Loyola University Maryland

Department of History

Learning Aims

Learning Aims For Students Who Entered Loyola Prior To 2022 - 2023
Learning Aims For the New Curriculum launched in Fall 2022

Learning Aims For Students Who Entered Loyola Prior to 2022 - 2023

All history classes require at least 15 pages of graded writing in the form of exams and papers. Various assignments require students to master basic information, analyze a variety of source materials, assess and evaluate arguments, and present their own arguments and/or analysis in clear and concise prose.

Students who have completed any HS 100-level course, “The Making of the Modern World,” should be able to: 

  • Understand continuity and change over time by exploring key events and developments in one region of the world over the past several centuries.
  • Read a primary source from the past and understand it. 
  • Read a secondary source about the past and be able to discern its central tenets.   
  • Write essays that are analytical, that incorporate facts, and include structured arguments and counter-arguments. 
  • Demonstrate how people in the past saw the world differently. 
  • Use the past as a source of reflection on ethical issues.

Students who have completed the HS 300-level courses shall be able to:

  • Master in-depth a particular historical subject or time period.
  • Comprehend different historical methodologies.
  • Conduct advanced-level research including library and web-based sources.
  • Create, sustain, and present an argument based on that research in well-written essays.
  • Discern appropriate and inappropriate sources and effectively weigh the use of evidence.
  • Comprehend that historians can legitimately differ in their interpretations of the past.

History majors and honors students who have completed the HS 400-level courses shall be able to:

  • Recognize the varieties of historical analysis and the existence of historiographical precedence;
  • Conceptualize and develop an argument based on research and drawing on historiographical precedence;
  • Conduct and complete extensive research using both primary and secondary sources with the goal of completing a 15-25 page research paper on a sophisticated topic of each student's choosing;
  • Carry on an intellectual debate in a seminar format by referring to a related set of readings, offering critical appraisal of the readings, and reacting to the ideas of their fellow students; and
  • Be able to state, in elegant prose, the argument of any article or book assigned to them in a history class.

Learning Aims For Students Entering Loyola 2022 - 2023 And Beyond

The learning aims for HS 100 are:

  • Introduce the concept of historiographical debate and what it means to think like a historian. Understand that history is an interpretative discipline.
  • Develop writing skills by introducing basic components of a history paper, including developing an argument/thesis, providing evidence, and logical organization of a paper.
  • Introduce techniques for reading both primary and secondary sources, assessing their quality, and deploying them for making an argument or claim.
  • Introduce a historical topic or theme and the ways that topic or theme informs the present.
  • Introduce the ways that history informs issues of contemporary significance, with particular attention to social inequities.

The learning aims for HS 200-level courses are:

  • Reinforce the concept of historiographical debate through the use of more advanced secondary sources, such as monographs and scholarly articles that show how historians can legitimately differ in their interpretations of the past.
  • Understand continuity and change over time by exploring key events and developments in a region of the world or through a single theme.
  • Reinforce writing skills by introducing the evaluation of historical sources and integrating that evaluation into a longer, argumentative paper and/or other research project.
  • Demonstrate how people in the past and/or people from different regions or belonging to different groups, and identities saw the world.

The learning aims for HS 300-level courses are: 

  • Reinforce the concept of historiographical debate through the introduction of different historical methodologies.
  • Introduce historical research through a project that includes independent primary and secondary source research on a topic and demonstrates the ability to use writing and/or speech (or other media) effectively.
  • Master a particular historical subject or time period with an emphasis on depth and detail.
  • Reinforce writing skills by introducing the research process and the process of generating good historical questions, consideration of audience, and the importance of revision in crafting convincing arguments.
  • Reinforce the ways that specialized historical knowledge can be leveraged to understand contemporary issues and everyday challenges, with a particular emphasis on social justice.

The learning aims for HS 400 - level courses are: 

  • Reinforce the concept of historical methodologies through the evaluation of historical arguments.
  • Master the debates that animate a particular historical field and be able to independently assess other fields through effective reading and research.
  • Situate specific histories in the context of broader thematic trends over time and/or in different places around the world.
  • Read widely in a selected field, culminating in a project that incorporates oral, written, and/or visual communication that demonstrates deep knowledge of the topic.
  • Be able to effectively understand and summarize the argument of a book, article, or other media, evaluate the effectiveness of the claim, and debate the issues of the argument with others.

The learning aims for HS 499 Capstone are:

  • Reinforce the concept of historical methodologies through the evaluation of historical arguments.
  • Master the debates that animate a particular historical field and be able to independently assess other fields through effective reading and research.
  • Situate specific histories in light of broader thematic trends over time and/or in different places around the world.
  • Effectively summarize key arguments and information of books, articles, and other media in a variety of formats, such as orally, digitally, or in writing.
  • Conduct original research that culminates in a written project that demonstrates deep knowledge of a topic.

     

These learning aims directly relate to several of the University's larger student learning aims, specifically the goals of:

Intellectual Excellence

  • Appreciation of and grounding in the liberal arts and sciences;
  • Excellence in a discipline, including understanding of the relationship between one's discipline and other disciplines; and
  • Understanding the interconnectedness of all knowledge habits of intellectual curiosity, honesty, humility, and persistence.

Critical Understanding: Thinking, Reading, Analyzing

  • The ability to evaluate a claim based on documentation, plausibility, and logical coherence;
  • The ability to make sound judgments in complex and changing environments; and
  • The ability to find and assess data about a given topic using general repositories of information, both printed and electronic.

Eloquentia Perfecta

  • The ability to use speech and writing effectively, logically, gracefully, persuasively, and responsibly.

Promotion of Justice

  • An appreciation of the great moral issues of our time: the sanctity of human life, poverty, racism, genocide, war and peace, religious tolerance and intolerance, the defense of human rights, and the environmental impact of human activity.

Diversity

  • Recognition of the inherent value and dignity of each person, and therefore an awareness of, sensitivity toward, and respect for the differences of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, culture, sexual orientation, religion, age, and disabilities; and
  • Awareness of the global context of citizenship and an informed sensitivity to the experiences of peoples outside of the United States.

 

Michael Ashley-Mennis
Alumni

Michael Ashley-Mennis

This 2010 grad, who teaches social studies at a Catholic institution, developed his passion for education at Loyola

Psychology