I spent about 45 minutes exploring this resource, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It provides a window into 19th century colonial life in British Columbia by looking explicitly at a historical murder mystery. The murder provides an engaging context from which to explore what amounts to a treasure trove of primary source information surrounding the case itself as well as more general sources which anchor the story in a specific time and place. Information about the settlement of BC and Canada, the importance of land, the dispossession of aboriginal people, justice, racism, family life, relgion etc in 19th century Canada can be explored via the primary source material.
It is student-centred in its approach -- users can choose their own path through the materials, and draw their own conclusions from the vast array of primary source information available.
Critical thinking skills are engaged in the final section, "Interpretation" which provides links to secondary source material, documenting how historians have traditionally viewed the case. Part of the excellence of this resource is that the learner has direct and immediate access to the primary source material on which the interpretations were based, enabling them to critically evaluate the conclusions drawn by the experts. This section is password-protected --I assume passwords can be obtained from the authors.
I think this is an excellent resource for history instructors--excellent quality, a well-designed interface, an archive of primary source material available to the learner to explore as s/he needs it. Discovery is left entirely up to the learner. The interface is simple to navigate and instructions are clear and readily available.
The interface is simple to navigate and instructions are clear and readily available.