Teaching Hidden History

The goal of this 4-VA grant was to create and co-teach a pilot version of a graduate digital history practicum course that combined history content, scholarship of teaching and learning, digital history, history education, and distance education in the summer of 2015.

Kelly Schrum
Professor of Higher Education
“4-VA provided an opportunity to work together, to reach out, and to connect with colleagues across universities.”

Mark Barrow
Professor of History
“We hope to offer a future version of this course during the regular academic year. The telepresence class was also surprisingly effective.”

Grant Info

  • 15 graduate students participated in this innovative course at VT and GMU

  • 2 undergraduate student researchers worked on this project at GMU. 2 graduate students at GMU and 1 graduate student at VT served as co-instructors. They created course materials, led classroom discussions, and coordinated assessments across two universities.

  • Awarded $46,000 in Fall 2014

“The course project wasn’t an inward reflection of scholarship designed for your own department but it was an outward look at how your work could benefit the field.”

Regan SheltonGraduate student and adjunct faculty

Benefits To The Commonwealth

Leading the commonwealth in thinking about new models for teaching and learning

Increasing online delivery for Virginia’s citizens

Increasing research competitiveness

Creating interdisciplinary opportunities on campus and between other 4-VA institutions

Expanding our offering of technology courses beyond just lecture-based courses

Contributing to solutions in education


Student Researchers


Publications and Presentations

Student Features

Nate Sleeter
  • Graduate student studying U.S. history
  • Research focused on the cultural history of intelligence testing
  • Nate served as a graduate research assistant on the Teaching Hidden History course. He co-taught the course using an inquiry-based approach.
  • The student feedback, collaborative discussions, and shared local knowledge enhanced the course experience.
Celeste Sharpe
  • Graduate student studying history and art history
  • Research is focused on the role of visual culture in constructing social identities
  • Celeste served as a graduate research assistant on the Teaching Hidden History course. She helped to develop the foundations of the online graduate course on historical research, digital humanities, and history education.
  • The instructors determined a spatial arrangement that would elicit the best classroom dynamic and environment in the telepresence classrooms.
Regan Shelton
  • Graduate student and adjunct faculty in the history department
  • Regan served as a co-instructor of the course.
  • She explained that the course project made students step away from the “academic speak” that they have learned thus far, and taught them to write for a broader audience.

News Articles about the Project

  • Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media blog – “Teaching Hidden History” – February 2015
  • Discover an Open Source – “Open Source and Humanities in the Digital Age” – by Joshua Allen Holm, March 3, 2015
  • Fourth Estate – “Humanities Courses begin Expanding use of Technology” – by Robert Winship, April 23, 2015
  • 4-VA Case Study – “Teaching Hidden History: A collaborative case study series” – by Kelsey Kirland, August 2015

Publications and Presentations

  • “From a Scottish Tartan to Two Oily Hands: Students Reveal Historical Narratives in Familiar Artifacts,” The American Historian, by Kelly Schrum, Nate Sleeter, Celeste Tường Vy Sharpe, Anthony Pellegrino, February 22, 2015.
  • “Teaching Hidden Histories in Online Asynchronous Courses,” Poster Session, Teaching history: Fostering historical thinking across the K-16 continuum, University of California, Berkeley, CA, May 2015.
  • “Uncovering Hidden Histories,” In-service Presentation, Fairfax County Public Schools, September 3, 2015.
  • “Teaching Hidden History: A hybrid course across institutions,” Interactive session, Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference, George Mason University, September 2015.
  • Brown bag presentation by Teaching Hidden History students, Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and Department of History and Art History, George Mason University, November 2015.
  • “Teaching Hidden Histories: A Multi-institution Collaboration in Higher Education,” Poster Session, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, January 2016.
  • “Teaching Hidden History: Creating An Effective Multi-Campus, Hybrid Graduate Course,” Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy, February 2016.