Students taking AP® World History or AP® English Language and Composition can now prepare and practice for those course’s exams with Turnitin Revision Assistant, a new formative writing product from Turnitin giving instant feedback to students as they write. The AP® prompts have been made available in collaboration with the College Board Advanced Placement Program® giving Turnitin license to use prompts from the 2013 AP® exams. Based on the data licensed from the College Board, Turnitin created content models and rubrics that are now part of Revision Assistant’s growing library of writing prompts.
The College Board Advanced Placement Program® offers high school students the opportunity to receive college credit, advanced placement, or both, through any of its 38 rigorous course exams. The exam prompts that have been added to Revision Assistant are previously released questions that appeared on the 2013 AP® World History and AP® English Language and Composition exams.
“The inclusion of AP Exam prompts into Revision Assistant furthers our goal of delivering great content in a formative writing space that supports instructors in the classroom and helps students improve and excel at writing,” said Elijah Mayfield, vice president of new technologies at Turnitin.
The AP questions being added to Revision Assistant cover interesting topics that engage students. The AP English Language and Composition prompts ask students to:
- Build an argument about memorials and monuments based on multiple sources in a document-based question (DBQ).
- Investigate the concept of ownership and how it relates to one’s sense of self.
- Analyze Richard Louv’s rhetorical strategies in his book Last Child in the Woods (2008).
The AP World History prompts ask students to:
- Describe the struggles for global power within Europe during the mid-eighteenth century based on multiple sources in a DBQ.
- Write about political changes in the Mediterranean between 200 C.E. and 1000 C.E. and their impact on culture.
- Analyze the role of the state in the economic development of Japan and one other country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
While writing with Revision Assistant, students receive immediate feedback in four areas: clarity and focus, use of evidence, organization and development, and language and style. The feedback is easy to understand, applies to the exact section it highlights and specifies where the essay could be improved. Students can apply this feedback to each essay revision, improving with each iteration. They can write and revise as many times as they want and each time Revision Assistant will inform them of the strength of their essay and where they can improve it.
Revision Assistant, used in over 60 school districts, is a support resource for teachers to extend their reach and have more meaningful conversations with students as they improve their writing. See a video of how Revision Assistant inspires these conversations between students and teachers here.
Jennifer Harrison for Turnitin: email@example.com or 916-716-0636
Getting Familiar with AP World History
Congratulations on your assignment as an Advanced Placement (AP) World History teacher! This position will be both exciting and challenging. Most teachers in the history field are comfortable with the World History curriculum and find it rewarding to be able to teach an AP class. The CollegeBoard supports the idea that your school must develop its own curriculum for AP courses, instead of mandating any one curriculum for AP courses.
An invaluable resource for new AP World History teachers is the AP World History Teacher’s Guide. This guide has a comprehensive list of resources you can use to help you develop your AP World History Course. It was prepared by a seasoned AP World History teacher and has practical tips on how to approach teaching your AP course from start to finish.
The AP Course Audit provides you, as a new AP World History teacher, with a set of expectations for college-level courses. These expectations were developed by faculty at colleges and universities nationwide to ensure that AP courses provide students with an educational experience equal to that of an introductory college course in World History.
We have created this guide for you as a place to start your journey on teaching one of the most challenging AP courses offered.
Let’s get Started in Creating Your Course
Before you get started developing your course, you should become familiar with what the CollegeBoard’s expects you to teach. At the heart of any AP course is the Course Description. You may want to print and read through it several times. The description will give you an idea what will be included on the AP World History exam in May. The AP exam assesses how your students did in your course. It may be worth pointing out that your school and school district may also be graded based on your students’ AP test scores.
So, you should always teach with an eye to the AP exam, while still meeting all the objectives of the course. You can find examples of past multiple-choice and free-response questions on the AP World History Exam Page, and we will discuss how to create in-class assessments based on past tests.
Course Pace and Timing
Being a new AP teacher can be a challenge when it comes to the pace and timing of your course. It can be hard to stick to the calendar you have created, particularly if you have taught a world history survey course and had more time to teach the related topics. Pacing will be determined by both your school’s calendar and the date in May that the AP World History Exam falls on. From there, you can figure out how many instructional days you will have to teach the course.
The five themes and six historical periods will help you organize, so you know what to emphasize and the topics that will become the content of your course. We realize that when you sit down and read the Course Description for the first time, it may seem daunting. But don’t despair, for there are enough resources available to you that you will be able to put your course together with confidence.
