Archival materials can be used in all disciplines from performing arts to communication sciences and disorders. Using Primary resources allows students to view first hand accounts of the subjects being discussed and to delve extensively into topics that interest them. Furthermore, a substantial amount of research regarding the use of primary sources in the classroom has shown that they help students to become more well-rounded and engaged in their education.
Using primary sources teaches students to use critical thinking skills, which is important in today's world where the internet has provided many different sources for information. Students need to be able to make their own judgments about events and not just assume that someone else's interpretation is correct. They should be asking: Is the author biased? Where did he/she get their information? Is their source reliable?
Using sources that aren't available online also challenges students to expand their knowledge of various types of evidence and how they can be used to further their knowledge and career goals.
Archival and special collections can be used in many different ways when you are teaching online classes. However, there are some hallmarks of a successful archives-related lesson or project that will make it more likely that you and your students will get the most out of their use.
There are many different ways to incorporate archival and primary materials into your classroom, but we are providing a few sample projects here to help you get started.
Although the ideas above include active participation by archives staff, we are also available to simply help you find the resources you need. Please contact us at 617-824-8301 or email@example.com.