Exploring the Effectiveness of Online Practical Laboratory Delivery in Biological Anthropology

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Online learning is becoming increasingly common in many practice-based fields, including biological anthropology. However, its impact on student outcomes is unknown due to a lack of research around the effectiveness of online practical training and around education in biological anthropology in general. In this seminar I present the preliminary findings of an ongoing collaborative study exploring the effectiveness of online practical training in biological anthropology. Through a participant survey of undergraduate and postgraduate osteology and palaeoanthropology students from an Australian university, this study aims to assess 1) whether student perceptions of learning vary between in-person and online modalities, and 2) whether differences in delivery mode impact student comprehension of practical concepts. Although preliminary, our results suggest that more nuanced investigations into the efficacy of online practical training are required.

Dr Stacey Ward is a lecturer in Biological Anthropology at the Australian National University. She is a passionate educator and was awarded a 2022 ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence (Early Career). Her research interests include health and society in prehistoric Southeast Asia and improving teaching and learning in bioarchaeology.