Creating Your Syllabus
The next significant step in teaching an AP course is creating your course syllabus. As a new AP teacher, you must provide a course syllabus as part of your course audit. Again, the CollegeBoard AP World History home page gives you several model syllabi that you may use as a guide for your course. If possible, you may want to pick a model syllabus that uses the AP textbook that your school chose for your AP World History course. You might want to touch base with your department chair to see if a current or recent teacher has taught AP World History. The chair may have a copy of the syllabi you could use as a template.
Once you have selected a model syllabus that you are comfortable with and works for you, look at your school calendar so that you can adjust your course to the number of teaching days you will have. You will have to be flexible; some concepts may take longer to teach than you had planned. After you have created a draft of your syllabus, you might want to get with your history department colleagues (AP or non-AP) and see what areas may be challenging for students to grasp.
Don’t be shy! Get out there and network with other teachers at your school or even in the district. Ask for any resources or suggestions others may have to help you during your first year teaching AP World History. Even though the resources you get may not apply to your particular AP course, it is better to have too much material than struggle to find content later while you are in the middle of teaching the course.
Now that you have finished your syllabus and you have collected resources from your colleagues, it is time to develop your course materials.
Creating Your Course Materials
After you have reviewed what content you will be covering in your course, begin to create your assignments and assessments. To make sure that your syllabus is in concert with the exam, you should download the latest available released AP World History exams.
On the Course Audit Page, you will find free, downloadable practice exams. They are available for in-class use, but not available to students. To download the AP Practice Exam, just sign into your AP Course Audit account and follow the “Secure Documents” link.
The 2013 AP World History Exam is available for your use. It is the actual exam that was administered so you can get a feel for what your student will see when they take the exam in May. The AP World History Exam Page has free-response questions, scoring guidelines, sample responses, and score distributions back to the 2002 exam. You can download as many released exams as you wish, but make sure that you follow the CollegeBoard guidelines on using exams in class. To be safe, you may want to use the AP released test questions only during class.
You should begin creating your class notes and presentations as you are working on your assignments and assessments. Since most students are visual learners, most teachers use PowerPoint slides as their mode of presentation. As you flesh out your units in PowerPoint, use a variety of resources to help you create bullet points, examples, charts, maps, and graphs.
Another great source of variety you can use are YouTube videos. They will add some great realism and actual historical events to your class. As with anything on the Internet, be careful and only download videos from reliable educators. Google is also a great source for charts, graphs, and photographs to insert into your PowerPoint slides. You will be investing a great deal of time and effort into creating your presentations and class notes, make sure you have a backup of all your pictures and videos.
After you have finished a draft of your class notes, flesh them out and make sure that you have not forgotten anything that might be on the AP exam. To accomplish this, you can do back and review all the released AP World History exams, both multiple choice and free response, that you were able to find.
Learning Management Systems
Our students today live and breathe technology. By providing your students with access to course content (PowerPoints, syllabus, class notes, assignments, etc.) through a portal, like a learning management system, will be a great aid for learning. This will provide your students access to material whenever and wherever they want. An online presence is also helpful for students who were absent and will also keep you from having to make or hand-out copies of material that they lost or forgot to bring to class.
There are many options for online technology. Check with your school district to review their technology plan. The rage today in online access is Google Docs because it is user-friendly, and your students can access your course materials on any device at any time. Other options are Moodle and Blackboard. Again, your school’s tech department will let you know if your school has a site license and user support for the system that you end up choosing.
You will need to establish your own requirements for notes. You can use guided reading questions for students to use in helping them take notes on their reading assignments. It may help them if you collect and grade their notes so they can use them to prepare for assessments throughout the course. Note-taking is a personal choice for your students, but many like to use Cornell notes. Some students will struggle with taking notes, so you may need to give them suggestions on how to take good notes. Good notes will yield great results when it comes time to review for the AP exam.
Creating Quizzes and Tests
This chart may come in handy so you can get a big picture view of the structure, timing, and weight of all the AP World History Exam questions.
|Section||Questions Type||# of Questions||Timing||% of Total Exam Score|
|I||Part A: Multiple Choice|
– Questions appear in sets of 2 to 5
– You will analyze historical texts, interpretations, and evidence
– Primary and secondary sources, images, graphs, and maps are included
|Part B: Short-Answer Questions (SAQs)|
– Questions provide opportunities for you to explain the historical examples that you know best
– Some questions include texts, images, graphs, or maps
|II||Part A: Document-Based Question (DBQ)|
– You will analyze and synthesize historical data
– You will assess written, quantitative, or visual materials as historical evidence
|1||55 Minutes (includes 15-minute reading period)||25%|
|Part B: Long Essay Question (LEQ)|
– You can select one question among the two given
– You will explain and analyze significant issues in world history
– You will develop an argument supported by an analysis of historical evidence
|1 (chosen from a pair)||35 minutes||15%|
To prepare students for the AP World History exam in May, you should use the AP exam format for your in-class tests. As you can see from the chart, the AP World History exam has 55 multiple-choice questions and four free-response questions. The first part of the exam consists of multiple-choice questions that will test your students’ content knowledge by analyzing and interpreting primary and secondary sources. The first section also contains a series of short answer questions that addresses one or more of the course themes.
