Coming soon to an OER Project course near you: Course updates!

Coming soon to an OER Project course near you: Course updates!

By the OER Project Team 

NoteThese updates are now live! Read more about our BHP updates, new 1200 course and 1750 and Origins updates.

As you all wrap up another year of hard work (and in the case of the 2020–21 school year, a year that likely threw you more than a couple of curveballs) we hope you’ve scheduled ample time to relax, have some fun, spend time with family and friends, and recharge. But knowing how dedicated you all are, we also have a hunch you might spend a little time thinking about the upcoming school year… so we wanted to give you a little sneak peek of the annual OER Project updates, so that you know what kind of changes to expect over the summer. These updates will be published early July, so expect more in-depth information then. In the meantime, here are some highlights.

Announcing WHP 1200

You may have heard the rumors, and they are true! We’re excited to launch a new flavor of WHP, one that’s perfect for those who find themselves starting a little later than Origins but a little earlier than 1750 (there’s a Goldilocks Conditions pun somewhere in here, but we’ll leave it alone!). The 1200 course will feature many of the same great materials you know and love from our other WHP courses, as well as new 1200-specific materials, such as overview videos (featuring our friends Kim and Colby) and overview articles, skills progression, and some new articles and graphic biographies too. We’ll also have course plans, standards alignment documentation, and a Teaching World History 1200 guide to hold you over until the Teaching World History 1200 course launches later this year. 


Examples of new WHP 1200 materials.

New perspectives in BHP

While the focus on multiple perspectives through an interdisciplinary approach is not new to BHP, we do have some new Discipline Cards coming your way. We’ve updated them to tighten the connection between different disciplines and Big History, and we’ve also improved the layout to make them easier to use. We’re also going to be doing a small pilot of a new “Five Questions with an Expert” series—we’re eager to hear your feedback!

We will also be publishing six new articles, all of which feature the contributions of Islamic scholars to our understanding of science throughout history. The articles—which feature unique illustration meant to help students deepen their understanding through imagery—will help introduce students to the concept of collective learning earlier in the course, and will provide new perspectives on the history of science.

 Images from the new BHP articles about Islamic scholars.

 A selection of discipline cards.

Around the world in WHP

While we hoped to travel around the world to film some new videos with global perspectives, the pandemic had other ideas. But the magic of technology means we were able have the same conversations, albeit through a computer screen! Our new WHP videos feature 10 different experts and three different hosts, and highlight history in three regions: China, the Caribbean, and the Arabian Peninsula.

 A selection of experts and hosts from the international series.

Along with the new international videos, we’re really excited to launch a series of world maps. Each of these highly detailed world maps includes two perspectives: a political map that identifies the many communities that students will encounter in each unit, and a thematic map that will help them support, extend, and challenge the frame narratives. These maps will be integrated with all three WHP courses, and we’re building new mapping activities into the course.

Examples of new WHP political maps.

And last, but certainly not least, we’ll be updating Teaching World History (TWH), with new or updated sections on the following topics: assessment, writing, routines, practice progressions, fun, frames, and graphic biographies.

Again, we’ll provide more details on all of these updates after they’re published, but we hope this wets your whistle!


Looking for more? Join us in the OER Project Community today! And if you aren’t registered with us yet, create an account here for free access to the OER Project Community and more.

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Parents
  • Amongst all of these changes, to be honest, I am most excited about the new World Maps and additional Graphic Biographies. My students seemed to really enjoy them this year so I plan on doubling down on how I use them in the upcoming year. I haven't quite thought through exactly how I'd utilize these maps, though, and would love to hear from any others if they have any initial ideas on how they would like to integrate them into class.

  •  the new maps are amazing! Maps are an often overlooked component to helping students understand the historical narrative. I am so excited to see how everyone uses them in their courses. 

  • They definitely can be easily overlooked! I also like how they're chosen at different critical times throughout world history as this should offer a great contrast between different events as well as changes over time. Perhaps students could work on adding things to some of the maps that they feel are 'missing' which could be a super cool assignment. Similar to this suggestion to look at a textbook to add in what is missing from Latin American history.

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