AP US History

From: $99.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th – 12th (see Course Description for more details.)

Live Class: Asynchronous (no live meetings)

Instructor: Lisa Hawkins



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Course Description

This course will cover the development of American history from its pre-colonial beginnings through recent history (the period covered by the updated AP exam). It will prepare students to take the AP US History exam in May, 2018. However, my goals for this course are more comprehensive than getting students ready to take the exam next May. I also hope to inspire and increase students’ love and appreciation for history, expand students’ capacity to think creatively and flexibly about critical issues, and communicate powerfully and compellingly.

The course will primarily be conducted on a learning management system (LMS) called Canvas. Canvas is very easy for a new user to learn, and I will help students become oriented to the platform. One of the advantages of Canvas is that I can allow parents to be observers in the course, and even link parents to their own students’ submissions and feedback, so that they can have immediate access to all sorts of important information. Through Canvas, students will access all of their requirements, view my audio-visual presentations, upload assignments, take their Unit multiple-choice exams (with instant feedback), take essay exams, engage in threaded discussions, view my feedback, etc.

Students will read primary and secondary source material, watch videos, listen to audio, and participate in discussions. They will have access to my college-level audio-visual presentations, which include both improving thinking, reading, and writing skills and covering the content of American history from its pre-colonial roots to recent times.  They will learn how to write historical essays like the ones required by the AP exam, not only by writing their own, but by critiquing actual former AP exam submissions for strengths and weaknesses. They will learn how to notice on-going themes in American history. They will engage in threaded discussions with one another, considering questions like “What is the purpose of government?” and “What is the best way to try to improve society?”  to collaborating on the best approaches to AP-like questions.    In addition, I have created several instructional presentations focused specifically on how to approach different elements of the AP exam, as well as several assignments that will help students practice their test-taking skills.  If you want to see a sample of one of these presentations, please visit my website.

Students prompt feedback in my course, typically within a week of due dates.

Requirements for Acceptance: Families should recognize that an AP level course is very demanding.  I encourage high school students who are not only motivated, but also practiced at understanding a lot of complex material and at writing thesis-driven essays.  There will be a variety of ways students will approach the material, from participating in threaded discussions, reviewing each other’s work, analyzing writings from the past, and evaluating historians’ arguments about the past.  Generally, juniors and seniors with strong academic skills do well in this course; however, I have had some sophomores also thrive.  I do not recommend this course for freshmen.  Students will need to fill out an application and be formally accepted before enrolling.  You can download a copy of this application here.

Please also visit my website, www.questcourses.com,   You can get lots more information about the course and about me at this website.  You can also read many, many recommendations and reactions to my online courses, both from high school students and college students.

Required Texts

(Note: I regularly review my textbook choices to see if I can find superior ones and/or cheaper ones.  The books I am requiring are all, in my opinion, the best I could find for my AP courses, at the best price. Check websites like amazon.com, ebay.com, and other resellers of books for the cheapest options.  There is no need to get new books if used ones are available.

  • Constructing the American Past: A Source Book of a People’s History, Volume 1 (7th Edition) ISBN-13: 978-0205773640
  • Constructing the American Past: A Source Book of a People’s History, Volume 2 (7th Edition) ISBN-13: 978-0205773633
  • America: A Narrative History (9th Edition) – Do not get earlier editions. The 9th edition represents a significant change from earlier editions.  See below for acceptable options:
    America: A Narrative History – One Volume, 9th edition, or
    America: A Narrative History – Brief One Volume, 9th edition, or
    America: A Narrative History – Volume 1 and Volume 2, both 9th edition
  • (AMSCO) United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination (2016 Exam) – Student Edition Softcover ISBN 978-168240455-3
    Do NOT get an earlier version. This book can be ordered directly from the publisher at http://www.amscopub.com/

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1 review for AP US History

  1. I had Mrs. Hawkins for an online AP US History class. I hoped to learn a lot about the history of America, and Mrs. Hawkins did not disappoint. I felt completely confident when I went to take the AP exam, thanks to her instruction. The class was a lot of work, more than I ever thought that I could do. I gained new confidence with each assignment I completed and, by the end, the assignments that were so daunting in the beginning became effortless. While I could tell that others taking the AP test around me were frightened by the essay section, I actually looked forward to it. Mrs. Hawkins assignments, and excellent feedback, allowed me to be unperturbed by a task that most students equated with torture. Mrs. Hawkins didn’t just prepare her students for the AP test; she also refined student’s skills in areas other than history. I could feel that my writing improved over the duration of the course, and I could complete assignments from other classes much more easily and successfully. Mrs. Hawkins is very knowledgeable about history, and can effectively teach the material to students in a way that builds their skills, knowledge, and confidence. In my opinion, that is what makes a great teacher. I highly recommend both Mrs. Hawkins and her AP US History course.

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Instructor Bio

Lisa Hawkins

I love history, I love teaching, and I love students. I put a great deal of thought and time into constructing courses that are engaging, challenging, and well-organized. I also care a great deal about humanizing the on-line experience, and you will see that priority woven into many aspects of my course. I majored in history at Swarthmore College, where I also earned my high-school teaching certification. I also did graduate work at Widener University with a focus on English and education. I worked for four years at an inner-city classical high school, where I taught American History and American Literature and served as Dean of Students. In 1997, I earned my Masters in History at Temple University, and soon began teaching college courses for Drexel University and Peirce College for adults returning to school. In 2005, I began teaching online, and to date have independently created nine different online college courses, ranging from survey American History courses, to the History of American Business, Colonial History, Revolutionary History, and Western Humanities surveys. I have been awarded “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty” by one of the universities I currently teach for. I am also an official grader of AP US History exams, receiving extensive training in the process and participating in College Board and ETS seminars. Despite all my experiences at the high school and college level, and despite my appreciation for the more profound academic and cultural expressions, I am nevertheless a shameless fan of English Premier League soccer, The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, and MST3K.

US History
Western Civilization I
Western Civilization II
AP US History

Email: admin@questcourses.com

All classes taught by Lisa Hawkins