Course Description and Expectations

Course Description/Objectives:


HUM 160: Introduction to Film – This course introduces the fundamental elements of film artistry and production. Topics include film styles, history, and production techniques, as well as the social values reflected in film art. Upon completion, students should be able to critically analyze the elements covered in relation to selected films. This course has been approved for transfer under the CAA and ICAA as a General Education course in Humanities/Fine Arts.


This class will explore the power of filmmaking and the evaluation and appreciation of film through story, character, and different genres (Drama, Comedy, Family, Thriller, Biopic, etc.) and critical approaches. Through online interviews with film critics and filmmakers, online dialogue with the class, outside film viewing, assigned readings, online engagement activities, written assignments, weekly postings and creative projects – we will discover the art of film by examining scriptwriting, visual techniques, acting, musical score, special effects, and more. Through this course, we will also get a closer look at why all films have individual interpretations. Our perspectives are unique and different, and that will impact each person’s film analysis.260px-Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff)

The course has three main components:  evaluation lab (outside film viewings), dialogue seminar and engagement (online), and evaluation workshops (applied written reviews and blog creations, evaluations and presentations). We will view films that represent the select genres, styles and topics of our film dialogue, and conduct regular online-discussion, outside reading, research, and written evaluations.



This course does not have a physical textbook associated with it, instead we will be engaging in numerous readings, research and interactions that will be posted on our virtual online textbook Links will also be provided via Blackboard.



The Rose Library at CCC has an ever-growing section of films that can be checked out with your student ID (or viewed on-demand). You will be required to view and evaluate films on your own, and I will post choices for each evaluation assignment. Several of these film options will be available at the Rose Library: You may also utilize personal viewing choice platforms and options like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Family Video, iTunes, etc.



All assigned readings and links will be posted for each section (chapter) within our Blackboard portal (unless otherwise noted). You are expected to access these sites as you would any other assignment. For this reason, Blackboard (“BB” or “Bb”) is used extensively in this course and you are expected to have the necessary tools to access BB and the skills to use it well.  You are encouraged to be comfortable with all course applications before assignments are due.  You can utilize the BB Help Desk assistance that is available to you if you need it.

If you are unfamiliar with Blackboard, visit Blackboard Videos for Students for tutorials about utilizing Blackboard and its interface.

  • Blackboard (Bb) requires the latest version of Java. This can be downloaded from
  • It is recommended that you use a web browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge. If you have Internet Explorer: Internet Explorer is tested in Standards Mode. Some known issues can be resolved by using Compatibility Mode (emulates IE7 behavior).

Bb maintains the latest information regarding browser compatibility and certification: Blackboard Supported Browsers

If you have technical glitches or questions with any other assignments (non-Bb related), you should reach out to me well before the due date; that way I can properly guide you.


STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES:lost-in-la-mancha-2002-002-quixote-horseback-00m-sgl

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Identify film styles and how film differs from other mediums
  • Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation for concepts of story, character and crisis in relation to the understanding of cinema narrative
  • Recognize key elements central to film history and techniques and how these elements/techniques affect the viewer
  • Evaluate films using the specific terminology of the art form
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of film as a distinct art form
  • Apply concepts & classroom experiences to increase personal enjoyment of film outside of class
  • Develop and demonstrate critical thinking and writing skills


This class also hopes to give students a better understanding and appreciation for the director’s intention and target audience.2017_The_Wonder_Woman_Gal_Gadot_wide.0

In a nutshell: In this course, students will work towards mastering the fundamental aesthetic and technical tools needed in understanding and evaluating filmmaking (acting and character, directing, camera, sound, story structure, editing, etc.) in the context of individual filmic style and taste.



There will be required weekly online dialogue posts, film evaluations/reviews, and a semester project.

Your final grade will be determined as follows:

30% – Weekly online engagement/participation/dialogue

40% – Written Reviews/ Personal Blog Film Journal

30% – Semester Project


Students must complete all written assignments, online postings, and other projects at scheduled times. Failure to do so will reflect on student’s grade (-10 points for each day late. The next day begins one minute after the announced deadline).

