Columbia American History Online ( CAHO ), an online, interactive teaching tool, has won the first place award for electronic products in the humanities from the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers.
CAHO was created by Columbia Digital Knowledge Ventures (DKV), the campus organization known for creatively publishing online the work of Columbia faculty and researchers. CAHO itself combines e-seminars, taught by distinguished Columbia faculty members Casey Blake, Alan Brinkley, Eric Foner and Kenneth Jackson, with original historic documents, thought-provoking questions, classroom simulations recreating historic periods, interactive maps, audio slideshows and more.
"We are particularly proud to receive this award," noted Todd Hardy, executive director of DKV. "To be recognized by such an esteemed group of publishers of such skillfully developed material both in print and online, is especially gratifying."
"We found that the key is to get students to think like historians," Hardy added. "By incorporating primary sources in CAHO , students can read narratives, view documents, and work with interactive maps depicting the changing landscape of American history. The students then interpret the material and offer reasons why changes occurred or why a particular pattern developed over a period of time, rather than simply reading an account in a textbook." The editorial development of CAHO was overseen by Kate Wittenberg, director of the Electronic Publishing Initiative at Columbia .
The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division offers awards annually in 30 publishing categories covering a wide range of academic disciplines. The award winners were chosen by a nine-member expert panel consisting of librarians, academics and working publishers who were themselves former academics. CAHO was among a record number of submissions for the electronic product category. Oxford University Press's Oxford Scholarship Online , also nominated for the prize, took honorable mention.
Reflecting on DKV's latest prize, Ursula Bollini, senior directing of marketing and development said: "M ost online titles in the humanities remain true to their print roots, and are either reference works or aggregations of a large amount of material all on the same subject. Rather than an attempt to be exhaustive, CAHO was designed to encourage comprehension. We felt that this should be the goal of all good scholarship."
DKV develops and distributes digital resources that extend Columbia 's teaching and research beyond its classrooms and campuses and collaborates with faculty and researchers to build learning resources and public interfaces that support the goals of the University community.
CAHO is sold on a subscription basis to high school, college and public libraries across the country. DKV has licensed the distribution rights for the high school market to publishing giant Scholastic Library Publishing.