Teaching history survey classes without a textbook.

19 09 2010

This fine post from Historiann is about a very strange NPR story on e-readers in the college classroom. It and the story itself are worth your time, but what’s more important is that one of her asides has me thinking about ditching the main textbook in my survey class and replacing it with articles and primary sources.

If anybody else out there in blogland has already made that leap, I’d appreciate your advice in the comments below.

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4 responses

19 09 2010
Neil Schlager

Jonathan, as it happens, we are in the process of moving our Milestone Documents website over to a full subscription model. Among other things, we’re going to offer a “semester” option for students. The site will offer 700 critical docs from US and world history, plus all of our expert analysis. We think it could be a great alternative to a traditional textbook and far more affordable for students. I would love to offer you (and your students) a free semester-length trial and will email you with the details.

20 09 2010
Jonathan Rees

Alright Neil,

I’m in! Usually I’d be more hesitant and at least look at your documents, but I know about the quality and care that you put into your work so this seems like an excellent experiment in which to participate.

Besides, it’s change that keeps this job interesting.

30 11 2010
Am I working right now? « More or Less Bunk

[...] my knowledge of the subject and improved the quality of my classes. In fact, I think I made one of the most important pedagogical decisions in ten years of teaching solely because of this blog. So it’s kind of like work, but it kind of isn’t. This is [...]

3 01 2011
An AHA-induced hiatus. « More or Less Bunk

[...] now, I’m completely rewriting my survey syllabus to facilitate my new no-text class. On Wednesday, I leave for the AHA convention in Boston and I have no plans to bring my laptop with [...]

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