In theory, the term “document-based learning” could refer to any educational approach which requires students to look at “documents” (articles, videos, even textbooks) in order to obtain information. However, for the purposes of this project, I define document-based learning in the following way:
Document-based learning is when students closely examine documents, answer questions focused around various historical thinking skills (sourcing, contextualization, corroboration, close reading, etc.), and reach evidence-based conclusions as a result of their analysis. Depending on the skills targeted, questions and conclusions can be based on a single document, or require students to use multiple documents. Texts, assessments, and projects which require students to locate purely content-based information through reading or research are not considered examples of document-based learning for the purposes of this study.