Investigating US History

About the Investigating U.S. History Project

Faculty members from across City University of New York campuses have worked together to create and test interactive multimedia "lab" modules for use in the introductory college U.S. history survey. Our Investigating US History project was funded by a materials development grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as support from the Vice Chancellor's Office of the City University of New York.  The idea is to let students "do history" with the growing amount of wonderful online archival materials and directing the use of primary sources through sophisticated inquiry based activities developed by faculty. The modules utilize a rich array of resources including Presidential audio tape excerpts from JFK and LBJ, photographs and folk music of the 1930s and religious tracts from the nineteenth century. 

Our Investigating US History Project has developed twelve multimedia modules and field tested them in over thirty history classrooms throughout the City University of New York over the three year duration of the project.  We have been able to take advantage of preceding projects that gave selected faculty members the opportunity to gather and discuss teaching U.S. history by incorporating digital resources (Sloan Foundation). The project's faculty module developers have built scaffolding for student learning that helps students to see beyond the simple, to formulate provisional questions for inquiry, to encounter new sources, then to revise their earlier assertions. In this way, we sought to help students learn the process of historical reasoning.  

Developers have tackled the intellectual problems in designing web-based learning environments by taking a module approach to the teaching and learning of U.S. history. Investigating US History has approached the development of on-line modules from the collaborative perspectives of historians, teachers and designers, with the goal of keeping critical historical themes and questions foremost in the experience of students.  We have benefits from the historical and new media expertise of our partners, the American Social History Project (Graduate Center, CUNY).   Also, our project has brought together U.S. historians from throughout the seventeen campuses of the City University and in a variety of roles--graduate students and doctoral faculty, junior and senior faculty, two and four year schools--in a partnership.  

Investigating US History has been a collaborative experience from the beginning. 

 

Participants

(Colleges below are all part of the City University of New York, CUNY)

Project Director

David Jaffee, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center

Project Leaders:

Pennee Bender, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, CUNY Graduate Center
Bill Friedheim, Borough of Manhattan Community College

Module Developers

Angelo Angelis, Hunter College
Martin J. Burke, Lehman College and CUNY Graduate Center
Kyle Cuordileone, New York City College of Technology
Vince DiGirolamo, Baruch College
Megan Elias, Queensborough Community College
Bill Friedheim, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Rebecca Hill, Borough of Manhattan Community College
K.C. Johnson, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center
Premilla Nadasen, Queens College
Joanne Reitano, LaGuardia Community College
Jonathan Sassi, College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate Center

Field Testers

Angelo Angelis, Hunter College
Martin J. Burke, Lehman College and CUNY Graduate Center
Peter Catapano, New York City College of Technology
Kyle Cuordileone, New York City College of Technology
Vince DiGirolamo, Baruch College
Megan Elias, Queensborough Community College
Mark Van Ells, Queensborough Community College
Bill Friedheim, Borough of Manhattan Community College
David Gerwin, Queens College
Linda Grasso, York College
Christopher Grenda, Bronx Community College
Kate Hallgren, CUNY Graduate Center
Larry Hanley, City College of New York
Rebecca Hill, Borough of Manhattan Community College
David Jaffee, David Jaffee, City College of New York and CUNY Graduate Center
Hunter Kirkland, Borough of Manhattan Community College
Julie Miller, Hunter College
Bernadette Mccauley, Hunter College
Premilla Nadasen, Queens College
Joanne Reitano, LaGuardia Community College
Andrew Robertson, Lehman College and CUNY Graduate Center
Jonathan Sassi, College of Staten Island and CUNY Graduate Center
Gunja SenGupta, Brooklyn College
Chris Stern, LaGuardia Community College
Fritz Umbach, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Amy VanNatter, Lehman College and Graduate Center
Mark Van Ells, Queensborough Community College

Scholarly Reviewers:

Carol Berkin, Baruch College and CUNY Graduate Center,
Joshua Brown, American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, CUNY Graduate Center,
Joshua Freeman, CUNY Graduate Center,
David Nasaw, CUNY Graduate Center,
Project Evaluator: Michael Whelan, Montclair University
Project Developer, Judith Watson, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism
USHI Leaders, George Otte, CUNY Central Office,
David Nasaw, Graduate Center


Web Developers: Janet Heetner, City College of New York
Web Designer, Steve Kennedy, www.somewhereinamerica.com