Syllabus for Understanding Lincoln Online Course

Below is a sample from the most recent syllabus our online graduate course and here is a link to a Storify essay summarizing the course experience in 2014.

HISTORY 579 (via Gilder Lehrman Institute)

Understanding Lincoln // Summer 2016

Lead Scholar:  Matthew Pinsker (Dickinson College)

Teaching Assistants:  Aaron Bell, Joseph Murphy and Todd Mealy

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

No one would have appreciated the power of open online education more than Abraham Lincoln, one of the great self-made, lifelong learners in world history.  This open online graduate course aspires to create the kind of learning experience that Lincoln would have embraced. The course will be organized around five popular designations that have been applied to the great president over the years (Railsplitter, Honest Abe, Father Abraham, Great Emancipator, and Savior of the Union) and dig deeper into each of these themes in order to explore their origins and assess their validity. In the process, participants will come to better understand Lincoln as a man and a president, and also enjoy a unique online platform to share their insights.  Crowd-sourcing is a phrase used to describe how individuals can help develop online projects by contributing content to them remotely.  Through “Understanding Lincoln,” we will attempt an experiment in what might be called “class-sourcing.”  Participants in this course will have the opportunity to develop various types of content that will be published online as part of Lincoln’s Writings, a new multi-media edition of Lincoln’s selected writings.

ASSIGNMENTS

Assignments for this course include interactive document quizzes, close reading essays, and a major multi-media project.

Readings: Before the course begins

Required Pre-reading: Understanding Lincoln Historiography

Optional pre-reading:

 

Readings: Theme 1—The Railsplitter

Essential Question: Was Lincoln self-made or self-invented?

Required Documents (via Lincoln’s Writings):

Required Readings: 

 

Recommended Lecture (via Gilder Lehrman Institute):

Featured Digital Pedagogy (via previous course participants):

 

Readings: Theme 2—Honest Abe

Essential Question: Did Lincoln deserve the nickname, “Honest Abe”?

Required Documents (via Lincoln’s Writings):

 

Required Readings:

Recommended Lecture (via Gilder Lehrman Institute):

 

Featured Digital Pedagogy (via previous course participants):

 

Readings: Theme 3—Father Abraham

Essential Question: How did Lincoln’s own contemporaries respond to his leadership?

Required Documents (via Lincoln’s Writings):

Required Readings:

Recommended Lecture (via Gilder Lehrman Institute):

Featured Digital Pedagogy (via previous course participants):

 

Readings: Theme 4—Great Emancipator

Essential Question: Why did Lincoln try to separate equality and civil rights from his emancipation policy?

 

Required Documents (via Lincoln’s Writings):

Required Readings:

Recommended Lecture:

Featured Digital Pedagogy (via previous course participants):

 
Readings: Theme 5—Savior of the Union

Essential Question: How should we teach Lincoln’s nationalism?

 

Required Documents (via Lincoln’s Writings):

Required Readings: 

 

Virtual Field Trips: Required Videos:

Choose ONE of the following video collections and prepare to discuss how it might be integrated into your final multi-media project or classroom. Also, consider ways that the format or content might be expanded or improved to better suit various types of classroom experiences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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