Archaeology: Detectives of the Past

Course Description:

George Santayana once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The field of archeology helps us to better understand the events and societies of the past that have helped to shape our modern world. This course focuses on these techniques, methods, and theories that guide the study of the past. Students will learn how archaeological research is conducted and interpreted, as well as how artifacts are located and preserved. Finally, students will learn about the relationship of material items to culture and what we can learn about past societies from these items.

Course Details:

Course Title (District): Archaeology: Detectives of the Past
Course Title (NCES SCED) : Particular Topics in Anthropology
Course Provider : Michigan Virtual
Content Provided By : Florida Virtual School
Online Instructor Provided By : Michigan Virtual
Standards Addressed : Common Core State Standards, National Collegiate Athletic Association
Alignment Document :
Academic Terms : Accelerated, Semester, Trimester
Subject Area : Social Sciences and History
Course Identifier : Particular Topics in Anthropology
Course Level : High School (Secondary)
Available Credit : 0.5
Sequence : 1 of 1

How To Enroll:

Enrollment Website :
Email : [email protected]
Phone : (888) 889-2840

Students and Parents: It is important to work closely with your local school counselor or registrar to follow the school's enrollment procedures. By clicking the "Start Registration Request" button below, you will be able to notify the school of your interest in registering for the online course. However, it is the responsibility of the district or school to review the registration request and approve or deny the request. Please make a note to follow up with your school after submitting a registration request.

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Additional Course Information:

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:
  • Evaluate the study, history, and career options of archaeology
  • Summarize the processes, challenges, and findings of archaeological research and excavation by studying the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages.
  • Describe general patterns of settlement, technology, agriculture, and cultural developments.
  • Analyze the fossil record and what it tells archaeologists about human behavior.
  • Compare and contrast societies, their burial practices, and settlement patterns through written artifacts.
  • Describe the various legal and ethical challenges of archaeology, historical preservation methods, and public awareness of archaeological discoveries.

