Session 3

Historians for the 21st Century: Digital Approaches to Historical Methods
Presented by J. Chris Arndt, Michael Galgano, and Skip Hyser

The Department of History’s HIST 395 course has served as the gateway course to upper level History courses for more than 25 years. During that time, students completing the course have won numerous awards at the university, regional and national level, have been admitted to some of the leading graduate and professional schools in the country and have been sought after by employers for their research, critical thinking, writing, oral and technological skills. The course’s emphasis on teaching students how to conduct exhaustive research, how to analyze secondary and primary sources, how to synthesize this evidence into a polished oral and written presentation has remained relatively unchanged over time. However, the pace of technological change has required that the way in which this course is conducted constantly evolve. The course is a national model; Drs. Galgano, Hyser, and Arndt have given seminars on the course and written one of the leading textbooks for the course. The presentation will demonstrate how both in and out of class technology may be used to enhance the teaching and learning experience in a humanities class. Included among the points we will emphasize are: Locating digital sources—opportunity and problem?     Secondary Primary Visual, Creating Digital Sources, Note Taking Software, External and internal criticism of digital sources, Distance learning on-line discussion, digital editing grading of on-line assignments, and The footnote in the Digital Age     The hypertext note.

John Christopher Arndt is Professor of History and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. In the latter role he oversees the School of Liberal Arts workgroup. Dr. Arndt received his Ph.D. from Florida State University, the M.A. from Auburn University, and the B.A. from Gettysburg College. He teaches courses in United States history, Historical Methods, the American Revolution, and the Early Republic. His research interests include Society and Politics in the Era of the Market Revolution. Along with Dr. Raymond Hyser, he is the author/editor of “Voices of the American Past,” 4th edition (2008) and with Drs. Michael Galgano and Raymond Hyser, “Doing History: Research and Writing in the Digital Age” (2008).


Michael J. Galgano is Professor of History and Head of the Department. He received the Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and the B.A. and M.A. from the University of Virginia. Dr. Galgano teaches courses in World, Modern Europe, the History of the Family, and Historical Research Methods. His research interests include family history, social and gender history. He has contributed to American Benedictine Review, Recusant History, and History Microcomputer Review, Reader’s Guide to British History, the Dictionary of National Biography, The World of William Penn, and The Formation of Life Stages in English Literature.



Raymond M. Hyser is Professor of History. He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University, the M.A. from Georgia Southern College and the B.S.Ed. from Georgia Southern College. Professor Hyser teaches courses on United States history, American business history, the Gilded Age and Historical Methods. His research interests are business and agriculture in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. His publications include: “No Crooked Death”: Coatesville, Pennsylvania and the Lynching of Zachariah Walker (with Dennis Downey), and Voices of the American Past, 3rd edition (with Chris Arndt).

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