Published Date

April 23, 2020

Resource Type

AHA Resource, For Departments, For Professional Development, For the Classroom


Teaching Methods

AHA Topics

Academic Departmental Affairs, AHA Initiatives & Projects, Career Paths, Professional Life, Teaching & Learning, The History Major, Undergraduate Education


“What good is a history major?” APM Reports. Educate podcast audio. April 2, 2020. Hear AHA executive director Jim Grossman and AHA special project coordinator Julia Brookins discuss the AHA’s Tuning the History Discipline project.

Daniel McInerney, “Historical Study in the U.S.: Assessing the Impact of Tuning within a Professional Disciplinary Society,” Tuning Journal for Higher Education 6, no. 1 (November 2018): 21-67.

Daniel J. McInerney, “What Does It Mean to Study History? Tuning in to the Discipline in the United States and around the World,” Perspectives Daily, November 7, 2018.

Daniel McInerney on the Lessons and Accomplishments of the Tuning Project, video interview with Julia Brookins, AHA special projects coordinator.

Anne F. Hyde (Univ. of Oklahoma), “Plagued By Doubt: Uncertainty as History’s Pedagogy,” video recording of her keynote address at the Texas Conference on Introductory History Courses, September 28, 2018, Austin, Texas.

Daniel McInerney, “Becoming a ‘Bilingual’ Advocate for Your Discipline and Your Graduates,” Liberal Education, Summer 2018, Vol. 104, No. 3.

Daniel McInerney, “A Network of Curricular Connections: Lessons from Cultivating History in the State of Utah,” Journal of American History 104, no. 4 (March 2018): 956-971.

Daniel McInerney, “Tuning the Discipline of History in the United States: Harmony (and Dissonance) in Teaching and Learning,Arts & Humanities in Higher Education 16, no. 4 (2017): 337-357,

The History Teacher, special issue on the American Historical Association’s Tuning Project (49:4, August 2016).

  • Daniel J. McInerney, “The American Historical Association’s Tuning Project: An Introduction” (pp. 491-501)
  • Sarah Shurts, “History in Harmony: The AHA ‘Tuning’ Project in the Community College and the Closing of the Transfer Gap” (pp. 503-517)
  • Nancy Quam-Wickham, “Reimagining the Introductory U.S. History Course” (pp. 519-548)
  • Elaine Carey and Tracey-Anne Cooper, “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered: Our Experiences with Assessment and the Tuning Project” (pp. 549-560)
  • Andrew Stuart Bergerson and Nathan Lindsay, with Leah K. Gensheimer and Dan Stroud, “Sharper, Clearer Outcomes: Using Stakeholder Focus Groups for Tuning History” (pp. 561-586)
  • Susan Eckelmann, Sara C. Jorgensen, and Kira Robison, “From Data Beast to Beast of Burden: A Case Study of Learning Outcomes in Faculty-Led Assessment as a Tool for Undergraduate History Curriculum Design” (pp. 587-606)

Forum on Tuning History: Redirecting History Surveys for General Education, in World History Connected, June 2016.

  • “Forum Introduction,” by Lendol Calder, guest editor
  • “The Intro Course as an Introduction to Curriculum Change” by Daniel J. McInerney
  • “New Approaches to Gen Ed History: Tuning the Introductory Survey Course for Non-Majors” by Sarah Shurts
  • “The Intro Course Guided by the Insights of the Tuning process” by Andrew Arnold, Louis Rodriquez, and Laura Scappaticci
  • “Why Does This Class Matter Anyway? Tuning History in General Education Courses” by Lauren Braun-Strumfels


John McNeill (AHA President-Elect) and Elizabeth Lehfeldt (AHA Vice-President, Teaching Division) discuss the AHA’s “Tuning the History Discipline,” (2018)


2016 AHA Annual Meeting, Atlanta

Tuning History in General Education Courses

History and Dual/Concurrent Enrollment

Transforming the US History Survey

2015 AHA Annual Meeting, New York City

Undergraduate Teaching Workshop. An Introduction to the history Tuning project with Anne Hyde (Colorado Coll.) and Dan McInerney (Utah State Univ.)

