Hillsdale College is in the process of releasing an updated edition of its American Heritage online course this spring.
After first being released in spring 2013, the American Heritage online course is being refilmed to better provide the experience of the on-campus class that shares its name in the core curriculum.
“We decided it was time to reshoot the American Heritage course, as that was one of our early courses,” Matt Bell, director of programs for external affairs, said in an email. “It needed to be revamped and taped in our new studio, and that’s what we are doing this semester.”
Professor of History Tom Conner gives the ninth lecture in the 10-week series, “America as World Power,” which covers America’s foreign policy. While the course has the same title as its earlier edition, Conner said he entirely rewrote his part.
“From my standpoint, it was fun to prepare, because when we are teaching for little segments at a time of a course, sometimes you miss the forest for the trees — you’re so determined and interested in getting certain material to the students,” Conner said. “Maybe we don’t pay enough attention to the big, big picture. It was fun to take a fresh look at the subject.”
The success of the online courses comes from the professors, who take their teaching approach from the classroom into the studio, Bell said.
“The faculty at Hillsdale College are quite remarkable, not only for their expertise, but also for their sincere desire to help every student learn,” he said. “It’s a privilege to work with them on producing these courses.”
Sophomore LuAnn Townley, a student in Conner’s American Heritage class, said she believes the course aids in explaining why the country is the way it is and looks at how to prevent past events from repeating.
“I hope that anyone who watches all 10 segments, or even a few, will come away from the experience with a renewed appreciation of what it means to be an American,” Conner said. “The past is not necessarily a sure-fire predictor of the future, but perspective is never a bad thing to have on the present and this provides that.”