Case Studies/Open Archaeology Collection

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Image, Text, MovingImage, Other
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OER, archaeology, ucberkeley, anthropology, introduction to archaeology, teaching collections, student projects


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This collection contains course materials, student projects, and hundreds of other resources for teaching and learning archaeology.

This collection contains course materials, student projects, and hundreds of other resources for teaching and learning archaeology. The materials were gathered during Fall 2008 by Open Knowledge and the Public Interest (OKAPI) in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. OKAPI has published these materials under a Creative Commons Attribution License, encouraging anyone–from scholars to enthusiasts–to use, remix, and share. We also hope that this collection will inspire other scholars to openly share their research and teaching materials, and will serve as a template for future projects.

This project began as an attempt to digitize, organize, and share teaching materials for the ‘Introduction to Archaeology’ course at UC Berkeley. We started by gathering a variety of teaching materials faculty, but soon realized that much of the material was copyrighted or of unknown provenances and, therefore, difficult to freely publish. Beginning January 2008, after contacting our colleagues at OpenCourseware and the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning, we decided to follow their example and ‘Remove, Replace, and Get Permission’ for images in our collections. Two undergraduates (Samantha and Denise) ‘removed and replaced’ copyrighted images with images under an open-license (e.g. Creative Commons). They gathered open-licensed images from faculty research collections, the UC Berkeley Anthropology Library, and a wide range of open education and research sites, such as as Dspace, Aluka, Open Context, and MIT’s Open Courseware. All collected materials are organized by weekly lecture, given a description, and attributed to the rightful owner, under the specified license.

The Open Archaeology collection contains dozens of student projects, course materials (syllabi, assignments, etc.) and two semesters of lectures in a variety of formats, including audio/video podcasts and presentations. The lecture slides use open-licensed images from the collection and are provided in PDF and PowerPoint formats, allowing others to create their own lecture materials. The class lectures were recorded each week by our colleagues at Educational Technology Services. Each lectures is available as MP3 audio files and video podcasts. As a way to give back and contribute to the Open Education Movement, all new content is published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Attribution 3.0 license.

This project was funded by the US Department of Education’s Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (Fipse Grant #P116B040739).

Open Archaeology Website:

Project Team: Elizabeth Ha Denise Phelps Samantha Emmanuel Noah Wittman

Advisors: Margaret Conkey Ruth Tringham Suzanne Calpestri Michael Ashley

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