Technology-enhanced learning environments (TELEs) are educational tools that enable students to acquire knowledge, improving the quality of their educational experience. Educators face many challenges when teaching difficult histories about French resisters in World War II, such as Lucie Aubrac. Resisters' histories include deep emotions, choices, and hard decisions. There is a need for a new approach for teaching these topics and designing innovative digital tools to encourage educators and students to explore them. The current study designs and evaluates a TELE to teach difficult history via a historical empathy approach that engages students with difficult histories and provides them with means to empathize with historical figures. French academic historians from different universities across the U.S. collaborated and informed the design of the TELE. This study answers two main questions: First, how can a project-based classroom TELE help teach difficult history via a historical empathy approach? And second, in what ways do educators think the final prototype will help in teaching difficult history content, such as the Lucie Aubrac scenario, thematically? The methods used in this study are focus groups and surveys. The outputs of this study are in the form of knowledge and products. These include design principles, the final prototype, and the revised historical narrative of Lucie Aubrac. The results indicate the potential for using the final prototype in classrooms. The significance of this study is found in its contributions to the literature of history, pedagogy, design, and technology.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Texts and Technology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Eissa, Sahar, "Difficult History Education Via Design-based Research: Teaching Historical Empathy Using Lucie Aubrac and the French Resistance as a Case Study" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 858.