In a time when natural disasters and health crisis afflict the world, understanding the relationship between flow and fear provides an opportunity to better shape learner experiences in difficult times. The use of film as a pedagogical approach provides a unique perspective to better understand flow and fear in learners. Previous research suggested that incorporation of film as an instructional approach has the potential to create flow experiences for students as a way to be transported into the narrative of learning while elicitation of fear may have the potential to optimize flow experiences in learning. Flow in a learning setting occurs when a student engaged in an activity has correspondingly high levels of both perceived skill and challenge in that same activity. The purpose of this research was to determine if there were relationships between flow and fear based on movie content in an undergraduate film course. Highest levels of flow occurred when students created their own films. Increased frequencies of fear occurred in climate and energy themes and domestic themed movies. The authors recommend further research to support instructional practices and opportunities that increase flow or “being in the zone” while decreasing fear in undergraduate learning experiences with film.

Keywords: flow, fear, film, environmental, sustainability

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