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21st Century Archaeologists: Teaching, Training and Professional Development

The Historic Environment: Policy and Practice (vol.6/2) is a special edition, edited by Paul Everill, Niall Finneran and Joe Flatman as a collection of papers from a 2012 day-conference – 21st Century Archaeologists: Teaching, Training and Professional Development – that Landward Research Ltd co-organised with the University of Winchester's Centre for Applied Archaeology and Heritage Management. 

That conference, and this collection of papers, represented a significant discussion of sectoral approaches to continuing professional development in archaeology, and, as reviewed in Flatman's paper int he volume, there have actually been relatively few significant publications covering the how and why of archaeological training and pedagogy. The volume also emphasises, while remaining an academic discipline with every practitioner a graduate, it is in fact the vocational education and training that is most important for those archaeology graduates who go on to pursue careers in the discipline.

The conference was also a dissemination exercise for the project Vocational Training in Archaeological Heritage Based Upon E-Learning Resources, a project supported by the European Commission and led by Arek Marciniak of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan. That project has established a repository for online learning material, and continues to develop material, currently through the ANHER: Innovative format of education and training of the integrated archaeological and natural heritage.

The papers on new technology and e-learning, including those by Marciniak and Kenneth Aitchison couldn't be included in the HEPP volume: Aitchison's paper is available in this Prezi:

Build it and they will come: designing and providing e-learning material

The Vocational training system in archaeological heritage based upon e-learning resources project has involved participants in five countries designing e-learning material, which has been consolidated into accessible online courses centrally.

This paper will look at the process of designing and providing training to selected group(s) of trainees. Landward Research Ltd have written several case studies that are now in the system, and have designed an evaluation curriculum, “Issues in Contemporary Archaeological Heritage Management”, using materials written by partners across the project and delivered using Moodle in a cloud-based system. While the trainees have their own well-defined needs and expectations, the training has to be able to be used by other providers, and so must be able to fit into their own modular structures.