FAQ for Instructors
What is H/21?
H/21 is a project designed to develop instructional materials for college history courses. (Of course, teachers of upper-level college or advanced high school courses may also find them useful). H/21 is comprised of a publishing process, a web-based platform for the distribution of H/21 materials and other materials we think will be useful/interesting to teachers, and an on-going series of professional development seminars to assist college teachers use H/21 materials and improve their teaching of history.
What kinds of materials does H/21 offer?
H/21 offers several types of materials for teachers and their students.
- Modules – Each module is a comprehensive set of teaching materials, and may include student readings, lecture slides, primary sources, student assessments/exercises/grading rubrics. Each module provides guidance to the teacher on its design, purpose, and use.
- “Our World in Time” includes modules targeted for world history courses.
- “All America” will be available in 2021and will include modules targeted for U.S. history courses.
- Suggested changes/improvements/additions in modules – A link in each Module page leading to an on-going discussion among teachers presenting their ideas and comments on their experience. What works? What could be tweaked? Are there additional angles to be included? Alternative exercises/assessments/sources? These comments may inform, inspire, provoke, warn, or reassure.
- History Sourcery – A set of links to teaching materials and source material that we think could be useful.
- ManyPaths – Ideas for course design and syllabi making use of Modules
How are H/21 materials reviewed and approved?
Modules and ManyPaths are commissioned and reviewed by an editorial board of experienced history professors and subjected to a normal ‘journal-type’ peer-review for substance and pedagogical effectiveness. Modules are tested in multiple class settings prior to publication.
Suggestions and comments from instructors on their experience with Modules, including variations, changes, and additions are included in the discussion section for each module. These have not been reviewed or validated by H/21.
The History Sourcery connects to other sites around the Web. While we think they are interesting and potentially useful, we have not formally reviewed or validated the materials behind these links.
Are there any restrictions on how I can use H/21 materials?
H/21 materials are available at no charge to registered users of the H/21 site. You may download materials and use them subject to the Creative Commons license [details].
How can my students use H/21 materials?
H/21 materials are available at no charge to students of registered users of the H/21 site. Its up to you to download what you want and present it to your students through your LMS or otherwise.
How can I use H/21 materials?
You can think about using the modules in your courses in two basic ways: 1) you can ‘drop-in’ a module into a text-book or other continuous course design, or 2) you can construct an ‘all-module’ course, using our modules and others’ materials. In either case, we have some ideas about how to think about course structure in our ManyPaths [add link] section.
The modules are comprehensive and self-contained. Of course, you should feel free to adjust them to meet your needs as an instructor.
The modules were designed for introductory college history courses. If you find they are useful for upper-division history courses, AP courses, or non-history courses, that’s great. Let us know how they worked out.
What is the teaching philosophy behind the modules?
We believe that introductory college history courses should use the great mass of historical experience and perspectives to help students 1) develop critical, analytic, and communications skills and 2) understand the nature and practice of history. If they pick up names, dates, events, trends, etc., so much the better. We reject the notion of “coverage,” particularly in the context of world history (the stories of 100 billion humans over the past 70,000+ years). The modules are designed to give you a range of ‘hooks’ from which you can launch discussions or exercises exploring historical consciousness, historiographical debates and understanding the inherent ‘other-ness’ of people of the past.
We also believe that, despite our own training and experience, we need (as instructors) to have open minds about what is effective for our students’ learning; i.e., our actual, highly diverse (along many axes) group of native-digital, 21st century-born students. Assessment exercises include ideas and rubrics to help you think this through.
You can get a more detailed sense from reading our FAQs for Authors .
How can I suggest changes/improvements/additions to H/21 materials?
Absolutely! We claim no monopoly on how to do this. Indeed, we want to have your ideas thrown into the mix. What worked for you? What worked for your students? Are there other materials, issues, or examples that would enrich the module? Put your comments in the module forum and upload your materials.
How can I write new H/21 materials?
If you have some supplements or additions to existing modules, post them in the module forums. If we want to incorporate them into the core module, we will contact you.
If you want to propose a new module, read the FAQs for Authors, then submit a new module proposal [add link] and we will let you know what we think.
How can I participate in a pre-publication module test?
After peer-review and revision, all modules are tested in multiple and varied classroom situations. If you are interested in working with us in this regard, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What is the History Sourcery?
The History Sourcery is a collection of materials and links to collections of materials that you may find useful in constructing, modifying, or teaching the modules.
Can I use materials from H/21 linked sources?
There’s a lot of good stuff out there and we’re happy to provide links to it. However, we don’t claim copyright on it and don’t make any representations about its quality or accuracy.
What are H/21 Seminars?
We expect to conduct a series of seminars/workshops to explore the use of modules, including different ways of structuring courses, and engaging and assessing students. Some of these will be webinars, others face-to-face, usually in conjunction with a national or regional history association conference. We will let you know about these via period emails and we hope you will participate.