Primary Source Instruction in Higher Ed

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Katz, Robin M. "Primary Source Instruction in Higher Ed." Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). Philadelphia, PA. November 7 – 9, 2013. Panelist.

Katz, Robin M. "Primary Source Instruction in Higher Ed." Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). Philadelphia, PA. November 7 – 9, 2013. Panelist.

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  • 1. Students and Faculty in the Archives Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Philadelphia, PA Friday, November 8, 2013
  • 2. Introduction Robin M. Katz Outreach and Public Services Archivist Co-Director, Students and Faculty in the Archives Brooklyn Historical Society Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 3. What is SAFA? • Innovative postsecondary education program • Uses primary sources to teach – document analysis, – information literacy – critical thinking skills • First-year undergraduates Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 4. What is SAFA? • Three year grant – US Department of Education – Now-defunct FIPSE program – $750,000 over 3 years – Jan 2011 until Dec 2013 • Supported – 2 FT professional staff – 1 PT staff member – Stipends for participants – Supplies • Sustainability and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society Students
  • 5. What is SAFA? • Three schools within walking distance – New York City College of Technology (CUNY) – Long Island University Brooklyn – St. Francis College • Nineteen local partner faculty – All ranks and stages of career – Wide range of disciplines (not just history) – Variety of classes (seminars, surveys, etc.) – Intellectual and professional community • National partners Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 6. What is SAFA? • Centered around class visits to the archives • Over four semesters (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013) – 1,100 individual students – 63 courses – 100+ class visits to Brooklyn Historical Society • Summer fellowship Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 7. What is SAFA? • Class visits in a nutshell – Each course: as many as 7, as few as 1 – Ideally: 1 – 3 visits – Anywhere from <10 – 40+ students – Faculty request docs 3 weeks ahead of time – Staff pull, prep, cite, assess copyright, set up docs – Staff greet class; review care/handling; occasionally lecture; co-facilitate exercise & wrap-up Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 8. What is SAFA? • Student population – – – – – Mostly first-year / early academic career Both professional and liberal arts majors Mostly products of NYC public schools Very diverse: minority, non-traditional students Many international students, new Americans, or non-native speakers of English • SAFA’s secondary goal: familiarize students with cultural institutions and resources Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 9. What is SAFA? • Sampling of SAFA classes – – – – – – Robin Michals, Introduction to Digital Photography Jen Wingate, Visual Culture of the Civil War Sara Haviland, U.S., 1896-present Geoff Zylstra, Early American History Leah Dilworth, American Literature Matthew Gold, English Composition: Fire, Disease, Disaster and the Shaping of Urban Public Space Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 10. What is SAFA? • Our Teaching Philosophy – – – – – Goals and objectives No show-and-tell Actively use materials Less is more Modeling document analysis to beginners Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 11. What is SAFA? • Document analysis – Not traditional bibliographic instruction – Preselected, pull at the item-level • Specific vs. generic prompts – Ex: “Why did Henry Ward Beecher write this letter?” – Not “Who is the creator? What type of document is this?” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 12. What is SAFA? • Summer Fellowships − − − − − − Application process Produce own scholarly or creative projects Only undergraduate fellowship of its kind Gabriel Furman papers, ARC.190 http://safa.brooklynhistory.org/fellowship2012 http://safa.brooklynhistory.org/fellowship2013 Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 13. SAFA Lessons • SAFA as professional development • Opportunity to tweak and refine Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 14. SAFA Lessons • Learning goals vs. objectives Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 15. SAFA Lessons • Goals: a statement that describes in broad terms what a student will learn from your course. • Prof goals same as SAFA goals adapted from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf • • • • Student engagement Building a sense of community Interaction with neighborhoods Student identity as creators, not just consumers, of knowledge Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 16. SAFA Lessons • Objectives: Statement in specific and measurable terms that describes what the student will know or be able to do as a result of completing course activities. • adapted from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 17. SAFA Lessons • Sara Haviland’s goals vs. objectives • Goal – Students will learn the unique history of the Civil Rights movement in the North. • Objective − In their final research paper, students will identify and analyze the different issues, strategies, and constituencies of the Civil Rights movement in the North, as compared to the South. