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Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age:
Reconceptualizing the Introductory Survey Course
This web project offers historians models for how to use digitized primary sources in survey courses in World History and the History of the Americas. The topics of the models vary, as does the technological sophistication. (Click for a guide to and summary of participant projects.) The AHA hopes that history faculty from technological novices to experts can find something of use from perusing this site.
How to use:
The site includes approaches to entire courses such as World Civilizations or probes of a specific subject such the Republic of Biafra.
Some of the sites, such as Migration and the American South, could be completely adopted in a course as "post holes" where teachers want to give their students in-depth knowledge of a subject.
Some of the sites show how a survey course incorporates digitized primary materials. These courses could simply be adopted or modified to meet the individual needs of faculty.
All the sites are models. They all suggest various ways of using digitized materials in courses. They open different possibilities for teachers to be creative in their survey courses for group or individual projects as well as ways that teachers can present materials. Certain sites such as Sue Patricks', overlap with other presentations such as World Civilizations: the Middle Period (600-1650) and World Civilizations II. Both Web Modules for Teaching American History and Discovering American Social History on the Web discuss the Triangle Fire. Thus, the visitor to the site can see how faculty approaches the same material differently and ask different sets of questions. Historians do not use a "one size fits all" in their teaching or their research.
The Primary Source Links are sites that teachers can use to incorporate into their own courses.
Each syllabus suggests assessment ideas for using primary sources and there is additional assessment information under Student Assessment Model.
The reflective essays for each project allow the user of this to see how faculty have thought about the challenges involved in using the internet and primary sources in their courses. They explain what worked and what did not work for them.
Different technological techniques are used on the site. For example, Contemporary World Since 1945 incorporates video while Like A Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World uses audio.
For another example of a course using technology and primary materials, see John McClymer's syllabus for "19th Century U.S." at http://www.assumption.edu/users/McClymer/his260/
So Come join us.
Wander around the AHA's intellectual and pedagogical food court, taking ideas and techniques from different models with you when you leave.
For Further Reference:
Additional Links on Using the Internet and Teaching and Learning:
History Matters: The U.S. Survey on the Web
American Crossroads Project Links to material about "teaching with technology" which has some essays of value to us.
Center for History and New Media
which connects to the American Social History Project but also to essays and syllabi which may reflect approaches some folks are considering.
Nobody Likes a Tourist: A Reflection on the Value of Teaching with Technology
This site is offered by someone who would like to do a lot of consulting but does connect to a lot of useful material. Pointed out to me by someone who teaches communication.
Introduction to the World Wide Web by Nancy Fitch
Inventio, an online journal of creative thinking about teaching and learning
Dynamic Syllabi from Georgetown U.
Samples of how electronic media are incorporated into courses.
Internet History Sourcebooks Paul Halsall/Fordham Univ. are collections of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use.
Journal of the Association of History and Computing.
This connects with an online journal that published its first edition in June. Also connects to the home page of the organization.
Resource Center for Cyberculture Studies
Another source for theoretical insights and examples of practice.
For a model of a course portfolios that evaluates using digitized primary resources, see the AHA/AAHE Teaching Portfolio Project.
This project facilitated collaboration between faculty from two-and four-year colleges in Wisconsin, North Carolina, and Southern California in the creation and dissemination of active learning materials for use in the history survey courses. The AHA thanks all of the faculty involved.
For another model of two and four year faculty collaboratives, see the QUE project at Shaping the Preparation of Future Social Science and Humanities Faculty and Preparing Future Faculty.
We see this site as a perpetual work in progress. If you have curriculum that uses digitized primary sources, the AHA plans to add one or two more models or links a year. Just contact us at teaching.
The AHA thanks the project evaluators, William Cutler, Temple University; John McClymer, Assumption College; and Jan Reiff, University of California, Los Angeles, and those who gave assistance to the sites, Frances Lilly, Rebbecca Allen, and John Young.
Please Note: These pages were prepared in 2004. While we will continue to make the original content from the authors available, we will not be able to maintain and update the links as they change and break over time. We regret any inconvenience.
Last Updated: October 16, 2008