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Survey of U.S. History

Survey of U.S. History

Divided into four chronological periods, these modules cover a variety of topics, including indentured servitude, runaway slaves, popular culture in the 19th century, and advertisements in the early 20th century. Modules were developed to build information technology proficiency, students build web pages, complete online assignments, perform online research and use technology in historical analysis.
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Tammy Garren
Tammy Garren (Content Developer/Author)
3 years ago

Excellent layout and organization to site - consistency makes it easily navigable.  There are some broken links, which is a shame, as it looks like it was last updated in 2004.  Some simple edits wouldbring the site up to date.  Because it is meant to be used as supplementary material there is not a lot of background information or historical context. Therefore, an instructor would need to provide some foundational information and/or knowledge-building excercises before letting the students navigate this site on their own.  

The organization of the site could arguably be used as a template for student projects - this would build on an already excellent site.  It could even be adapted to different topics/areas in history.

This learning material could be used as a whole as it is designed (for a larger survey course) or for more specific courses like slavery in the US, Women's Rights, or a focus on the 19th century for example.  

Some of the best elements are: 1)the detailed images with hotspots that direct the viewer's attention to detail, 2) the questions for each topic, and 3) the emphasis on the use of evidence when making claims about history.

Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour
Frank Kelderman
Frank Kelderman (Student)
7 years ago

"Survey of U.S. History" is designed to accompany a 100-level U.S. history course, and offers 27 exercises that deepen student's engament with 17th- through 20th-century North American history. The emphasis is mostly on 19th- and 20th century history, and the exercises devote much attention to cultural representations of the past (art, music, television).

The exercises prompt students to think about a series of written and visual primary sources available on the website. In these exercises students engage both contextual and interpretive questions that form an excellent basis for class discussion. Moreover, "Survey of U.S. History" invites students to explore some well-known events (such as the Boston Massacre), but also experiences and themes that might be less familiar to students: the lives of indentured servants in the 17th century, Native American creation stories, and 19th-century anti-immigration cartoons. One particular exercise prompts students to draw out their own vision of a utopian community during Jackson's presidency.

"Survey of U.S. History" offers plenty of usable case studies for U.S. history survey classes, as well as a good model for how to integrate primary source analysis into a class syllabus.

Technical Remarks:

The presentation is basic but well-organized, functional, and easy to navigate.