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 18. SAFA Lessons • Types of assignments and visits − − − − − − − One-off in-archive activity Semester-long, multi-visit structure Building a collaborative resource as a class Scaffolded document-to-folder model Scholarly research paper Other scholarly work (oral history, walking tour) Research for a creative project Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 19. SAFA Lessons • Types of context needed − − − − Historical Technical / Format Collection Info What is a historical society/archives? • How to provide? − − − − Secondary or primary sources Popular or experiential readings Finding aids or other library descriptions Class or in-archives lectures Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 20. SAFA Lessons • Document selection − − − − − − physical size condition or handling needs length of text legibility (especially handwriting) vocabulary visual literacy skills of students • Research as a teacher, not a scholar Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 21. SAFA Lessons • Logistics • Room Set Uo • Stations and groupings − Rotate or not? Timing? − Even groupings − Sitting at table or standing with clipboards? • Independent or group work? − Small groups of 3 - 4 students are ideal Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 22. SAFA Lessons • Tailoring student prompts/handouts − − − − − Educators often do have a reading in mind Handouts should reflect specific visit objectives Regularize experience for students Not too long Tell students to read Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 23. SAFA Lessons • Facilitation − Determine roles of staff/faculty − Over-budget on time − Care and handling − Not punitive, stress universality − Ask “preservation − Floating vs. zoning − Wrap ups − Coming back Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 24. SAFA Findings • Independent evaluators have found that SAFA students are more engaged and perform better than their peers. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 25. SAFA Findings • Receive and analyze retention data this year – Final Report due December 2013 • Data from 2012 Evaluation Report – Available in your folders – Online at http://safa.brooklynhistory.org/docs/EvalReport201 2.pdf Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 26. Findings: Observation Skills • Q: Why might this document be worth preserving in an archive? PRE POST Students noting a single feature of giving a vague response 72% 49% Students noting multiple physical features 28% 51% Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 27. Findings: Articulating ‘a usable past’ • Q: Why might this document be worth preserving in an archive? Sample PRE responses This is a photo from the past Because it showed what was going on at that moment. It gives insight... to what life was like during the 1960s. Sample POST responses To show how society valued entertainment [It] shows how technology was progressing in the US. It shows how people were sending postal cards through the telegrams and how it was different... than... today. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 28. Findings: Academic Performance • Just one class at LIU Brooklyn SAFA NON-SAFA Completion Rate 96.9% 76.7% Passing Rate 91.9% 48% Grade B or better 60.7% 30.3% Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 29. Findings: Professional Development Peter Catapano, History, City Tech: “My teaching always improves when I have time to stop and reflect on my current practices. What I learned is that sometimes less is more. Better to have fewer learning objectives... This experience has helped me trust my students, who have taken to the site visit and the web assignments much more than expected.” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 30. Findings: Professional Development Geoff Zylstra, History, City Tech: “Through SAFA, I have been able to create a research project that mirrors that of the academic research process.” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 31. Findings: Professional Development Deborah Mutnick, English, LIU Brooklyn “I have rethought how I teach research, inverting the movement from breadth to depth, the general to the specific, in order to engage students in ‘deep learning’ based on close readings and observation.” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 32. Findings: Professional Development • Professor’s website submissions: – Archives allow them and students to “slow down” – SAFA allowed them to focus on teaching Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 33. Why does SAFA work? • High Impact Educational Practices – – – – – – – Work with first-year seminars, learning communities Common intellectual experiences (among a cohort) Collaborative assignments and projects Undergraduate research Diversity/global learning Community-based learning See www.aacu.org/leap/hip.cfm Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 34. TeachArchives.org • Will launch December 2013 • Project-level website • “Teaching effectively with primary sources” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 35. TeachArchives.org • Three audiences: − Local community − Educators nationwide − Librarians and archivists nationwide Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 36. TeachArchives.org • Three content areas: − Exercises − Articles − Project documentation Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 37. TeachArchives.org • Exercises • To use outright or as a model • Each will include: • • • • • • Info about course and prof Narrative and title Objectives, context, end products, assessment Attached handouts/prompts Skills used Some digitized documents Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 38. TeachArchives.org • Articles by SAFA staff • Including: • • • • • • • Our teaching philosophy Faculty / staff collaboration Document selection Creating handouts How to teach care and handling Citations: it’s not about plagiarism Digital cameras and tablets in the archives Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 39. TeachArchives.org • Articles by partner faculty • Including: • “The Appeal of the Archives: Engaging Students in More Meaningful Research” • “Why Less is More in the Archives” • “Fitting It All In: Incorporating Archival Materials into a World History Survey Course” • “Texts as Objects: Complementing the Literary Anthology with Primary Sources” • “How Archives Can Teach Design Students to Effectively Communicate Ideas” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 40. TeachArchives.org • Project Documentation • Including: − US DOE annual and final reports − Reports by independent evaluators − Materials and tools created by SAFA − Online call slip, care & handling handouts, etc. − Comprehensive lists of classes taught, materials used Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 41. TeachArchives.org • Launch Party! • Thursday, December 19, 2013 • Brooklyn Historical Society (Brooklyn, NY) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  • 42. Thank You Robin M. Katz rkatz@brooklynhistory.org @robinmkatz TeachArchives.org (Dec 2013) #safabhs and #safafellows Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society