Preparing for the Oath Educational Website
- By Kathy McHoes
- May 24, 2012
Client: Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Project: Preparing for the Oath
Rather than merely “teaching to the test,” NMAH and USCIS wanted to create an inspiring tool to encourage would-be citizens to engage in active learning and contemplation of American history and civics as they prepare to become citizens. By drawing from the museum’s vast collections, the Preparing for the Oath website fosters an in-depth exploration of American history, allowing learners to become more informed members of American society.
Through rich media vignettes, interactive activities, and practice tests, students preparing for the U.S. Citizenship Test can learn much more than the correct answers; they can gain context and understanding of the people, events, and concepts that have shaped American democracy. With 100 questions grouped into 15 topic areas, Preparing for the Oath leads visitors through “Learn,” “Practice,” and “Test” modes, providing a scaffolded experience to encourage guided learning.
Bold colors and graphics, combined with clear typography, highlighted keywords and an accompanying glossary, allow for visitors at all educational and language levels to engage with each question and activity. Graphical elements drawn from NMAH’s storied collections, as well as compelling infographics and vignettes featuring optional audio narration and captioning, provide an intuitive visual structure designed for learning.
Designed with future U.S. citizens in mind, Preparing for the Oath and its accompanying teaching resources are designed for use in both formal and informal learning environments. The media-rich vignettes, interactive learning activities, and practice tests make learning fun, encouraging students to become active citizens as they put their new knowledge to good use.