iNACOL National Standards for Quality Online Courses

Academic Content Standards and Assessments Rating Comments
The goals and objectives clearly state what the participants will know or be able to do at the end of the course. The goals and objectives are measurable in multiple ways. Partially Met Learning objectives are clearly listed for each unit, but they do not always seem measurable as they state that students will "examine" or "discuss" or "explore" or "investigate." It's difficult to measure if students did successfully "investigate" course material. The course objectives are more of an overview of what students will learn in general and is found in the Syllabus.
The course content and assignments are aligned with the state’s content standards, Common Core curriculum, or other accepted content standards set for Advanced Placement® courses, technology, computer science, or other courses whose content is not included in the state standards. Partially Met It is difficult to determine without a content alignment map or Common Core standards listed that are being met. However, there are many reading for information standards that are certainly met.
The course content and assignments are of sufficient rigor, depth and breadth to teach the standards being addressed. Partially Met There is some critical thinking involved in the assignments, but overall students are asked to answer questions for recall and not for application or creation. Many of the critical thinking questions are opinion based and do not require support or evidence as opposed to higher order thinking.
Information literacy and communication skills are incorporated and taught as an integral part of the curriculum. Partially Met Most assignments require reading for information and written communication skills, however it is not a skill that is necessarily taught as part of the course. It is a required skill for the course, so it may be taught by the instructor's feedback and direction in the course.
Multiple learning resources and materials to increase student success are available to students before the course begins. Partially Met There is a "How You Will Be Graded" section in the Getting Started folder that explains how to write good paragraphs and gives the scoring guidelines, but it is the only item to increase student success.
Course Overview and Introduction Rating Comments
Clear, complete course overview and syllabus are included in the course. Fully Met Learning Unit Objectives are clearly listed on their own page in each unit. The Course Syllabus also lists learning Unit Objectives for each unit. Course aims are listed in Course Syllabus also.
Course requirements are consistent with course goals, are representative of the scope of the course and are clearly stated. Partially Met
Information is provided to students, parents and mentors on how to communicate with the online instructor and course provider. Fully Met Provided in the Michigan Virtual School (MVS) Blackboard learning management system (LMS).
Legal and Acceptable Use Policies Rating Comments
The course reflects multi-cultural education, and the content is accurate, current and free of bias or advertising. Partially Met There is evidence of different cultural content that is only historical in nature. The course does not reflect multi-cultural perspectives. However, it does appear to be fee of bias or advertising.
Expectations for academic integrity, use of copyrighted materials, plagiarism and netiquette (Internet etiquette) regarding lesson activities, discussions, and e-mail communications are clearly stated. Fully Met Provided in the MVS Blackboard LMS.
Privacy policies are clearly stated. Fully Met Provided in the MVS Blackboard LMS.
Instructor Resources Rating Comments
Online instructor resources and notes are included. Partially Met There is a PDF of answer keys and key terms available in the Blackboard shell under the "Instructors Only" tab but there are no other resources for instructors.
Assessment and assignment answers and explanations are included. Fully Met These are available in the Blackboard shell under the "Instructors Only" tab.
Accessing Course Effectiveness Rating Comments
The course provider uses multiple ways of assessing course effectiveness. Fully Met Students have the ability to rate the lesson as completed, student evaluation at end of course. MVU also has access to additional data regarding student success and satisfaction with courses.
The course is evaluated using a continuous improvement cycle for effectiveness and the findings used as a basis for improvement. Partially Met MVU uses the Knowledge Base course issues tracker, permitting instructors to make suggestions to improve the course. However, the material itself does not undergo regular updates.
Course Updates Rating Comments
The course is updated periodically to ensure that the content is current. Partially Met No recorded evidence of updates to course materials. No way to know if course is updated. Course provider outside of our jurisdiction, but all content is current and content does not need to be updated.
Certification Rating Comments
Course instructors, whether faceto-face or virtual, are certificated and “highly qualified.” The online course teacher possesses a teaching credential from a state-licensing agency and is “highly qualified” as defined under ESEA. Fully Met All MVS instructors are certified in the state of Michigan, endorsed within their assigned content areas and grade levels, and highly qualified under state and federal guidelines.
Instructor and Student Support Rating Comments
Professional development about the online course delivery system is offered by the provider to assure effective use of the courseware and various instructional media available. Fully Met MVS instructors complete an onboarding course prior to teaching, annual professional development and conference attendance, participate in monthly department meetings, and are provided online resources for various instructional media.
The course provider offers technical support and course management assistance to students, the course instructor, and the school coordinator. Fully Met MVS instructors have access to a knowledge base with tutorials to assist them. Students also have a customer care center that offers technical support and course management assistance.
Course instructors, whether face-to-face or virtual, have been provided professional development in the behavioral, social, and when necessary, emotional, aspects of the learning environment. Fully Met
Course instructors, whether face-to-face or virtual, receive instructor professional development, which includes the support and use of a variety of communication modes to stimulate student engagement online. Fully Met
The provider assures that course instructors, whether face-to-face or virtual, are provided support, as needed, to ensure their effectiveness and success in meeting the needs of online students. Fully Met
Students are offered an orientation for taking an online course before starting the coursework. Fully Met Students are offered an orientation, i.e., the Online Learning Orientation Tool (OLOT), for taking an online course before starting the coursework in the learning management system.
Instructional and Audience Analysis Rating Comments
Course design reflects a clear understanding of all students’ needs and incorporates varied ways to learn and master the curriculum. Partially Met Podcasts read material to students. Layout of course is clean and clear, easy to follow. There is guiding direction on submitting written work and instructions for writing paragraphs. However, lessons go from one to the next without pause for reflection until the end of unit. There are no guiding questions while sifting through much text to read in each lesson.
Course, Unit and Lesson Design Rating Comments
The course is organized by units and lessons that fall into a logical sequence. Each unit and lesson includes an overview describing objectives, activities, assignments, assessments, and resources to provide multiple learning opportunities for students to master the content. Partially Met Organization is there in clear to follow sequencing of lessons and assignments. The activities, assignments, and assessments all are listed in the Course Syllabus. There are not multiple learning opportunities -- each unit has text, text questions, lab with video questions, quiz, and discussions, but it's the same format in every unit without variety.
