|| Introduction to HIS390
"Historical Controversy on the Web"
Part I: Describe the rationale that led to the creation
of this course.
- 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
- Since not everything on the Web is to be trusted, this
offers a way to evaluate Web-based materials by comparing them to
written sources and by examining the way hey are presented on the
- 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
Part II: Administrative stuff
- Distribute syllabi and read through it with the class.
Make sure to discuss "prerequisites," "late assignments,"
"civility" and "attendance" in detail.
- Instruct every student to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
with the following header "HIS390 [your name]" Send it from the
email address that you intend to use for submitting assignments
in this class.
- Review assignments
- Identify this year's controversy (The 911 Commission
Report) and ask students to complete the questionnaire.
Part III: September 11, 2001
- Ask students "Where were you?" on the day of the attack?
Note shared and unique perceptions of the day's events and the
- 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.]
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