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Pedagogical development

The Artist as (Film School)Teacher Pedagogical development for filmmakers teaching in higher education


Overview of the course

Film Schools in the Nordic countries, like in most other parts of the world, face a particular challenge in ensuring a highly qualified teaching staff. Most film school teachers come from the ranks of the film industry, where they have been active artists in their field. Their background may or may not have included a formal education, and their selection as teaching staff is most often based on their professional and artistic qualifications.

A teaching staff with artistic and professional qualifications is a core value for these film schools. In order to train the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers, it is necessary to give the students constant exposure to active professionals who bring the latest developments and impulses into the classroom.


The Artist as (Film School) Teacher takes elements of the blended[1] and distributed[2] course and combines this with a modular structure and peer-based instruction and assessment. Relevant theoretical influences can be found in the pragmatist education philosophy (Dewey), constructivism (Piaget), constructionism (Papert), social constructivism (Vygotsky), critical pedagogy (Freire), and peeragogy (Rheingold).

The inaugural iteration of Module 1 will launch in September, 2016.


Structure of the course

The Artist as (Film School) Teacher is structured as a series of modules, each with assigned ECTS[3] points. The first iteration provides modules totaling 15 ECTS, but the plan of the participating institutions[4] is to increase the number of modules for future iterations of the course, enabling participants some flexibility to construct a programme most relevant for the institutions they are employed at.

Which modules are added and which become optional, will be decided following an extensive evaluation towards the conclusion of the first iteration of the course.


At this time, The Artist as (Film School) Teacher consists of the following modules:

  1. Introduction- 1,5 ects - focussing on getting the participants used to the online learning environment as well as introducing the key concepts that will be examined in the subsequent modules
  2. Methods of teaching and mentoring- 3,5 ects - covering a range of teaching methods that are meant to support, motivate and stimulate learning. A wealth of teaching methods exists and  the purpose of this module is to give participants basic knowledge and understanding of some of the most relevant to the film school context, as well as an opportunity to practice some of them in peer supported environment.
  3. Course design- 2,5 ects - giving filmmakers a toolkit they can use when designing courses for different situations. There is no “one right way” to plan a successful lesson, much in the same way there is no one right way to make a successful film. Instead the focus will be on giving teachers a forum for exchanging experiences and questions and ensure they have an increased understanding of the requirements and possibilities that exist for them.
  4. The artist's progression- 2,5 ects - focussing on two sides of teaching in a film school: giving the filmmaker an increased understanding of how to use her own artistic experience in the classroom, and at the same time teaching them different ways of giving the students the experiences they need to develop their own artistic expression competence.
  5. Collaboration and group steering- 2,5 ects - where participants will be introduced to different techniques for promoting teamwork and collaboration, strategies for handling conflict, as well as issues of inclusion and diversity.
  6. Feedback, assessment and evaluation- 2,5 ects - giving participants further insight into ways of conducting formative assessment, or “assessment for learning”. This module will combine online instruction and discussion with small-group activities and individual assignments where participants will be expected to conduct different forms of assessment activities in their own classrooms.





In order to gain admission to The Artist as (Film School) Teacher, participants must be formally qualified to be employed in a faculty position at their host institution. Applications for admission are made to the head of department at the participant’s host institution.
Institutions may make bilateral agreements to register each other’s participants, subject to the approval of the institutional governing bodies.


Learning outcomes

The overall learning outcomes for the course are:

  1. The participants will have gained an extensive knowledge of different pedagogical practices and didactic methods relevant for film schools
  2. The participants will be able to reflect upon these practices, chose among them, and personalise them when engaging in their own teaching.
  3. The participants will have gained the experience to effectively and critically guide students’ development into film artists, and will have gained a peer network to access for continuing support and inspiration.



Each module has it’s own requirements and deliverables the participants must achieve in order to receive credit for completion. All deliverables are graded “pass/fail”, and participants are required to pass all modules in order to receive credit for the course as a whole. Individual modules can be repeated, contingent on whether they are offered again.



Upon successful completion, participants will receive documentation and accreditation from the institution where they are registered as participants, subject to institutional and national rules and regulations governing higher education.


[1] What is a “blended” course? "Hybrid" or "Blended" are names commonly used to describe courses in which some traditional face-to-face "seat time" has been replaced by online learning activities. The purpose of a hybrid course is to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning. A hybrid course is designed to integrate face-to-face and online activities so that they reinforce, complement, and elaborate one another, instead of treating the online component as an add-on or duplicate of what is taught in the classroom.
The definition of hybrid or blended continues to be a much debated topic, as does the use of the term hybrid or blended itself. Although many definitions of hybrid and blended learning exist, there is a convergence upon the three key points identified above:
(1) Web-based learning activities are introduced to complement face-to-face work; (2) "seat time" is reduced, though not eliminated altogether; (3) the Web-based and face-to-face components of the course are designed to interact pedagogically to take advantage of the best features of each.
This Web site uses the term "hybrid" throughout for historical reasons specific to our campus; we intend our usage, however, to include the alternative nomenclatures "blended" or "mixed mode.
Quote from https://www4.uwm.edu/ltc/hybrid/about_hybrid/index.cfm
[2] A distributed course is one where the learning materials and expertise are distributed more or less evenly among the participants in the network.  In addition, the course itself is not centralised, but spread out among several participants. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/08/19/feminist-professors-create-alternative-moocs
[3] European credit transfer and accumulation system, further explained here: http://ec.europa.eu/education/ects/ects_en.htm
[4] A working group was set up in 2015 consisting of The Norwegian Film School at Lillehammer University College, Norway, The Danish Film School in Copenhagen, the film programmes at Akademin Valand at Gothenburg University, Sweden, the film programmes at Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts at Stockholm University of the Arts, Sweden, the School of Art, Music and Media at Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland, ELO School of Arts, Design, and Architecture at Aalto University, Finland, The School of Culture and Creative Industries at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, and the Department of Culture and Communication at Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Finland. The Artist as (Film School)
Teacher has been developed by this working group.
Sist oppdatert: Tor Magne Roaldseth 16.09.2016

Pedagogical development

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