Erika Bsumek wants to change the way her students think about time. For her Provost’s Teaching Fellows project, she has been developing an online tool called ClioVis: Visualizing Historical Connections. ClioVis timelines can be built around research questions. The platform is designed to facilitate students working in groups chart and connect historical events. By creating ClioVis timelines students can see and better understand how and why historical events unfolded the way they did.
Events are plotted on a two-dimensional timeline and are sorted into user-created categories. Student users can then draw connections between events, and both the events and connections must have descriptions and rationalizations with listed sources. This highly interactive tool is designed so that students can present their work both within the platform and, eventually, as downloadable content. While it is still in development, Bsumek and her team are hoping to make ClioVis and its unique learning opportunities available to a large-scale audience in the future.
Bsumek is an Associate Professor of History in the College of Liberal Arts, a recipient of the Dad’s Teaching Award, the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, and she is currently a 2nd-year Provost’s Teaching Fellow. Her areas of research include Native American history, environmental history/studies, the history of the built environment, and the history of the U.S. West. Her current research explores the social and environmental history of the area surrounding Glen Canyon on the Utah/Arizona border from the 1840s to the present. She worked with SAGA lab and software developer Matt O’Hair (M.ED) on this project.