Friday, 26 July 2013

Done and dusted

Creating an online course that combines critical thinking with teaching new computing skills was always going to be a hard call, but I think I managed to give most people valuable assets. Now when it is all over, I can assess how the course went and if it was a success or not. Naturally, I have to take into account that this course was not accredited, so no student had to do all the parts; nothing was totally obligatory, but in order to get a certificate, one had to be active.

All but one got the certificate. The only one who did not, only logged in once. May be I will hear in the future, if the contents were unexpected (it is totally conceivable that some people may consider the course to be more about the sites and they could just consume maps and imagery other people had prepared instead of participating in exercises), may be something happened. At least in England the weather became unusually splendid and truly hot, so the student may have decided to vanish to the seaside instead of ‘slaving’ week after week in front of a computer and putting some hours into learning.

It is clear that all ‘certified’ students at least checked the material every week. Some made comments to the discussion forums and two thirds sent me back their mini projects for comments. All those received were good in different ways. The project work made it clear that probably those who had some kind of degree in archaeology got the most out of the course. However, even the self-confessed technophobe did get important cues how and where to look for information. The best of the project work added to personal projects students are actively carrying out in their own regions. In fact, one of the projects presented original work. It will be of wider interest for British archaeology and I wonder, if we will find the results in an article in the future...

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