Sep 10 , 2014

You’ve probably heard the phrase “You get what you pay for,” but we’d like to challenge that old trite saying.

This fall, we are offering our first MOOC: The Art of Teaching History, and it is absolutely free.

What’s a MOOC? MOOC is an acronym standing for Massive Open Online Course; basically it’s a course of study made available over the Internet without charge to an unlimited number of participants. While online courses are nothing new, these large scale, free offerings have just gained popularity in the last few years, with some classes garnering registrations near 100,000. Considering that, a MOOC is something very exciting to all of us here at the Glasscock School. After all, what could be better than people all over the world wanting to learn a subject simply because they are passionate about it?

The aim of The Art of Teaching History course is to bring history teachers together for an international conversation about how to teach history well. Participants will engage each other across the world through discussion forums, sharing personal reflections designed to help them clarify their own approach to teaching history and posting reflective comments as a way to actively engage in the online conversation. At the end of the course, teachers will be asked to create an action plan for use in their classrooms based on the principles and best practices learned during the MOOC.

This course is facilitated by master teacher Jim Smith, who has been teaching courses through our Center for College Readiness for several years. Prior to his affiliation with the Glasscock School, Jim taught history and humanities in Las Cruces, NM, for 30 years. He has made presentations to teachers throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Asia, dealing with teaching U.S. history and teaching writing in social studies classrooms. In addition to Jim’s contribution, Rice is also represented through contributions from multiple Rice history professors including Drs. John Boles, Caleb McDaniel, Rich Smith and Lora Wildenthal.

Visit to learn more and to register. After all, it is free and priceless.

Bret Newcomb


Bret Newcomb, Marketing Specialist

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