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Sources for courses

Help students understand the critical use of sources by having them annotate entries in a highly diverse source database.

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The Cloudworks Team
15 April 2008

First-year history students often expect history to be about collecting facts, and have difficulty understanding the various ways in which historians use and interpret different kinds of sources.

Here, students are introduced to the critical reading and use of sources through a guided exploration of items held on a multimedia relational database. The sources are diverse: not only text, but photographs, letters, audio recordings of interviews, films, etc. Sources are linked to one or more topics in the course, and are also indexed by type.

In the first five topics of the course, students do exercises on different types of sources from the database, and write an annotation on one of them, summarising its contents and arguments and evaluating its strengths and weaknesses.

In the remaining 17 topics, students locate their own relevant sources from the database, and submit an annotated list for assessment. [Janis Wilton, Catherine Clarke, Jeremy Whish, Ivan Thornton]

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