Faculty Guide

Join us and get access to quiz banks, teaching tips, and more

Through the Google Group you can share and receive tips, materials, advice, discussion prompts, and more.  Click here and ask to join.  Your request should be approved within 48 hours.  Once you join you also receive a 60 page Instructor’s Manual that includes class activities and a guide to implementing each lesson and challenge.

How it works:

  1. Students read the lesson, watch great documentaries, and listen to related podcasts.
  2. Students put their new knowledge into action by taking the challenge.
  3. Students post their challenge results to Instagram.

A key part of your class setup will be the creation of a unique Instagram hashtag for your class (e.g. #anth101wesch).  Test it to make sure it is unique by going to https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/YOURTAG and make sure nothing appears there.   For example, one teacher had his students post with the hashtag #Seth430 (the TA’s name & the time they meet).  These then appear in a class-specific Instagram feed.

Instagram Instructor Tips:

  • Use the following hashtags when you post and to search for high-quality student posts and examples:
    [table id=1 /]
  • Stay about 1 week ahead of your students on the challenges by posting your own challenge entry.  Use the #anth101teacher hashtag and we can see each other’s posts.
  • Or highlight a high-quality student post from another class.  (Search #anth101challegengeX and look for a good post.)
  • After each challenge, find the best posts and celebrate them!  You can repost them to your own feed as a way to showcase student work.  Use the hashtag #anth101bestofchallengeX (with X being the number of the challenge) and we can co-create a collection of great examples.
  • To repost a high-quality student post to your own feed, use an app like Repost.  I like repost because it puts a watermark on the photo giving the student original credit and allows you to copy their original post into your post.   Here is an example:

How to use the lessons:

You can use the lessons however you like.  You can go all-in and use all of the lessons and recommended materials or you can pick and choose what you like.  Each lesson includes an intro video, a chapter, and additional materials (podcasts, documentaries, movies, additional readings).  Personally, I assign all of the materials in each lesson to my students.  I quiz them over the chapter and video, ask them to summarize the documentaries, and hold online or in-person weekly discussions.  However, you may want to use different materials.  You are welcome to create your own syllabus on your learning management system and link to any of the materials you like, and leave out any of those you do not. For example, for Lesson One you might only assign the textbook reading and then find other materials to assign your class.  And of course, you do not even need to follow the 10 lessons as laid out here.  Simply link to whatever materials you like and disregard the rest.

Feel free to share your course materials on the Google Group.  The more we share and learn with each other the better our classes will be.

Working with your Learning Management System (LMS):

An LMS such as Blackboard or Canvas is useful for grading, private online discussions, and for administering quizzes.  You can also use your LMS for students to submit challenges if you would rather not have them logging in and posting on anth101.com.  It is up to you how you decide to use your LMS.

Assessment and Grading:

The 10 Lessons are not simply to be memorized.  Students have to “live their way” into them and make them part of their lives. For this reason, I make the 10 challenges a substantial portion of their final grade – usually about 50%.  The other 50% is made up of content assessment (quizzes and exams) and participation in discussions (online and in class, depending on course format.)  Here is how I break it down for my online class:

Task Points
10 Challenges: (Challenges 1-5, 7, and 8 are worth 25 points.  Challenges 6 is worth 50 points and Challenges 9 and 10 are worth 100 points.  You also receive 25 points for  your introduction.) 450
10 Quizzes x 20 points each 200
10 Challenge Discussions 100
25 Discussions (on 25 podcasts and documentaries) x 10 points each 250
Total 1,000

Rubric for Challenges:

Grade % Characteristics
A+ 100 Above and beyond.  Outstanding visual presentation and write-up. An A+ effort will involve several of the following: risk-taking, innovative thinking, resolving a difficult contradiction or paradox, and connecting or synthesizing ideas.
A 90 Excellent work overall.   Clear evidence that the core ideas of the lesson have been understood an implemented,
B 80 Good work, but there is not clear evidence that the core ideas of the lesson have been understood, or the work could be improved through better writing, more writing, or better visuals.
C 70 Fair work.  Work is complete but it appears rushed and unpolished, Or there is no evidence of understanding and some evidence of misunderstanding.
D 60 Poor work. Work was submitted but it is incomplete, wrong, or off the mark.
F <59 Very poor work.  Something was submitted but it is minimal, incomplete, wrong, or off the mark
X 0 No submission.

Rubric for Discussions:

Grade Points Characteristics
Complete 10 Outstanding contribution and follow-up comments that inspire a rich and fruitful discussion.  Demonstrates understanding of material as well as an ability to tie the material to larger ideas, making rich connections and evoking deep and interesting questions.
Incomplete 0 No contribution or a contribution that feels rushed like it was “just something that had to be done for the grade”

Is everything really free?

Yes. Everything on this site is free.  You do not need to ask permission to use the material.  The only possible expense is the printed version of the textbook, but that is optional for each student.  A pdf of each chapter is provided for free.

How is this site funded?

A portion of the tuition money from students taking the online course for credit goes toward paying the costs to run the site.

Why “10 lessons” vs. a traditional “topics” course?

For 12 years I taught anthropology the way most people teach it: by progressing through a series of 16 topics as indicated in the textbook.  But as I worked day by day to engage my students I found that over many years I had found 10 big ideas that are central to anthropology.  While I maintained the structure of the “topics” course, I was learning to take my students on a journey through these 10 big ideas.  This website and the accompanying textbook represent my attempt to give these big ideas priority over the topics.  I still think coverage and depth are important, but students need to be motivated for any learning to take place.  The “10 lessons” read like a manifesto of ideas worth learning.  They make a promise to students that learning the material of an anthropology class is valuable and potentially life-changing.  If you are interested, here is the full story:

More questions?

Let me know below or directly at mike.wesch@gmail.com and I will respond directly and update this page as needed.