I assigned my preservice teachers at University of Portland the task of using Learnist to design a document based question that would eventually become part of a class-produced DBQ iBook collection. DBQ assignment here. More samples of student-designed DBQs here.
I’ve asked them to reflect on the assignment and invited them to guest post on my blog. Here is Cross-Cultural Contact Between Native American and European Conquerors designed by Tom Malone.
Tom Malone reflects on what he learned from the experience:
DBQ design is delicate business.
The learning goals of this DBQ enable students to formulate a viewpoint about a crucial point in world history through opposing perspectives. Students can interpret primary documents, architecture, and more modern images in order to obtain the European viewpoint as well as the equally important Native American resident perspective. Students will enhance their primary document interpretation skills and their ability to interpret source validity.
This DBQ project achieves these goals, though certain images could be enhanced and authenticated more precisely in order to give students enough information to critically analyze without giving too much information. Some prompts could include more information depending on the target audience and their prior contact with the subject matter
As a thinking process, the DBQ serves as a strong element to any social studies lesson. The difficultly between including too much or too little information can be tricky. Selecting the proper document to present to students for analysis is the keystone to this method. DBQ design is delicate business, but it allows for freedom to reach common goals.
Image Credit: NYPL Digital Library
America / [by Theodor Galle after Jan van der Straet].
Creator(s): Galle, Théodore, 1571-1633 — Engraver
Straet, Jan van der, 1523-1605 — Artist