Teaching archaeological excavation at the University of Queensland: Eight years inside TARDI

20th November 2013

Jay Hall, Susan O’Connor, Jonathon Prangnell and Tam Smith
The TARDIS concept of layered and patterned cultural scenarios (published in Australian Archaeology 61:49).

The TARDIS concept of layered and patterned cultural scenarios (published in Australian Archaeology 61:49).

Effective teaching and learning of archaeological excavation at university is a complex and difficult task for various pedagogical, logistical, practical, financial and ethical reasons. TARDIS, a simulated multi-component archaeological site, was built on the University of Queensland campus in 1996 as an experiment designed to overcome growing concerns associated with teaching field research discipline on ‘real’ sites to undergraduate students. The experiment drew considerably on the problem-based learning (PBL) method of fixed resource sessions in combination with scenario-based problem-solving. The ‘safe’ on-campus learning environment of TARDIS afforded novice undergraduate students an opportunity to practice transferable management skills as well as those specific to archaeological fieldwork. Results from the past eight years indicate that the TARDIS experiment has facilitated more flexible, equitable and efficient student learning without compromising academic or ethical standards.

Hall, J., S. O’Connor, J. Prangnell and T. Smith
Teaching archaeological excavation at the University of Queensland: Eight years inside TARDI
2005
61
48–55
Article
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