From Fear to Flow in an Undergraduate Environmental and Sustainability Course


  • Michael W. Everett 517-581-5888
  • Crystal L. Eustice Michigan State University
  • Matt R. Raven Michigan State University



flow, fear, film, environmental, sustainability


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 undergraduate learners. Previous research suggests 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. Operationalizing flow and fear in learning through film is one way to better identify motivation for learning and instances where students: (1) have a perceived level of skills and associated challenge to those skills; and (2) have experiences that quantify fear associated with course content. 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 while decreasing fear in undergraduate learning experiences with film.


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Author Biography

Michael W. Everett, 517-581-5888

Community Sustainability, Professor of Practice


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How to Cite

Everett, M., Eustice, C., & Raven, M. (2023). From Fear to Flow in an Undergraduate Environmental and Sustainability Course. NACTA Journal, 67(1).