Teaching Hidden Histories: A Multi-institution Collaboration in Higher Education

Saturday, January 9, 2016
Galleria Exhibit Hall (Hilton Atlanta)
Celeste Tuong Vy Sharpe, George Mason University
Nate Sleeter, George Mason University
Kelly Schrum, George Mason University
The higher education landscape is constantly changing, which has included a recent rapid rise in distance education. Models for online education, however, have been dominated by science, math, and technology and so collaborators at George Mason University and Virginia Tech University are developing an online history course designed to explore strategies for taking active learning a step further. Humanities disciplines have been slow to develop online educational opportunities that incorporate and model best practices for inquiry-based, active learning.

The goal of the new course is to create a graduate digital history practicum that combines history content, scholarship of teaching and learning, history education, and distance education. In the process, students will strengthen historical research and historical thinking skills while utilizing digital tools and exploring history education. The class will combine face-to-face meetings that span multiple universities and an asynchronous online learning environment. The course will be open to history graduate students and social studies education students at four universities across the state of Virginia. Throughout the course, students will conduct their own research starting with an object of material culture and develop educational modules using our Drupal-based module framework. We see the pedagogical and technical foundation laid in these courses as a useful model for thinking broadly about meaningful ways to teach K-16 history educators.

This poster will focus on the development of the pilot course called Teaching Hidden History. First, we will present the course’s roots in two fully online, asynchronous courses (Virginia Studies and Hidden in Plain Sight) that we at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media currently offer to K-12 teachers. Second, we will discuss the technical and pedagogical choices that went into Teaching Hidden History. Lastly, we will describe the process and lessons learned about collaborative course design and implementation across multiple institutions. Taken together, this project presents interesting insights and potential opportunities for history education in higher education.

See more of: Poster Session # 1
See more of: AHA Sessions