Online Lesson Plan Ideas
Elizabeth Minor - Anthropology - Wellesley College - email@example.com
These lesson plans for online learning are adapted from Anthropology, Archaeology, Egyptology, and Digital Humanities courses I have taught at Wellesley College and UC Berkeley. FYI: my area of expertise is Sudanese and Egyptian Archaeology, as well as Museum Studies, Visual Digital Humanities, and Digital Archives. I’m posting these to help me think through how I will finish out the Spring 2020 semester at Wellesley College and as a resource for anyone in a similar situation. This is a brain-dump as I attempt to transition to online teaching next week, so please ignore any typos or run on sentences!
-Wrangling Tech for Class Formats -Intermediate Course -Advanced Seminar Collaborative Digital Student Projects -Co-Curation on Storymaps -Creating an Educational Game on ARIS Field Day -Learning through Evaluating Online Resources -The Best and the Worst of the Internet -Comparing 3D visualizations and text descriptions -Citizen Science for Class Activities or the Super Bored
*Please note that many of the detailed lesson plans that I present here are not completely accessible for students with visual impairments, due to the nature of interaction with 3D images in particular, but I have worked with students with visual impairments to go through the exercises successfully, especially using screen contrast enhancement and screen zooming, but that has been a one-on-one conversation with them and also after meeting with disability services. For instructors who are moving to online courses quickly due to coronavirus campus closures, and who know that you have students who need visual access accommodations, I suggest that you provide an alternate assignment as well or speak with your institution’s disability services. Likewise, some exercises need a fast and reliable internet connection, which students may not have access too, although they should be fine on tablets or other devices without especially fast processors. Some online platforms will need an updated browser/OS (especially Sketchfab), but I am able to run them with OS X El Capitan 10.11.6 (yes I know I really need to update my work laptop!).
Wrangling Tech for Class Formats
20-30 student course, Intermediate Level (ex. Wellesley ANTH 262 Archaeology of Human Sacrifice)
In class 75 minute format
(20 minutes) Students come having read an article/chapter about session topic. I lecture on background of the session topic with illustrated slides, which they can see as shared google slides and refer back to later. (30 minutes) They break into groups of 3-4 students to evaluate primary source material shared with them as a PDF, and they do a ‘deep dive’ on one individual case study. They discuss what the primary evidence shows them and draw conclusions/interpret the evidence. I walk around and check in with each group multiple times. (25 minutes) We come together as a class and I go around calling on each small group and they report back about their findings (often one group representative speaks). We all discuss how the individual case studies come together as a whole to tell us about the session topic.
Proposed synchronous online format
To begin, I’m going to attempt to hold the class meeting during the regularly scheduled time and we will reassess after the first week. Part of this is to provide a continuity of routine and schedule for students (and me!) who are isolated, but if this is found to do more harm than good then I will move to asynchronous models. I have the slides already prepped, so I will attempt to record the lectures as far ahead of time as possible in case I get sick and then the resources will be there for students to complete the course. (5-10 minutes) I give students updates from the College and take questions from them about the developing situation. (15 minutes) Students read the article/chapter about session topic. I post or stream a 15 minute lecture on the background with illustrated slides. If live, they can use side chat or “raise hand” feature to ask questions. This lecture is also still posted on their class website as a shared and editable Google Slide presentation. (25 minutes) Students break up into small groups using breakout room features or their own preferred platform (Google Hangout, FaceTime, WhatsApp). They look into case study and summarize their findings on the extra slides at the end of the editable Google Slide presentation. The template for the slides has space for an image and then bullet points. I’ll be available by text chat for each group to ask me Qs as they do this (I think also being on video and bouncing around would be hard, unless I leave the main meeting open too for them to pop into to ask their Qs). (5 minutes) Students familiarize themselves with the slides that the other groups have made. (20 minutes) We come together as a class and I go around calling on each small group and they report back about their findings as we all look at the new slides, one group representative unmutes and speaks. I lead the discussion on how the individual case studies come together as a whole to tell us about the session topic, students summarize their thoughts in a one paragraph blog post on the class google group.