Instructional Strategies and Activities Rating Comments
The course instruction includes activities that engage students in active learning. Partially Met The discussions, quizzes, videos are engaging. The reading of a lot of text may not be engaging for all students. It would be wonderful to have focus for the text as students read, outside of the unit goals.
The course and course instructor provide students with multiple learning paths, based on student needs that engage students in a variety of ways. Partially Met There does not appear to be a variety of learning paths. Each unit follows the same set up for assignments and activities.
The course provides opportunities for students to engage in higher-order thinking, critical reasoning activities and thinking in increasingly complex ways. Partially Met There are increasingly challenging questions in the assignments, from low-level recall to higher-order critical thinking. There are not many opportunities for critical thinking activities, outside of answering questions in a discussion board or written assignment.
The course provides options for the instructor to adapt learning activities to accommodate students’ needs. Fully Met This is possible in the Blackboard shell with the help of the instructor to accommodate individual learning needs.
Readability levels, written language assignments and mathematical requirements are appropriate for the course content and grade-level expectations. Fully Met The reading material may also be read to students in the included podcasts. Some videos also have transcripts.
Communication and Interaction Rating Comments
The course design provides opportunities for appropriate instructor-student interaction, including opportunities for timely and frequent feedback about student progress. Fully Met The Blackboard shell allows for this interaction in providing feedback with inline grading and feedback to learner areas. Instructors and students may also interact in message centers and discussion boards.
The course design includes explicit communication/activities (both before and during the first week of the course) that confirms whether students are engaged and are progressing through the course. The instructor will follow program guidelines to address non-responsive students. Fully Met Michigan Virtual School (MVS) instructor guidelines ensure such interaction through welcome letters, instructor introductions, and regular progress reporting.
The course provides opportunities for appropriate instructor-student and student-student interaction to foster mastery and application of the material. Fully Met Instructors and students can communicate in assignment feedback, discussion boards, and message center in Blackboard. Students may interact in discussion boards.
Resources and Materials Rating Comments
Students have access to resources that enrich the course content. Partially Met The materials in the course do enrich content through video. However, some of this also depends on what the individual instructor adds to the course in Blackboard through additional resources. Videos in the Lab Questions enhance and enrich course content. Otherwise, very few other resources are available.
Evaluation Strategies Rating Comments
Student evaluation strategies are consistent with course goals and objectives, are representative of the scope of the course and are clearly stated. Partially Met The materials in the course do enrich content through video. However, many of the listed objectives are not measureable. For example, Unit 1 Objective 5 asks the students to "understand why archaeology is still relevant today" How do I know if the student is understanding the information, this is not measurable. There are many of these types of objectives in other units as well.
The course structure includes adequate and appropriate methods and procedures to assess students’ mastery of content. Partially Met Videos in the Lab Questions enhance and enrich course content. Otherwise, very few other resources are available.
Feedback Rating Comments
Ongoing, varied, and frequent assessments are conducted throughout the course to inform instruction. Partially Met These are on-going and regular, however they are not varied. It's the same within each unit.
Assessment strategies and tools make the student continuously aware of his/her progress in class and mastery of the content. Partially Met Assessments are either questions to answer, short MC/TF quizzes, or discussion assignments.
Assessment Resources and Materials Rating Comments
Assessment materials provide the instructor with the flexibility to assess students in a variety of ways. Not Met No, the assessment materials are simply just open-ended, opinion-based and multiple choice questions. There is no application of material nor variety of assessment types.
Grading rubrics are provided to the instructor and may be shared with students. Partially Met General rubric included in Course Syllabus, but there's not specific rubrics for understanding course materials.
The grading policy and practices are easy to understand. Partially Met "How you will be graded" section in the Getting Started materials gives a guideline of what students should do in the course. The rubric is easy to understand but somewhat open to interpretation for grade ranges (80-100%, 60-80%, etc.). A student might feel they are meeting the goals but the instructor may believe otherwise. Vague grading policy.
Course Architecture Rating Comments
The course architecture permits the online instructor to add content, activities and assessments to extend learning opportunities. Partially Met Instructors cannot alter content provided by the course vendor, but MVS instructors are permitted to add supplemental materials as needed via the Blackboard LMS.
The course accommodates multiple school calendars; e.g., block, 4X4 and traditional schedules. Fully Met The calendar within the learning management system permits adjustments to the pacing guides, though MVS has established start and end dates for fall, spring, summer, and trimester enrollment terms.
User Interface Rating Comments
Clear and consistent navigation is present throughout the course. Fully Met Each unit is designed exactly in the same format for materials and assignments.
Rich media are provided in multiple formats for ease of use and access in order to address diverse student needs. Partially Met The course pages have a nice, clean look about them. The podcast is helpful for students who prefer to have material read to them. However there is not a lot of variety in formats
Technology Requirements and Interoperability Rating Comments
All technology requirements (including hardware, browser, software, etc...) are specified. Fully Met Communicated in the syllabus, the MVU website, and the Blackboard LMS.
Prerequisite skills in the use of technology are identified. Fully Met This can be found in the OLOT tool in the Blackboard shell under "Policies & Info."
The course uses content-specific tools and software appropriately. Fully Met Links and tools function in any browser.
The course is designed to meet internationally recognized interoperability standards. Fully Met Material can be operated and accessed from anywhere with an internet connection.
Copyright and licensing status, including permission to share where applicable, is clearly stated and easily found. Fully Met Communicated within the MVU Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) through the website and the LMS.
Accessibility Rating Comments
Course materials and activities are designed to provide appropriate access to all students. The course, developed with universal design principles in mind, conforms to the U.S. Section 504 and Section 508 provisions for electronic and information technology as well as the W3C’s Web Content Accessibility guidelines (WCAg 2.0). Fully Met All text content is also available in audio podcast form. MVS also accommodates 504 plans and IEPs based on individual student needs.
Data Security Rating Comments
Student information remains confidential, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Fully Met Course is password protected; the privacy policy is communicated in the Blackboard LMS.

