Date of this Version
Honors in Practice, 2021, Vol. 17:235–36
The author describes how using free internet extensions allowed for the continuation of a media-based honors course during the COVID-19 crisis.
I am a big fan of science fiction and have a bit of a crush on Rod Serling, so deciding what topic to teach in my Honors Forum course this semester was a clear choice. The Twilight Zone television series provided a wide selection of material that could be linked to the students’ diverse fields of study. The television series tackled social issues through nonthreatening disguises (okay, sometimes aliens were threatening), moral lessons, and fun. These features fitted well into the one-hour Honors Forum course, which is interdisciplinary, consists of a wide variety of learning activities, and each semester focuses on a new topic chosen by the professor with input from the potential students. The semester was off to a great start since 90 percent of the students had never watched The Twilight Zone before. From the very first episode, “Where is Everybody,” the class was hooked. Each week we watched a different episode and then had a class discussion, group assignment, or artistic activity to match the episode. Discussions were lively, and attendance was nearly 100% every week. Then the announcement came that we would be moving all instruction online for the rest of the semester because of COVID-19. The interactive social nature of the class was at risk.