Mockup of a Macbook with the Digital History Platform loaded

Digital History Platform
Ruby (Ruby on Rails)

View project website

Takes a few seconds to “wake up”

The digital history platform was designed and built by Zak Kolar and Hannah Moser for use in a college-level history class. Students in the class use the platform to track their research process, guided by assignments that prompt them to find a specific historical document. Students record each “step” (i.e. web page) they take towards the process and write a justification as to why they took that particular step. The site tracks the order in which the sites are visited, in order to show the “search path” the students take to find their document. Additional features include a “bookmarklet” so students can record steps without interrupting their search process, a “favorites” option for students to save useful pages for the future, and a “presentation” setting for teachers to display students’ submissions to the entire class without showing their names.


Screenshot of the view students see when completing an assignment. The left shows a read-only view of the path users took to get to a document. The right shows a form for users to edit the details of the currently selected step in the path. Screenshot of 'bookmarklet' tool that can be used to add to a search path from a user's web browser.

Click on a screenshot to enlarge it.