DBQ: Document-based Quarantine

Celia Caust-Ellenbogen, Jordan Landes, Robin Landes

Abstract

This paper presents how one school and one special library handled the first months of quarantine and remote teaching and learning as COVID-19 hit the United States in spring 2020. While teaching with archives has long been a part of the professional discourse within the archival and special collections community, changes in methodology in teaching remotely and modifications to the Advanced Placement United States History (APUSH) exam’s document-based question (DBQ) called for experimentation and innovation. The collaboration between APUSH teachers at Woodbridge Senior High School in Virginia and the Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania provided one solution to preparing students for the modified AP exam. The authors of this paper explore the background and context of the work of teachers and archivists, describe the actions taken in spring 2020, and analyze the results and impact. Lessons learned and future opportunities for collaboration are then examined. The paper concludes with a proposal that similar relationships and activities are not just possible but also beneficial for all involved.

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