2014 AHA Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

HNN interview with Elaine Carey (St. Johns Univ.), Vice President, Teaching Division, and Julia Brookins (Special Projects Coordinator) about the project.

Undergraduate Teaching Workshop

February 2013 Tuning Project Meeting

February 2013 Tuning Project Meeting Playlist, including

  • Plenary with Patricia Nelson Limerick (Univ. of Colorado Boulder)
  • Open Discussion between James Grossman  and Carol Geary Schneider of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U)
  • Best Practices in Rubrics and Assessment Tools with Nancy Quam Wickham (CSU Long Beach)
  • Using Humanities Indicators with Carolyn Fuqua, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

2012 Tuning Project Launch

James Grossman and Patricia Nelson Limerick (Univ. of Colorado Boulder)

Related Videos & Resources

Tuning and the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) launch meeting, October 2014 (Lumina Foundation video, with partners NILOA and the AAC&U)

Playlist of multiple videos

Evidence from the Humanities Indicators: Employment & Earnings (downloaded from the Humanities Indicators).

Norman L. Jones, “Assessing History: Can We Know Our “Outcomes?” Perspectives on History (March 2009)

Daniel McInerney, “Rubrics for History Courses: Lessons from One Campus,” Perspectives on History (October 2010).

Marianne Wokeck, “Articulating Learning Outcomes in History: Lessons Learned in Indiana,” Perspectives on History (October 2010).

The AHA’s work on the role of the history major in undergraduate education and on best practices for assessment form some of the background for the current Tuning project.

Check out to the following AHA booklets:

  • “The History Major and Undergraduate Liberal Education” (2008)
  • “Assessment in History: A Guide to Best Practices” (2007)
  • “Liberal Learning and the History Major” (2007)

Further Reading

Cecilia Gaposchkin, “If Students Are Smart, They’ll Major in What They Love,” The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 21, 2015).

Elizabeth Lehfeldt, “The Pope and the Liberal Arts,”, (February 17, 2013).

From the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). Carol Geary Schneider, “President’s Message: Where Completion Goes Awry: The Metrics for ‘Success’ Mask Mounting Problems with Quality,” Liberal Education 98:1 (Winter 2012).

Revised guide to the Tuning Process from the Institute for Evidence Based Change

For a brief history of Tuning and its antecedents in the European context, see Barbara M. Kehm, “Quality in European Higher Education: The Influence of the Bologna Process,” Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning (May–June 2010).

Press Reports

AHA Today

Julia Brookins, “Tuning Project Releases Department Materials: New Resources for Teaching History,” May 4, 2015.

John Bezis-Selfa, “Tuning, Teaching and Learning at the 2015 AHA Annual Meeting,” March 24, 2015.

Elizabeth Elliott, “Session of the Week: The Global Tuning Project: Reframing Historical Study in the European Union, Latin America, and the Scholarship on Teaching and Learning,” October 30, 2014.

Anne Hyde, “Tuning and the AHA 2.0,” October 6, 2014.

Anne Hyde, “Tuning and Teaching History as an Ethical Way of Being in the World,” July 17, 2014.

Julia Brookins, “New Version of Document Available from the AHA Tuning Project,” October 1, 2013.

Kenneth Pomeranz, “Why History? A Note on the AHA Tuning Project,” April 30, 2013.

Sarah Shurts, “Reflections on the February 2013 Tuning Workshop,” March 5, 2013.

Perspectives on History

Christopher Brooks, “Connecting the Dots: Why a History Degree is Useful in the Business World,” February 2015.

Vicki Ruiz, “A Quest for Balance,” January 2015.

Anne Hyde, “Confessions from the Field: Building Assessments with the History Discipline Core,” Assessment Forum, January 2015.

Jonathan Chu, “The Benefits of Self-Assessment: Measuring Historical Thinking Skills at UMass Boston,” Assessment Forum, January 2015.

John Buchkoski, Mikal B. Eckstrom, Holly Kizewski, and Courtney Pixler, “Creating and Administering a Primary Source Analysis,” Assessment Forum, January 2015.