Proposed asynchronous online format
Students do reading and watch my posted lecture by the day of the scheduled class Working with their assigned groups (which they self selected when still in the classroom), they have the next 48 hours to do their case study and make a summary slide together remotely (if they are able to speak live, great, if not, then as each student comes in they can add/change with their thoughts and especially do this using the Add Comment feature in Google slides) By the beginning of the next class session, each student posts a paragraph summarizing their thoughts on the case study comparisons and asking one question they have about the topic. Then by the end of the day of the scheduled class they respond to at least one other student’s blog post and question.
Case Study Example: Sacrifice at Kerma, Sudan
Students read two articles: Judd, Margaret and Joel Irish. 2009. “Dying to serve: the mass burials at Kerma,” in Antiquity, v. 83, n. 321, pp. 709-722. And Minor, E. 2018. “One More for the Road: Beer, Sacrifice and Commemoration in Ancient Nubian Burials of the Classic Kerma Period,” in Current Research in Egyptology 2017: proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Symposium: Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Naples, Italy, 3-6 May 2017. Archaeopress: Oxford.
Students meet with their small groups and go to the primary site reports from Kerma (https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.30000118660103&view=1up&seq=5) and choose one sacrificed individual from Sacrificial Corridor KX Hall A (Burials volume pages 279-315) and one elite Subsidiary Burial from Tumulus KX (Burials volume 315-372). In their small groups, they investigate the placement of the individual body, what personal adornment they had, what other objects are near/in the grave, how that compares to other sacrificed individuals, and what that may tell us about the identity and social role of the people included in sacrifice for the ancient Kerman king. The small groups make a Google Slide with a screenshot (or more) of relevant plans or finds, a bullet point list addressing the aspects above. Each student posts a paragraph summarizing their thoughts on the case study comparisons and asking one question they have about the topic. Then by the end of the day of the scheduled class they respond to at least one other student’s blog post and question.
15-20 student course, Advanced Level Seminar (ex. Wellesley ANTH 319 Nations, Politics, and the Use of the Remote Past)
In class 150 minute format
Students proposed discussion topics earlier in the semester and they are in charge of assigning readings (in consultation with me) for their session topic. They come prepared with a set of slides to present information from those readings and to facilitate a discussion for 45-60 minutes. Two students go per class meeting.
Proposed synchronous online format
To begin, I’m going to attempt to hold the class meeting during the regularly scheduled time and we will reassess after the first week. Part of this is to provide a continuity of routine and schedule for students (and me!) who are isolated, but if this is found to do more harm than good then I will move to asynchronous models. I will attempt to get the Google Slides and Docs set up and shared for students to post and discuss lectures as far ahead of time as possible, in case I get sick and then the resources will be there for students to complete the course. Students will come to a Zoom meeting with the readings completed and at least one discussion question or comment about each of them prepared ahead of time. Student discussion leaders will have already shared their slides in Google Slides and they will screenshare the presentation. They will pause on discussion question slides for their cohort to unmute and contribute, or to comment using text chat. We will reassess after the first session (which I will lead as the Instructor, already happened to be scheduled that way as their midterm was originally due the day of our first remote meeting). Depending on how the online discussions go, I may also implement the use of the course blog, where each student posts a paragraph summary of one or more of the readings and then a discussion question for other students to respond to.
Proposed asynchronous online format
On the day of the original class meeting, Student Discussion Leaders will post their Google Slides and these will include specific discussion questions that are clearly marked. They will also post either an audio or video commentary going through their slides. Within 24 hours, the other students should write a long format blog post that addresses the specific discussion questions, and ALSO proposes questions of their own, at least one for each source they read. Over the next few days, students should return and comment on the new discussion questions for at least two of their fellow classmates.
