Beyond the Bubble: A New Generation of History Assessments

The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) created Beyond the Bubble, a website that houses history assessments created by a consortium of Stanford faculty, graduate students, post-docs, and visiting scholars. The purpose of the assessments is to assess 21st Century skills using primary documents from the Library of Congress.

Content Comments 

The Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) has produced a valuable set of assessment materials, focusing on the use of primary sources available through the Library of Congress. The assessments are aligned with the Common Core State Standards and focus on three core concepts: 1) Evaluation of evidence through sourcing, contextualization, and corroboration; 2) historical knowledge, through the identification and use of historical information, significance, periodization, and narrative; and 3) historical argumentation. The assessments mostly require brief responses to questions based on primary sources such as text, posters, photographs, pictures, and excerpts. SHEG also provides scoring rubrics with exemplars, and sample student responses. Several assessments have additional resources to further use in classroom instruction or independent work. While not comprehensive, and focusing on the later grades, this is a valuable resource for classroom teachers. There are 60 individual assessments, with all of the materials needed to deliver and score the assessments available online. The site is organized by the core concepts, and not by grade level or by historical topic, but the titles provide clear information on both the type of assessment and the topic. Continuing to expand this resource will be invaluable to history and social science instructors.