The 84th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2015)


eAnthro: Community engagement in developing online learning resources

JOHN KAPPELMAN1, ADRIENNE P. WITZEL1,2, RUBEN GARZA2, FRANCIS MCGRATH2, RYAN MILLER2, CHRIS PITTMAN2, DENNE REED1, SULONI ROBERTSON2, TUAN TANG2 and JOSEPH TENBARGE2.

1Department of Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin, 2Instructional Technology Services, University of Texas at Austin

March 28, 2015 , Archview Ballroom Add to calendar

Online learning resources first became available as soon as the web came online, with early materials often mirroring the sorts of elements that instructors used in their classrooms. We found the web to be the perfect medium for producing virtual libraries of materials that otherwise were not easily available to the community of diverse K-Grey learners. For example, our initial efforts included eSkeletons.org, a site of primate skeletons that combines color images, 3D movies, animations, and interactive overlays; and eLucy.org, a site about a particular fossil that is presented in a rich comparative context that includes educational materials and lesson plans. Future websites must be cognizant of the facts that the range of materials is now beyond what any one team can author, and that engaged users can also be contributors. We built the collaborative website, eFossils.org, that incorporates various data from human evolution (e.g., anatomy, geology, geography, geochronology) within a multimedia learning environment (e.g., color images, 3D animations, video) and offers a series of online tools to visually represent these data and permit their study. The eFossils catalog uses the Darwin Core schema and permits the display and mapping of data sets from any project. The website also includes a “collaboratorium,” a web tool built on a generic template that permits the research community to collaborate on large-scale problems, and all of our websites are bundled under eAnthro.org. Users who assist in building the websites become the owners, and their investment ensures sustainability and vitality.

Funding from National Science Foundation; and the Longhorn Innovative Fund for Technology (LIFT) and College of Liberal Arts Instructional Technology Services, The University of Texas at Austin