HISTORY logo Introduction to HIS390 "Historical Controversy on the Web"

Part I: Describe the rationale that led to the creation of this course.

  1. Students and researchers increasingly rely on web-based material. Thanks to the low cost of publishing material on the web, some new information is only available in that format. In addition, social historians who seek to learn from ordinary people are drawn to statistical databases, blogs and other web- based sources that would not be profitable enough to publish in print form.
  2. Since not everything on the Web is to be trusted, this course offers a way to evaluate Web-based materials by comparing them to written sources and by examining the way hey are presented on the Web.
  3. Note about the professor: I am not a Web professional, although I am a self-taught Web programmer who has used it for years to publish information for the general public as well as my students. I am skilled at investigating and using public records.

Part II: Administrative stuff

  1. Distribute syllabi and read through it with the class. Make sure to discuss "prerequisites," "late assignments," "civility" and "attendance" in detail.
  2. Instruct every student to send an email to jjones@wcupa.edu with the following header "HIS390 [your name]" Send it from the email address that you intend to use for submitting assignments in this class.
  3. Review assignments
  4. Identify this year's controversy (The 911 Commission Report) and ask students to complete the questionnaire.

Part III: September 11, 2001

  1. Ask students "Where were you?" on the day of the attack? Note shared and unique perceptions of the day's events and the immediate aftermath.
  2. Solicit student opinions about the results of the 9-11 attacks. [NOTE: Do not try to reach concensus, but have someone take notes to share with the whole class. Later, we will compare our list with the results identified by the 9-11 Commission.]


Return to HIS390 syllabus.