Collaborative Digital Student Projects
Co-Curation on Storymaps Example from Sara Cooper, ℅ 2020 https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/5421952371854ae9b5ecf9db4c3045bd (Sara made all the 3D models of pyramids that you see in this project as part of ANTH 246 Glyphs to Bytes, but students can use already available 3D models too)
Storymaps https://storymaps.arcgis.com/ - Dynamic website builder that can pull in GIS maps (either in “lite” version or directly from main ArcGIS maps), but is also friendly to use for general website building and embedding videos and 3D models. Can set sharing so that multiple users can edit the same StoryMap so students can collaborate on curation/creation. Sketchfab Cultural Heritage: sketchfab.com - Museums, institutions, and users post 3D models of Cultural Heritage sites and material culture with at least some contextual information. Students can embed these models into their curated StoryMap using the plus sign to add a section, selecting the </> embed option, and then copying and pasting the iframe embed code from the sketchfab model. Even if the model is not downloadable, it can be embedded.
Museum online databases! Hearst Museum of Anthropology: https://portal.hearstmuseum.berkeley.edu/ Met Museum Public Domain Images: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search#!?searchField=All&showOnly=openAccess&sortBy=Relevance&offset=0&pageSize=0 Smithsonian Public Domain Images: https://www.si.edu/openaccess
Lesson plan example: Gender, Museum Collecting, and Knowledge Creation
Have students read Evans-Pritchard, E. E. (1951). Kinship and Marriage among the Nuer. Oxford: Clarendon Press, selections available to Wellesley users and Malinowski, Bronislaw (1929). The Sexual Life of Savages in North Western Melanesia. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, Pages 1-27 Look through the Trobriand Island objects collected by Malinowski here Or the Nuer objects collected by Evans-Pritchard here Discuss with your 3-5 teammates: What types of objects were collected during these foundational anthropological studies? What activities were they used for? Were those activities described by Malinowski/Evans-Pritchard? Who undertook those tasks? Did they seem to collect a representative selection of gendered tasks? What do your observations tell you about the practice of anthropology in the past and what critiques and suggestions do you have for it today? Coordinate with your 3-5 teammates, each person taking a section or set of objects to Make an outline/sketch of the text you want to put into your StoryMap, use Comments feature to get team mate feedback on any questions you have about what to say/include. One person creates a StoryMap and then shares editing capabilities with the rest of the team and the teacher Everyone puts in the section and text and images they are responsible for Publish and share! Creating an Educational Game on ARIS Field Day
Example for Ancient Egyptian Literature, The Shipwrecked Sailor Follow link for PDF of slides with instructions: https://drive.google.com/file/d/10xFA1Yadd2PYhb2YzpGENc5g93Wlezpq/view?usp=sharing
Learning through Evaluating Online Resources
The Best and the Worst of the Internet In class - Think of a topic [about ancient Egypt/cultural heritage/archaeology/fill in the blank] and look for information about it online. Find the worst resource you can (that is still "safe for work"!), then find the best resource that you can. Work in a small group to create a Google Doc that presents the worst and best examples and why you chose them. Then draft a one-page form that you could use to assess any scholarly digital resources and fill it out for your two example websites.
Comparing 3D visualizations and text descriptions (ANTH 246 Online Resource Assignment 2)
Funerary Practices of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Age Assignment Online Resource: Giza Archives Project: http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/ First go to the Giza 3D tab and go into the 3D model of one of the main Giza structures. Walk through it as you read over the Bard textbook’s (https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/well/detail.action?docID=1895714) description of the structure. How does the experience of standing in the reconstruction help or hinder your understanding of the textbook description? Then use the advanced search (http://giza.fas.harvard.edu/search/) to search for information about one of these tombs (G 1152, G 1201, G 1203, G 1206 or G 1214).
- Who was buried in the tomb? What do we know about them from the texts found on their tomb walls or funerary objects?
- What objects were found in the tomb? Is there a find that stands out to you from the others? Describe it and where it was originally placed. What do we learn about the deceased’s life from this object?
- What do you like about the online database? What parts of the interface did you not like? How would you change them? Post your responses on the class blog, then comment on at least two other classmates’ posts.
Citizen Science for Class Activities or the Super Bored
Zooniverse.org Has Cultural Heritage, Biology, Astronomy, Literature projects where students can contribute to active research projects by processing data. My favorite: Manatee Chat!
Good luck everyone and I’d love to hear back about what was useful and how you modified it!