UPDATE: 2.17.19 – No late assignments accepted. Late work will result in a zero for that assignment. I understand that emergencies may occur, and those will be addressed as needed.

All work that is turned in must be your own. You cannot afford to take unethical shortcuts in this class. See Academic Integrity Policy for ethical expectations.



Your work should be your own. It is crucial that any work you turn in is your own original work unless otherwise cited. Unethical shortcuts can cost you a failing grade in this class. If you are unsure that you’re turning in original work (or properly cited work), I encourage you to reach out to the Rose Library staff of a personal tutor at the Tutoring Resource Center.


FORMATTING AND CITATIONS:mr-smith-goes-to-washington

In this class, proper citation is important. When you provide references for research, responses or review/evaluations – you should use either APA or MLA style guidelines. The Rose Library at CCC has valuable source materials to guide you here. The Purdue University online writing lab also provides online workshops and styleguides for APA and MLA.



Options are available for extra credit upon approval. Please contact me if you’re interested in extra credit opportunities. Extra credit options will be available until the final three weeks of the semester.


This course uses the following grading scale:

A =      90 -100

B =      80 – 89

C =      70 – 79

D =      60 – 69

F =      Below 60

I =       Incomplete


ATTENDANCE POLICY:f14bc98af4499a3bb77cf4fe064d2f6f

Since this will be an online course, you are required to engage in online dialogue through the appropriate portals and within the specified timelines.



Student Responsibilities (Student Code of Conduct)


Access and Accommodations:  Your experience in this class is important to your instructor, and it is the policy and practice of Cleveland Community College to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.  If you experience barriers based on a temporary health condition or disability (which could include but is not limited to mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts) and as a result cannot participate fully in this class, complete course requirements, or benefit from the College’s programs or services, contact Disability Services as soon as possible.mudbound

To receive any academic accommodation, you must be appropriately registered with Disability Services at CCC.   This office works with students confidentially and does not disclose any disability-related information without the student’s permission. You are welcome to contact them at 704-669-4096 or  If you have already established accommodations with Disability Services for this semester your instructor has been notified.  You will want to discuss your approved accommodations with your instructor at your earliest convenience to make sure your needs in this course are met.

If you have a condition which may affect your ability to exit the premises in an emergency or which may cause an emergency during class, you are encouraged to discuss this in confidence with the instructor and/or Disability Services.


CCC Academic Integrity Policy


Calendar and Important Dates for this term will be located within the link. Other dates to be aware of include:

April 11 – Last day to withdraw or audit 14-week class

April 16 – 22 – Spring Break

May 13 – Last day of Spring Term


The course schedule with topics, assignment dates, and other related materials will be loaded into Bb and on **Schedule and assignments subject to change.


  • The Cleveland Community College Tutoring Center  can also help guide you personally through common mistakes that are officially classified as plagiarism. They can also assist you with writing techniques and formats that will provide you benefits as you engage in research and writing for this course. Becky Donaldson is available on Level 3 of the Rose Library; you may email or call (704) 669.4180 or (980) 404-9736. I have a tutoring-service-signature-form here and loaded onto our Blackboard portal you may use to set up a session. Blank Tutoring Referral Forms are available here.


  • Format of written assignments: Unless otherwise specified, all assignments must be printed and submitted by email, on Blackboard or posted on your approved blog (instructions will be given for each assignment). The nature of the assignment will dictate the line-spacing, required font sizes, scholarly writing style and other format features. Students are to turn in all assignments in the specified format. No handwritten papers will be accepted unless discussed and approved beforehand.


  • Communication with the class & resources:Check your CCC email, Blackboard and the Film Critic Website each week. I will use these avenues to post readings, assignments, dialogue topics, links, lectures, podcasts, and videos. Here is that site link blog.


*This course description is available in an alternate format upon request

A PDF is available here: manning-ccc-film-class-syllabus template