FAQ for Instructors
What is H/21?
History for the 21st Century (“H/21”) is a collaborative project of the World History Assocation designed to enable college and university faculty to effectively introduce 21st-century century students to the study of history. H/21 aims to support faculty by offering student-centered, inquiry-driven, peer-reviewed, and peer-tested course materials for free to faculty teaching first-year General Education history courses.
What kinds of materials does H/21 offer?
H/21 offers several types of materials for educators and their students.
- MREs (Modules Ready to Educate) – 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 educator on its design, purpose, and use.
- “Our World in Time” includes MREs targeted for world history courses. The first round of modules for Our World in Time are currently be completed. The second round are commissioned and under review. The third round are being commissioned. Our plan is to have a complete set by January 2023.
- “All America” will include a parallel set of MREs in U.S. history. We will begin commissioning these modules in summer of 2022.
- We will practice all MREs in real classroom settings before publishing the final versions. We will also collect feedback from educators who use them via this website for continued improvements and modifications.
- Starting in Spring 2023, we plan a series of workshops aimed at training faculty produce and use student-centered, inquiry-based lessons for their classrooms.
How are H/21 materials reviewed and approved?
MREs are commissioned and peer-reviewed by historians with content expertise and will tested by experience educators in multiple class settings prior to publication.
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.
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.
How can I use H/21 materials?
You can think about using the modules in your courses in three basic ways:
1) you can ‘drop-in’ a module into existing history course, which might be designed around a textbook or material you already use or, or
2) you can just adapt part of a module into the lessons you already have, or
3) you can construct an ‘all-module’ course, using our modules and others’ materials.
The modules are comprehensive and self-contained. Of course, you are free to adjust them to meet your needs.
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 MREs?
We believe that introductory college history courses should use help students
1) develop critical, analytic, and communications skills and
2) understand the nature and practice of history in order to better navigate the world we live in.
Instead of comprehensive coverage, our MREs are designed to engage students from where they are, and invite them to ask questions about how historical understanding can help them navigate the world. The modules aimed to offered to a range of ways to engage students through discussions and exercises exploring historical consciousness, scholarly 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 educators) 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?
You can participate by submitting a proposal to produce a module, but offering to serve as a potential peer reviewer, by offering to test a draft MREs in your course, or by offering financial support.
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?
Starting in Spring 2023, we plan to conduct a series of workshops to help educator use and develop student-centered, inquiry driven lessons in their courses. We will let you know about these via period emails and we hope you will participate.