Milestone Documents New Expanded Version Is a Fresh Alternative to the Old Textbook Model

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Low student cost, solid pedagogy, and rich instructor support highlight a breakthrough model.

The pioneering new structure of Milestone Documents enables educators to adopt just one pedagogically sound resource to replace both textbook and document reader at a remarkably low cost to students: $29.95 for a full semester of unlimited access.

At the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Milestone Documents announced that it will debut a modern digital alternative to traditional textbooks in August 2013 when it unveils a dramatically expanded version of its popular service. What began as an online document reader with robust analyses is evolving to include a unique textbook layer and powerful educator support for college-level courses in history and related disciplines. The pioneering new structure enables educators to adopt just one pedagogically sound resource to replace both textbook and document reader at a remarkably low cost to students: $29.95 for a full semester of unlimited access.

“We’re responding to an undeniable market movement to recreate the textbook in a form that’s more flexible for professors and less expensive for students,” said Neil Schlager, founder and president of Milestone Documents. “Our service mixes content and context in a digital format that allows teachers to have better control over their course structure and materials. The content is constantly expanding, and all of it is curated and guided by subject experts in the various disciplines that we cover—History, American Studies, and Religious Studies.”

The new Milestone Documents builds on a foundation of more than 1,300 key primary sources included in the existing Standard Edition of the service. These textual sources are accompanied by comprehensive analyses written by a global network of scholars. Each content area is led by an Editor in Chief, a scholar and educator who curates the document coverage and oversees the development of such instructor materials as model outlines, recommended documents, lecture notes, and assessments. The Standard Edition is available to students for less than $20 for a full semester and is in use in a wide variety of colleges and universities throughout the United States.

The Premium Edition, which will be ready by the Fall 2013 academic semester, includes an optional textbook layer of peer-reviewed narrative articles for introductory and survey courses in U.S. history, world history, and Western civilization. The textbook layer aligns with model outlines created by the Editor in Chief for each subject area. It will expand and grow over time, providing professors with additional options in choosing which units they want to assign to their students. The textbook layer adds only $10 to the cost to the student for the entire semester. Both editions include hallmark Milestone Documents features: the ability for professors to customize their class readings list as they see fit and to change it at any time. Students can highlight, take notes, and star their favorite readings.

Among the Editors in Chief are Philip DiMare (California State University–Sacramento), Jonathan Rees (Colorado State University–Pueblo), Karen Linkletter (California State University–Fullerton), Joseph Stuart (University of Mary), Eric Cunningham (Gonzaga University), and Claudrena Harold (University of Virginia). Materials development is ongoing and will continually grow with new curated documents, textbook articles, and instructor support materials. Additional courses and Editors in Chief will be added in areas including Asian history, African history, women's history, Latin American history, and American Southwest history.

The new Milestone Documents has been embraced by the Affordable Learning Solutions initiative of the California State University System for Fall 2013. While the innovative resource has captured attention for its low student cost, its loyal following among educators has been sustained by its authoritative content, easy customization, and simple navigation. Philip DiMare of Cal State Sacramento, who serves as Editor in Chief of both U.S. History I and Comparative Religions, said he was initially drawn to the service for its “incredible range and depth” of primary source coverage but was excited to see it expand into a full-service option for instructors. “I’m thrilled to be a part of what I think is one of the most forward-thinking educational tools on the market.”

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About Milestone Documents

Milestone Documents is a digital classroom resource for college history instructors built around primary sources. Its extensive collection of documents is curated by subject experts in U.S. and world history and is accompanied by in-depth commentary from a team of 300 scholars. In addition, its innovative "textbook layer" of peer-reviewed narrative articles makes Milestone Documents a highly affordable alternative to the traditional textbook. By placing primary sources at the heart of the classroom experience, Milestone Documents combines forward-thinking history pedagogy with unparalleled flexibility for instructors. It is accessible via the Web, the iPad, and any smart phone.

Milestone Documents is a service of Dallas-based Schlager Group.


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