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Learning with multiple historical documents

Working groupRealistic Depictions Lab
Duration04/2013 - open-end

04/2013 - 03/2015: BMBF; 04/2015 - open: Budget resources

Project description

On the internet, learners are confronted with a broad variety of different documents when researching information for school, scholastics, or leisure time. In this process, they need to make sense of the documents' contents. The project 'Learning with multiple historical documents' investigated preconditions for a successful use of multiple documents. In particular, the project's focus was on individual prerequisites and instructional design.

Next to its relevance for the use of information on the internet, the project related to central theories of history didactics that lay much emphasis on the competent use of historical sources and descriptions. Consequently, the first phase of the project was dedicated to investigating associations between students' historical literacy, as measured with the standardized HiTCH test, and the mastery of a multiple document task including eight historical documents.

After showing associations between historical literacy and the mastery of the multiple document task in the first phase of the project, the second phase of the project was dedicated to supporting the mastery of a multiple document task by means of instructional design. For this purpose, the project relied on theories of educational psychology and cognitive psychology in order to identify design principles that may compensate for the lack of historical literacy, enabling less competent students to master multiple document tasks.


HiTCH consortium