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History Goals + Competencies

The history department teaches you to master historical knowledge, research, analytics, communication skills, and global thinkers. Below are the curricular details on how we will achieve these goals.

Learning Goals and Competencies by Course Level

COURSE LEVEL  |  100 and 200

ASSIGNED READING

  • Completing chapter-length textbook readings, secondary source articles and book chapters, and frequent source document readings   
  • Learning basic historical chronologies
  • Reading and utilizing digital materials, to include online source materials and CD resources

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

  • Note taking in lectures
  • Contributing to class discussions
  • Contributing to group discussions
  • Participating in debates group and partner work

 

WRITING AND SKILLS 

  • Reading and film responses 
  • Reading summaries
  • Source document analysis
  • Brief position papers
  • Learning how to quote a source, primary or secondary
  • Learning basic editing and formatting guidelines

CRITICAL THINKING

  • Learning to select appropriate topics conducting basic research       
  • Learning to recognize the difference between primary and secondary sources and beginning to think critically about both       
  • Beginning to formulate a thesis or claim       
  • Beginning to spot historical trends or parallels
  • Beginning to recognize authors' claims and arguments

 

COURSE LEVEL  |  HISTORY 250

ASSIGNED READING

  • Any of the above        
  • Reading archival materials, microfilm, news periodicals, and complete monographs

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

  • Any of the above  
  • Writing exercises
  • Library research
  • Archival research
  • Introduction to oral history as a primary source

WRITING AND SKILLS

  • Any of the above        
  • Primary research reports 
  • Documentary and secondary source analysis       
  • Archival source reports 
  • A major research essay    
  • Learning to quote and cite sources, correctly and consistently
  • graduating to quoting mainly primary source material, rather than secondary source authors

  • Learning to format and edit historical writing correctly and consistently

  • Learning to manage multiple deadlines

  • Learning how to assess the work of another historian and a classmate in the form of book and article reviews, feedback on drafts

CRITICAL THINKING

  • Learning to write comparative source analyses
  • Learning to formulate a thesis or claim
  • Learning to spot historical trends or parallels
  • Earning to reconcile or synthesize varying or discrepant data, claims, or evidence
  • Leaning to support claims with evidence
  • Learning to identify poor or conflicting evidence
  • Learning to identify bogus claims and faulty reasoning
  • Introduction to/development of the ability to recognize and assess historical interpretation

 

COURSE LEVEL  |  HISTORY 300-400

ASSIGNED READING

  • Any of the above        

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

  • Any of the above
  • Group or individual presentations

  • Making and presenting slides

  • Engaging with community sources, archives, museums

  • Conducting original interviews

WRITING AND SKILLS

  • Any of the above
  • Writing comparative papers across differing fields, eras, regions, etc.

  • Coming to master written format: structure, quoting sources, editing, citations, notes, and bibliographies

  • Writing often and meeting multiple deadlines

           

CRITICAL THINKING

  • Coming to master the above
  • Formulating more sophisticated responses to source documents or works of scholarship
  • Expressing complex ideas orally and in writing
  • Learning to build complex arguments supported by various sources

 

COURSE LEVEL  |  HISTORY 350

ASSIGNED READING

  • Any of the above        

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES

  • Any of the above
  • Participating in a simulation of a professional conference
    • organizing themed panels
    • presenting paper, using PowerPoint visuals
    • engaging in discussion, question and answer with audience  

WRITING AND SKILLS

  • Any of the above
  • A major historiography paper

CRITICAL THINKING

  • Recognizing and articulating the difference between history as "sum total" of past events vs. history as the created, written record of the past 
  • Understanding that the discipline of history has a history of its own
  • Recognizing and identifying various schools of historical thought and interpretation
  • Understanding that written history and historical interpretations are conditioned by the cultural context in which they originate
  • Understanding history as a profession and learning about opportunities for practice of that profession
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