Teaching with Primary Sources Inquiry Kits and Student Modules

2018 NETA Awards - Open Educational Resource 

from Maryland Public Television

Project Budget: $42,000

How does the world’s largest library, the Library of Congress, make its vast collection a classroom tool? Enter . . . Teaching with Primary Sources Inquiry Kits and Student Modules.Maryland Public Television and its project partner Maryland Humanities were awarded a grant from the Library of Congress to 1) design a program for middle/high school students to learn history through engaging with primary source documents from the Library of Congress; 2) utilize inquiry and evaluation techniques with a variety of primary source types; and 3) help students learn the research process and foster skills to develop a history project.To achieve this, the Teaching with Primary Sources Project (TPS)brought together MPT, Maryland Humanities, the Maryland State Department of Education and a team of skilled educators to develop a robust collection of OER digital learning resources called Inquiry Kits,and a series of self-paced student modules designed to help students build valuable research skills. The Teaching with Primary Sources inquiry kits and student research modules can be freely accessed on Thinkport, MPT’s education portal. 

What Did the Judges Say?

The project is clearly defined, and the goals are laid out nicely in the objectives of the grant-supported work. There is documentation for extensive planning and strategy, with an incredibly large amount of high-quality content generated for (relatively modest) funding. 

I loved the depth and clarity present in this project, and its practical applications for teachers and students Very carefully planned out, and beautifully organized. Budget was appropriate and covered in the grant. Excellent reporting of results, including beta/pilot and implementation summaries, and the expectations were definitely fulfilled. Since this was a collaborative project, and teacher input was utilized throughout, it will be extremely valuable to educators in Maryland and beyond. 

Teaching with Primary Sources took a very ambitious goal and huge amount of material, and presented it in a comprehensive but clear, manageable and user-friendly interactive structure to promote student engagement. To quote one of the student reviews, “Awesome!"