Little Big History Essay Outline

Book Description:

Big History is a new field on a grand scale: it tells the story of the universe over time through a diverse range of disciplines that spans cosmology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and archaeology, thereby reconciling traditional human history with environmental geography and natural history.Weaving the myriad threads of evidence-based human knowledge into a master narrative that stretches from the beginning of the universe to the present, the Big History framework helps students make sense of their studies in all disciplines by illuminating the structures that underlie the universe and the connections among them.Teaching Big Historyis a powerful analytic and pedagogical resource, and serves as a comprehensive guide for teaching Big History, as well for sharing ideas about the subject and planning a curriculum around it. Readers are also given helpful advice about the administrative and organizational challenges of instituting a general education program constructed around Big History. The book includes teaching materials, examples, and detailed sample exercises.This book is also an engaging first-hand account of how a group of professors built an entire Big History general education curriculum for first-year students, demonstrating how this thoughtful integration of disciplines exemplifies liberal education at its best and illustrating how teaching and learning this incredible story can be transformative for professors and students alike.

eISBN: 978-0-520-95938-5

Subjects: History


What is BHP Score?

BHP Score is a new essay scoring service developed in partnership with Arizona State University and the University of Michigan. BHP teachers can submit up to four essays per student, per class, for scoring by trained evaluators at Arizona State University. 

What’s the cost of BHP Score?

BHP Score is free for all registered Big History Project teachers.

Who can sign up for BHP Score?

Any classroom teacher registered for the Big History Project can sign up. Enrollment will be limited to 1,000 schools in the 2017/18 school year.

Why should I sign up for BHP Score?

BHP Score provides free, high-quality feedback and formative assessment opportunities for students, at no cost. It’s designed to provide teachers with essay-grading support from a group of trained scorers at Arizona State University. BHP and University of Michigan researchers have studied the impact of the course on student writing. The results have been remarkable: BHP students show significant gains over the school year. This success is the result of simple, clear, consistent feedback. For students to improve even more, they must have more feedback on their writing. But providing that feedback is time consuming, and time is in short supply for teachers. BHP Score is one way you can help your students improve their writing—at no cost and with no additional time investment.

How do I enroll in BHP Score?

First, register to teach Big History Project. It’s free, fast, and easy. To activate BHP Score, click on Console at the top of the browser window. You’ll see the section titled, “Introducing BHP Score.” Click Activate Service Now. Your student essays for Investigations 0, 2, 6, and 9 will then be eligible for submission to the BHP Score service.

Why score an essay in the first week of school?

The first essay, Investigation 0, is intended to establish a baseline assessment of student writing. This will provide a more accurate picture of how writing improves as the year progresses. Yes, your students will hate this, but the scores can only improve from here!

How are essays scored?

Essays are scored against a single standard rubric for the course, with exemplars at each level for each of the four rubric components: content knowledge, writing mechanics, use of evidence, and argument. For detailed scoring information, download the Investigation Scoring Guide.

Are humans or computers doing the scoring?

All essays are scored by humans. We are using computer scoring as a way of evaluating how consistently individual scorers and the group of scorers are applying the rubric.

Who is doing the scoring?

All scoring is done by a group of evaluators at Arizona State University. Each evaluator has received training on the Big History Project writing rubric as well as additional training from the writing experts at Arizona State University.

How long does it take to get results?

Once essays are submitted, results will be returned within a few days.

What can I do with the results?

Our intent is to provide detailed, objective, actionable, and consistent feedback to students and their teachers, in order to help them strategize on how to improve specific aspects of each student’s writing. The goal is to give time back to teachers so they can focus on individual student needs and use class time to reflect on, discuss, and even debate good student writing.

How do I submit essays?

Students write responses to Investigations in Units 1, 2, 6, and 9, and then submit them via the BHP website. Go to the Manage Classes & BHP Score tab in the Teacher Console to view the submission status of student essays. When the class essays are ready for scoring, the teacher submits all of them at once by clicking the Submit Now button.

How many essays can I submit?

Each teacher can submit up to four essays per student, per class. Only Investigations 0, 2, 6 and 9 will be accepted for scoring.

Can I submit any other essays my students write?

Sorry. No. Only Investigations 0, 2, 6 and 9 will be accepted for scoring.

One of my students has not yet turned in their assignment; can I submit their essay for scoring later?

No. The Investigation essays for each period must be submitted together. You can only click the Submit Now button once, so you should wait until you have collected as many student essays as possible before you submit each period’s work. If a student’s essay wasn’t included when you submitted the rest of the class’s Investigations for scoring, we cannot add it to the batch later.

I teach the semester-long course. Can I submit four essays per student for all of my BHP classes in a school year?

Yes. The program is open to classrooms in which the Big History Project course is being taught as a semester-long or year-long course of at least 80 hours.

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