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Fostering historical thinking with digitized primary sources

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Fostering historical thinking with digitized primary sources edtech orna farrell james brunton

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Fostering historical thinking with digitized primary sources

  1. 1. Fostering historical thinking with digitized primary sources Orna Farrell & James Brunton orna.farrell@dcu.ie @orna_farrell james.brunton@dcu.ie @DrJamesBrunton
  2. 2. • Background • Primary sources & history • Digital primary sources • Learning outcome etc…. • “The History Lab” initiative Outline
  3. 3. Background •Open Education, NIDL, DCU •BA (Hons) Humanities, BA (Hons) Humanities (Psychology major), BA (Hons) English & History •Flexible/off-campus learners •Six BA in Humanities history modules
  4. 4. Primary sources & history •History is the study and interpretation of the past, and engaging with primary sources is central to the development of authentic critical historical thinking. (Wineburg, 1999)
  5. 5. Digital primary sources • In the past thirty years, millions of primary sources have been digitized by libraries and archives • sheer scale of sources material, questions about source quality -challenging research environment for learners • In the lead up to the centenary of the 1916 Rising, there has been a major drive to survey and digitise relevant archival material • National Library’s “1916 Digitisation Project” which is making 90,000 images & personal papers of 7 of the signatories of the proclamation • The Dublin Rising 1916-2016 virtual tour https://dublinrising.withgoogle.com/welcome
  6. 6. Digital primary sources • Crowdsourcing-Maynooth University “Letters of 1916” 1300 transcribers working on hundreds of letters • Personalizing-Stories from 1916 I • Virtual Reality-Contested Memories the Battle of Mount Street 1916-
  7. 7. Learning outcomes etc…. • (NFQ) the learning outcomes of all level 8 undergraduate degrees includes competency requirements of advanced research skills and critical thinking • In the UK, the (QAA) subject benchmark statement for undergraduate history states that students should develop ” the ability to read and analyse texts and other primary sources, both critically and empathetically, while addressing questions of genre, content, perspective and purpose.” • BA (Hons) Humanities programme learning outcomes such as: using advanced skills to conduct research, confidently negotiating access and navigation of online resources and internet based environments and utilise electronic reference resources
  8. 8. Thinking like a historian • Tally & Goldenberg (2005) found that using primary documents gives students a sense of the reality and complexity of the past and the multimedia nature of digital archives offer students multiple pathways into thinking about historical and cultural issues • According to Wineburg (1999) engaging with primary sources is central to the development of authentic critical historical thinking • Historical Thinking Matters (www.historicalthinkingmatters.org) • Reading like a Historian curriculum teaches students how to investigate historical questions • Reismans (2012) study found that instruction with multiple documents increased students’ content retention and skills with sourcing and close reading Wineburg (2008) poses a very pertinent question in his article “Seeing thinking on the Web”: “How do we use new digital technologies not only to make sources more available, but also to cultivate skills that teach students to read and think about these sources in meaningful ways?”
  9. 9. The initiative…….”The History Lab” • modelled on Wineburg’s approach • support flexible/off-campus learners and their development of research skills in the six BA in Humanities (Open Education) history modules The learning materials are comprised of: • An interactive guide to online primary sources • An accompanying social bookmarking web page • An online tutorial to practise finding, evaluating and using online primary sources
  10. 10. The History Lab…..aims • To provide access & encourage the use of digital primary sources • To develop advance research skills that teach students to read and think about these sources in meaningful ways • To teach students how to think like a historian i.e how to investigate historical questions by employing reading strategies such as sourcing, contextualizing, corroborating, and close reading using digital documentary evidence
  11. 11. Interactive guide •An interactive guide to online primary sources- a selection of 40 relevant resources in different topic areas/countries/time periods •Made using Atavist- www.atavist.com •Embedded videos, links, interactive tables, mobile ready
  12. 12. Online tutorial • An online tutorial to practise finding, evaluating and using online primary sources • Which incorporates a supporting video explaining how to use those resources • which will encourage student visualisation of key concepts (Henderson et al, 2015) • Using Articulate Studio
  13. 13. Social bookmarking- Diigo • Encourage group collaboration • making organizing and saving web resources faster and easier for students • Can comment on other students' bookmarks, annotate and highlight interesting sections
  14. 14. What next? •Try out the resources on students! •Collect feedback and improve/change
  15. 15. Thank You!
  16. 16. References • http://www.storiesfrom1916.com/1916-easter-rising/home/ • http://mountstreet1916.ie/ • http://letters1916.maynoothuniversity.ie/ • Reisman, Avishag. (2012). Reading Like a Historian: A Document-Based History Curriculum Intervention in Urban High Schools. Cognition and Instruction, 30(1), 86–112. • Tally, Bill, & Goldenberg, Lauren. (2005). Fostering Historical Thinking With Digitized Primary Sources. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 38(1), 1–21. • Wineburg, Sam, & Martin, Daisy. (2008). Seeing Thinking on the Web. The History Teacher, 41(3), 305–319. • Henderson, M., Selwyn, N. & Aston, R. (2015) ‘What works and why? Student perceptions of “useful” digital technology in university teaching and learning’, Studies in Higher Education.

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