What makes Parallel Histories a groundbreaking learning experience?
1. It adapts to the needs of the user
Students come in all shapes and sizes but most text books, whether print or e-books, assume that one size fits all.
A Parallel Histories interactive video is layered and the student who wants to spend 10 minutes will still find it useful because he/she will get a simple explanation of cause and consequence in a few minutes. At the other end of the spectrum, a really interested student who wants to dig deeper will find challenging materials that will take them many hours to absorb.
2. It's interactive and allows the student to direct their own learning
Unlike a lecture or a film documentary where the student is passive, Parallel History videos require the student to engage with the embedded material.
They are self directed in that within the interactive videos they can chose which material to explore, in what order and for how long. So they have the enjoyment of being in charge of how far and fast they go.
3. It forces students to think for themselves
Rather than learning then regurgitating a 'balanced view', students are presented with competing historical narratives, forcing them to engage with the historical materials on hand in order to formulate their own opinion. This helps them develop their ability to critically evaluate arguments, assess evidence and synthesise different narratives.