Josh Ashenmiller, “SLO Curve Ball: What I Really Want for My Students,” Assessment Forum, January 2015.

Elaine Carey, Sara Haviland, Eric Platt, Sarah Shurts, and Emily Tai, “Teaching Undergraduates: A Conversation in Brooklyn,” July 2014.

Drew Keeling, “On ‘History for Non-majors,'” September 2013.

Julia Brookins, “Topics and Takeaways from the February 2013 Tuning Meeting,” AHA Activities, April 2013.

Elaine Carey, “Tuning the Core: History, Assessment, and the St. John’s University Core Curriculum,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

James Grossman, “The AHA’s Tuning Project at Twelve Months,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

Anne Hyde, “Advising Mom and Dad: History Majors and Family Worries,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

Elizabeth Lehfeldt, “Tuning and Recharging: Tales from Twelve Months In,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

Daniel S. Murphree, “An Unexpected Bridge: The AHA Tuning Project and Writing Across the Curriculum,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

Johann N. Neem, “Does History Matter? A Cautionary Tale for the Tuning Project,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

David Trowbridge, “Tuning, Teaching, and Taking Care of Students,” Tuning Forum, April 2013.

Julia Brookins, “Tuning Updates,” February 2013.

Jonathan Dewald, “On the Tuning Project,” Letters to the Editor, November 2012.

Julia Brookins, “The Tuning Project’s Summer Meeting,” AHA Activities, September 2012.

Christopher L. Doyle, “On Historians, Tuning, and Markets,” Letters to the Editor, September 2012.

James Grossman, “Response to ‘On Historians, Tuning, and Markets’,” Letters to the Editor, September 2012.

James Grossman, “Tuning in to the History Major,” April 2012.

Julia Brookins, “Nationwide Tuning Project for Undergraduate History Programs Launched,” March 2012.

Marianne Wokeck, “Articulating Learning Outcomes in History: Lessons Learned in Indiana,”  October 2010.

Outside Press

Dan Berrett, “If Skills are the New Canon, are Colleges Teaching Them?,” Chronicle of Higher Education, April 3, 2016

“History Faculty Member Brings ‘Tuning Project’ to Marshall,” We Are…Marshall Newsletter, April 17, 2013.

Russell Guerrero, “History Making Skills,” Trinity University Campus News, March 26, 2013.

Anne Hyde, “Defining Learning Expectations,” Inside Higher Ed, December 21, 2012.

Michael J. Kramer, “De-Tuning the AHA’s Tuning Project,” Culture Rover, October 18, 2012.

Craig J Perrier, “Hitting the Historical Note: The AHA’s Tuning Project,” August 21, 2012.

Nicholena Moon, “Are The Humanities Dead In Today’s World?,”, July 29, 2012.

Shelby Webb, “New College Promotes Value of a History Degree,”, July 23, 2012.

Sarah Shurts, “American Historical Association’s Tuning Project at BCC,” Bergen Community College, July 18, 2012.

“New College Professor Carrie Beneš Joins National Initiative to ‘Tune’ the History Major,” New College of Florida, July 16, 2012.

Kelly Fay, “Alverno College History Department to Take Part in a Nationwide Project,” Greenfield Patch, May 16, 2012.

Jonathan Robe,“Focusing Teaching Correctly,” The Center for College Affordability and Productivity, May 4, 2012

Barry McNamara, “MC’s Changes to History Major Drawing National Attention,” Monmouth College, April 30, 2012.

Kristen Munson, “Utah State University News,” Utah State Today, April 26, 2012.

Sherman Dorn, “The American Historical Association Tuning Project,”, April 2, 2012.

Briann Greenfield, “Questioning the ‘Tuning’ Project,” History@Work, March 14, 2012.

Max Van Balgooy, “College History Degree is Getting a Tune Up; Historic Sites Get a Flat Tire IMHO,” Engaging Places, February 23, 2012.

Anne Whisnant, “Regarding the AHA’s ‘Tuning’ Project,” Whisnant Projects, February 22, 2012.

Scott Jaschik, “‘Tuning’ History,” Inside Higher Ed, February 13, 2012.