In the spring of 2006 the Indiana University History Department with generous support from the university's Dean of Faculties Office launched the History Learning Project, an initiative designed to achieve the following goals:
• To define as thoroughly as possible the basic operations that are required for success in undergraduate history courses
• To develop ways of teaching these operations to undergraduates and to assess the extent to which these approaches actually succeeded in increasing students mastery of these skills
• To use the insights derived from this process to reshape the curriculum and the teaching strategies in our department
• To make these insights available to other historians and to secondary school teachers preparing students for college courses.
These efforts made use of the "decoding the disciplines" process developed in the Indiana University Freshman Learning Project and were made possible through the enthusiastic support of colleagues in our department, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning community at Indiana University.
The project is funded by the Office of the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the IU History Department.
Spencer and Teagle Foundations project
In 2008, the project was awarded a grant by the Spencer and Teagle Foundations' initiative for Systematic Improvement of Undergraduate Education in Research Universities. This grant project is exploring strategies to get past two significant bottlenecks: the ways that undergraduates learn to analyze primary sources, a particularly important step in the development of historical reasoning, and the creation of original and persuasive written arguments.