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Peer Review

The Star-Spangled Banner



Overall Numeric Rating:

4 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 20, 2003 by History Editorial Board
Overview: The Star Spangled Banner is an interactive site that provides information on the

history of the banner and its preservation. The site includes a flag history
quiz, bibliography, educational materials for grades K-8 and high school, and
links to other related sites.
Type of Material: The site is interactive and includes clickable digitized pictures, historical
information and primary source documents as well as the expert opinions based
on the evidence provided on the site.
Recommended Uses: This site could provide a learning object for a class on the War of 1812,
patriotism or the development of the American flag. Students can test their
knowledge of the site by taking the quiz.
Technical Requirements: None needed.
Identify Major Learning Goals: To learn about the history of the star spangled banner and the American Flag.
To acquaint students with the preservation efforts underway to keep the Flag
available for future generations to see.
Target Student Population: The site provides lessons for K-8 students, and is working on a high school
assignment but it could also be used by American history survey classes.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: This site does not require any prerequisite knowledge. Some knowledge about
United States history during the War of 1812 would be helpful.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site is well designed, easy to use, and the content is first class. The
sources and information are excellent and the site itself is visually
The addition of a bibliography and links to other related sites makes it
particularly useful. It also stimulates interest in historic preservation and
museum studies. Students can learn to distinguish between primary and secondary
sources and how to develop historic based opinion.
Concerns: The site does not offer assignments for college level survey courses.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: This site makes an excellent learning object to enhance a course. Teachers can
either download some of the information or link to the web in the classroom.
Although the materials are for grades K-8 and high school, they could be adapted
for a college level survey course in United States history. Both a reading
list and web site links are offered.
Concerns: Students should take the entire quiz instead of learning the answers after each

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is an easy site to navigate, and the links between the topics work very
well. Almost anyone can navigate this site easily. No special software or
plugins needed.
Concerns: None

Other Issues and Comments: Very well done site. Attractive, quick, and easy to use. The information is
nested but there is not so much that a student would lose interest before
gaining optimum knowledge about the flag.