Review Conducted By: Michigan Virtual
Date of Review: 07/08/2016

 Unit 1: The World of Archaeology
 Unit 2: Recording the Past

 Unit 3: Unearthing Ancient Civilizations
 Unit 4: Cultural Origins
 Unit 5: The Fossil Record
 Unit 6: Social Organizations
 Unit 7: The Survival of Ancient Test
 Unit 8: Public Archaeology and Modern Society

Term Type Enrollment Opens Enrollment Ends Random Draw Date Enrollment Drop Date Course Starts Course Ends # of Seats Course Fee Potential Additional Costs
Semester 04/01/2020 03/29/2021 06/01/2020 11/27/2020 06/18/2021 300 $325 $0
Accelerated 01/26/2021 07/06/2021 04/30/2021 08/13/2021 100 $325 $0
Drop Policy Completion Policy Term Type Enrollment Opens Enrollment Ends
Students may access their course from their enrollment Start Date to their enrollment End Date. For reporting purposes, a completion is a 60% final score or higher. Semester 04/01/2020 03/29/2021
Students may access their course from their enrollment Start Date to their enrollment End Date. For reporting purposes, a completion is a 60% final score or higher. Accelerated 01/26/2021 07/06/2021
Students can use chat, email or private message system within the course to access highly qualified teachers when they need instructor assistance.
School Year Enrollment Count Pass Count Completion Rate Notes
15-16 31 27 87.1% None
16-17 32 31 96.88% Enrollment data include all enrollments (21f and non-21f) for the 2016-17 school year.
17-18 42 41 97.62% Enrollment data includes all enrollments (21f and non-21f) for the 2017-18 school year.
18-19 53 46 86.79%
19-20 46 38 82.61%