[2017-2018] From Attrition to Metacognition: Teaching Strategies and Resources to Communicate the Value of Assignments and Academic Disciplines

Primary Investigator


Dr. David Trowbridge
Department of History
Dr. Dan Holbrook
Department of History

Project Abstract

Responding to the needs of students and faculty and building upon the innovative work of this department that led to the creation of Clio (www.theclio.com), our team would like to build a suite of resources that support professors at Marshall and throughout the United States who are using Clio in their courses. Over forty universities have used Clio, with faculty in departments ranging from art, museum studies, literature, architecture, women’s studies, and history using this platform to publish the work of their students. Several of these faculty members have asked for materials that might better guide their students through the process of conducting research, analyzing primary and secondary sources, and recording oral histories. Others have asked for guides, rubrics, and videos that might lead students through each stage of the process. With the support of this grant, we intend to respond to that demand and create these resources for educators at Marshall and beyond.

In 2016, over a seven hundred students published their work using Clio. This collaborative platform has been recognized by scholarly associations, supported by educational foundations, and received awards for spurring innovation at the university level. At the same time, we recognize that the value of a platform depends upon what it produces and inspires. Recognizing that students who use Clio have an opportunity to learn and practice the skills of the historian, we hope to produce resources that do more than teach students how to navigate a simple digital platform. Our goal is to make each of our videos and guides teach students the skills of the historian.

After discussing the project at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, members and leaders of the organization asked us to create versions of these resources that would appeal to students. As an affirmative response to this request, our team will also create a version of these guides and videos that communicate the skills, knowledge, and habits of mind of our discipline. Although similar to the videos and guides we will create for professors using Clio, these resources will utilize traditional assignments such as essay-based exams and research papers to demonstrate the skills of our discipline. We believe that these stand-alone videos and guides will complement the suite of resources we will create for professors who are using Clio.


  1. Clio Faculty User Manual
  2. Clio – Your Guide to History and Culture
  3. How to Create a Clio Entry Part 1: Location
  4. How to Create a Clio Entry Part 2: Introduction and Backstory
  5. How to Create a Clio Entry Part 3: Sources and Citations
  6. How to Create a Clio Entry Part 4: Photos, Links, Audio, and Video
  7. How to Create a Walking Tour or Heritage Trail in Clio