2012-09-21 07.27.22

Extra Credit: To Offer, or Not to Offer

I am extremely ambivalent about extra credit. On one hand, I am convinced that most extra credit is utterly worthless, if not downright counterproductive. It has the potential to provide students with an incentive to do shoddy work on their regular assignments, or shirk them altogether. It has become so ubiquitous that students simply expect…

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Methods and Content

On Monday, I promised my students that I would make learning about footnotes fun. We’ll see if I can deliver. This semester I’m teaching a section of our Historical Methods and Skills course, HST 201. The way that we teach methods is to have multiple 20-person sections each semester, in which students write a 15-20…

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Code Word: History.

The annual AHA meeting is this weekend, putting forth a program that not only pays considerable attention to pedagogy but also the rapidly expanding field of digital humanities. Digital humanities, a bridge between technology and history, is one of many components within the broader historical profession that engages with STEM: science, technology, engineering and mathematics.…

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Designing a (nearly) free syllabus

By way of brief introduction, as this is my first post, let me say that this semester I will be teaching a U.S. history survey for the first time, at the University of Texas at El Paso. I was trained in Latin American history, and have taught surveys in that subject area. But the U.S.…

Going Local and Civil War History

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Charleston this past summer, the shadow of the American Civil War Era hangs over the nation like a heavy cloud. More than a century and a half removed from Appomattox the war has never left the collective national consciousness even in spite of the disparate and conflicting…

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The DBQ’s Use in the College Classroom

What methods from high school history courses are useful in the college classroom? I’ve been trying to understand how history education in college connects to that of the secondary and primary level. One of the clearest areas of overlap is the Advanced Placement (AP) history curriculum offered in many high schools. These classes culminate with…

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Reflecting on Hybrid Electives

This semester I offered my first U.S. elective as a hybrid. The course, America Meets the Modern, 1920-1945, met once a week for an hour and fifteen minutes, with the other “half” online. Teaching in hybrid, or blended, format brought up similar feelings I have regarding the lack of comfort I tend to have with giving up “coverage,”…

2012-09-21 07.27.22

Categorizing History

Next semester (like every semester), I am going to try something new in my U.S. History survey courses. At the beginning of this semester, when I asked students in my U.S. history survey courses what they wanted to learn, many of them said something like “anything and everything” or “I just want to learn about…