The second part of the AP World History exam contains the document-based question (DBQ) and long essay questions (LEQ). These questions will that ask your students to demonstrate historical content knowledge and thinking skills through written responses.
You can even give additional FRQs for extra points. The key to mastering the FRQs is to give your students the chance to practice, practice, and then practice even more.
Multiple-Choice Questions – You can go through each AP World History multiple-choice test you find and separate out all the questions by theme and historical period. Since you are probably not going to be able to cut and paste the test questions, you can use one of the following methods of saving the questions to your computer:
You can create a screenshot of the questions using use the Print Screen (PrtSc) function on your computer to take a screenshot of each page of the test. You can then paste the image into whatever program that you are familiar with (Word, Paint, Photoshop), crop this image, and save the multiple-choice question, complete with all five answer choices, in the folder of the topic it was taken from. You should name the file referencing the year of the exam and the question number, the correct answer choice, and the question subject. For example, 2013 11b trans-Saharan trade.
Another way to get the questions in a usable form is labor intensive. You could use Word to copy individual test questions manually. Even though this method is time-consuming, it may be preferable to you. Make sure you use the same naming methodology to document and keep track of each question.
Free-Response Questions – You should do the same for the free response questions (FRQs) as well, but this is not as easy to accomplish as the multiple-choice questions. The released AP World History FRQs require some time to analyze the responses that the AP readers are looking for. But having the FRQs available for the students to use is the best way to get your students to practice writing their short answers and essays that make up 60% of the AP World History Exam.
For the FRQs, your students will have to use the historical thinking skills that you will help them develop over the course of the term. The nine historical thinking skills are found in the Rubrics for AP Histories plus Historical Thinking Skills resource on the CollegeBoard website. This resource also has the grading rubrics for the DBQ and LEQ. The rubric will give you an idea of how the points available for those essay questions are scored.
Developing Daily Assignments
You can use the AP World History practice and released exam questions you have compiled, to create in-class assignments and assessments. An excellent way to engage your class as soon as you walk in the room is through “bellringers”. You can have them begin as soon as they sit down. The question should be from the material you covered the previous class period so they can go back through that material to come up with the correct answer. If you have a multiple-choice question, have them write down the question and their answer choice. If you have chosen an FRQ, have them student write down the question and then work through the prompt.
The more “bellringer” assignments you have, the more practice they will have on answering questions in the style and format of the AP World History exam because it is important to get them comfortable with the CollegeBoard’s style of questioning.
You are free to use sources other than released AP World History exams, but you should ensure that your course remains focused on the material and format of the AP exam. The more comfortable to get with teaching AP World History, the more you will be able to develop your own style while still getting your students prepared for the AP World History exam in May.
Resources for New AP World History Teachers
Useful Information Sources
The resources relating to the field of world history are expanding continuously, so it is a good idea to keep up on new resources that are released. The best way you can stay connected with world history educators like yourself is by joining the AP World History Community on the CollegeBoard website.
This website is professional learning network connecting AP World History teachers from around the world. The more active you become in the discussions in the community, the richer of an experience you and your peers will have. With your help, the AP World History community will grow, and you can support your peers and your classroom through your contributions.
What Tools can I Find in the Community?
Here are some online tools you can use to help you become more comfortable as a new AP World History teacher:
There are tools you can use to:
- Engage in topic driven discussions
- Locate classroom-ready materials and resources
- Search through the curriculum framework and share strategies
- Network with your AP World History peers
- Get email digests and advice on activities in the community
The Way Forward
As a new AP World History teacher, you will find this assignment both challenging and worthwhile. Just keep an open mind to the resources available to you to support you and provide additional depth to your course. If you do a little research, you will find great material out there for teaching AP World History, such as video clips, documentaries, and international newspapers that are not usually covered in the US press. These resources are a great way for you to explain how events that occur around the world impact their lives. When your students can tie their classroom learning experience with real-world events, they are more likely to sit up and take an interest in your class and that, in many cases, will translate into a higher AP World History test score.
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