Meaning: Why build an online learning module?
This project will guide participating class members through the development of online learning modules. As part of this project, teachers will meet the following objectives.
1. Class members will become active participants in digital learning. Members of this class will both use and create digital learning environments, as they plan, research, write, and develop their own online learning modules, which may house video interviews, audio clips, maps, charts, census records, newspaper articles, political cartoons, photographs, and other forms of digital media that are often overlooked by history teachers.
2. Class members will master “Twenty First Century Skills,” like those defined by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Some of these skills include:
The ability to be proficient in the use of advanced technology;
The ability to communicate information and ideas using a variety of media and formats;
The ability to access, exchange, compile, organize, analyze, and synthesize information;
The ability to draw conclusions and make generalizations based on information gathered;
The ability to know content and be able to locate additional information as needed;
The ability to evaluate information and sources;
The ability to construct, produce, and publish models, content, and other creative works;
The ability to become self-directed learners;
And, the ability to collaborate and cooperate in team efforts.
3. Class members will become intermediaries between untapped historical sources and the communities in which they live. Class members will complete sound historical research and use it to develop online learning modules that are authentic, relevant, and meaningful.
Each of the completed modules should meet the following requirements.
1. It should present a complex and multifaceted American history topic
in an engaging manner.
2. It should be based on primary and secondary research, which is cited in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style.
3. It should discuss the larger historiographical issues with which it is concerned.
4. It should be aligned with corresponding elements of the Texas TEKS/TAKS.
5. It should be targeted, coherent, informative, and effective.
6. It should provide a Document Based Questions for evaluation purposes.
Planning: The Background Work
Step I: Visit, review, and critique one of the following online modules
All class members should spend 20 minutes visiting, reviewing, and critiquing one of the following sites.
A. Sites to Review
1. Early Images of Virginia Indians
2. Virginia's Colonial Dynasties
3. Lost Virginia: Vanished Architecture of the Old Dominion
4. Old Virginia: The Pursuit of a Pastoral Ideal
5. The Sneden Civil War Collection
6. The Civil Rights Movement in Virginia
B. Answer the following questions as you review one of the sites above.
1. What is the main point of the site?
2. What are the principle sub-points of the site?
3. Is the site organized so that you can easily understand the main point?
4. Do the images and graphics support the site? Are they specifically related to the main point of the site, or are they general and often times unrelated?
5. Is it easy to navigate through the site?
6. What would have improved the site?
Step II: Complete a Practice Module
Each group will have 1 hour to develop a coherent, informative, and effective POWERPOINT presentation on one of the following topics. Your presentation should have an introduction, body, and conclusion that clearly expresses a MAIN POINT. In addition, your presentation should clearly explain the historical significance of your topic.
A. Lord Dunmore, the Ethiopian Regiment, and the American Revolution
Race, Military Affairs, Disease, Politics
Elizabeth A. Fenn, “Vigilance” in Pox Americana:
The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775-82, 55-62.
B. The Assassination of James Garfield and the Trial of Charles Giteau
Crime, Medicine, Law, Politics
C. Clarence Darrow: From Leopold and Loeb to Scopes and Bryan
Crime, Law, Philosophy, Religion, First Amendment
D. James J. Kilpatrick, Interposition, and Massive Resistance
Constitutional Law, Politics, Race
E. A. Philip Randolph: Labor Leader and Civil Rights Activist
Labor, Civil Rights, Race, Politics
Step III: Choose a Topic of Interest
The topic you choose should be of personal interest, since you will work on it for some time.
A. Some possible sample topics
1. Christopher Columbus: Cartography, Christianity, and Conquest
2. The Powhatan Indians of Virginia
"Autobiographical Independence": John Smith and His Pocahontas Story
4. Bacon and Berkeley: The Rebellion of 1676
5. The Transformation of Virginia
6. The Great War for the Empire
7. The Roots of Revolution, 1763-1776
8. Lord Dunmore and the Ethiopan Regiment
"Persecution rages": James Madison and Religious Liberty in America
10. Patrick Henry v. James Madison: The Ratification Debate in Virginia
11. A Forgotten History: Slavery in New England
12. The American Promise: American Identitiy in the 19th century
13. Lewis and Clark in Perspective
14. Government, Taxes, Laws, and Leadership
15. African Americans in US History, 1800-1850
16. Abolitionists: Freedom Advocates or Terrorists?
17. Faces of the Civil War as Seen from the Front Line
18. The Industrial Revolution: Women and Children At Work
19. America and Her Women, from the 17th to the 19th centuries
20. Making sense of the Baby-Boom in the 1950-1960s
21. The Lessons of Vietnam
22. America First, Lend Lease and the Golden Age of Radio
23. From Wigwams to Warhol-American Art and Architecture
24. If Thoreau Were Alive Today: Civil Disobedience Past and Present
25. In the First Person: An Oral History of Civil Rights
26. Brown v. Board of Education case and beyond
27. Free Speech and National Security: A Delicate Balance
28. Progressivism in America: From New Deal to Great Society
29. Power Movements of the 1960s, 70's, and 80's
30. The Cold War, Space Race, and the expansion of America's hegemony
31. Legacies of Slavery in post-Reconstruction America
32. Expanding the Definition of Democracy in America
33. Judicial Activism: Conservative and Liberal Agendas
34. The Robber Barons: Past and Present
35. Conflict and Consensus in the 1920s
36. Presidential Foreign Policies: From Big Stick to the War on Terrorism
37. "Good Night and Good Bye:" The News Media and Public Opinion
38. Political Cartoons in 19th and 20th Century Politics
39. Unheard Voices: The Contemporary Struggles of Native Americans
40. American History According to Hollywood
41. Reagan's World: Rebuilding America's Empire
42. Human Rights Campaigns in America
43. Legislating Morality in American History
Step IV: Being researching and outlining your digital learning module
A. Once you know your topic, begin to research your project.
B. Develop a reading list of primary and secondary sources.
C. Develop a thematic outline of your topic.
D. Use your outline to develop a list of organizing key words for your module.
E. Begin to search for primary media sources.
Step V: Read and Write!