Reviewed by: General Anthropology Division
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Teaching
Secondary Theme: Technology
Anthropology and its subdisciplines face a paradox in the 21st century. The discipline is largely progressive in mission, but deeply traditional in many of its methods. While anthropologists vigorously call for increasing global inclusion in intellectual pursuits, we are also quick to view online learning technologies with deep suspicion - often concluding that online learning strategies are at best impoverished versions of classroom strategies, the entrenchment of commodified education, or at worst fraudulent. In the context of a higher education that is increasingly reliant upon Internet technologies, what should anthropology and its subdisciplines make of online teaching, learning, and their intersection in collaborative research?
We invite participants who have experience in teaching, learning, or administering anthropology in online contexts to help us identify and debate the strengths and weaknesses of the medium to the field, to raise and evaluate the hard questions this expanding academic context needs to address, and to provide insight on the directions in which the discipline and the medium might best be interrelated in the future.
Issues we’d like to see addressed include, but are not limited to: The ethics of online courses; Student engagement in online courses; The relationship of research, teaching, and research-teaching opportunities online; The potential for Internet technologies to expand the classroom beyond specific geographical and temporal boundaries; Access, Online teaching/learning/research, and quality control
Administrative imperatives to go online and disciplinary preferences to stay face to face; The dichotomy of online vs. face to face courses, this dichotomy’s veracity, and anthropology’s third space: the field; Online modes of teaching/learning, scheduling, and curricular form in the next 15 years; Course Management Systems and the structuring of the ‘classroom;’ Pedagogical challenges and opportunities.
The roundtable format will allow us freedom and flexibility to show examples of anthropological teaching/learning/research online, to explain, discuss, and debate them, and to converse with one another in a more organic manner than is possible with traditional conference sessions.