated?

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