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.