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Using Facebook Live for Online Discussion Recaps

This semester I took an experimental approach to the dreaded online discussion board. Unless discussions are significantly scaffolded, it can be troublesome to effectively facilitate back-and-forth among students. While a mediated discussion does resemble survey-level discussions in class, with the professor usually acting as the conduit to connect student points, an online environment seems to…

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A Game-ified U.S. Survey using Greenwich Village, 1913

Teaching the U.S. survey in an blended/hybrid format offers certain challenges and opportunities. On the one hand, it is a chance to flip the classroom and have students get a hands on experience with big questions, deep textual analysis, and interactive in-class work, having had a lot of time outside of class to engage with…

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A Thematic U.S. Survey (Second Half) Model

For quite some time I have been tinkering with my ways of teaching the survey (the second half, AKA USII). I’ve flipped, I’ve themed, I’ve occasionally flopped, I’ve blended, digitized, and problematized in the some thirty-odd sections that I’ve taught in the past seven years. (I have not yet backwarded or role-played, but I’m sure…

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From Survey to Elective: Connecting through Learning Outcomes

What differentiates learning outcomes at the survey and elective levels in American history courses?  This semester I taught ONLY the U.S. survey. Next semester, I’m teaching the survey, a team-taught introductory American Studies/transnational course on Nazism and American culture and politics, and an upper level elective in U.S. Economic History (History of American Capitalism). As…

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Survey of the Survey: Learning Outcomes

In my last installment of the “survey of the survey” series I’m working on, I looked at what themes continuously reappear in our surveys. Moving from the top down, this post examines the learning outcomes—and in particular the skills—developed in survey level history courses. I look at this topic as the middle point between the…

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Grading with Emojis (no, really)

This month I’m reflecting on an experimental grading practice that I implemented in my Historical Methods class this semester. In this offering, in addition to introducing students to the nuts and bolts of historical research (archives, primary sources, citation, paragraph construction, etc.), I focused heavily on developing their historical thinking. I emphasized the 5 C’s…

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Polling the Survey: Last Month’s Results

This month, before I start digging into the details of the formats, structures, and options used in different surveys, I’m reporting the results of the poll that I posted last month. While admittedly unscientific and self-selected, the results provide a sense of the variety of offerings and approaches used by historians to teach the different…