Ph.D. students Micayla Spiros, Amber Plemons, and Jack Biggs publish in Science & Justice

Ph.D. students Micayla Spiros, Amber Plemons, and Jack Biggs co-authored a paper in a special issue of Science & Justice on the Future of Teaching, Training and Learning in Forensic and Crime Sciences. Their paper, entitled: “Pedagogical Access and Ethical Considerations in Forensic Anthropology and Bioarchaeology” focuses on access, ethics, and pedagogy in fields using skeletal collections. It also incorporates the digital tools Spiros, Plemons, and Biggs created during their tenure as CHI fellows into the greater narrative. 

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Abstract: “Traditional education in biological anthropology relies primarily on hands-on, highly visual experiences. Forensic anthropologists, bioarchaeologists, and osteologists in general should aim to collaborate in developing widespread digital pedagogy suitable for our discipline, increasing digital technologies used for education and training. Considerations and suggested pathways toward a biological anthropology digital pedagogy include accommodating for varying levels of digital fluency, understanding global perspectives and cultural beliefs, equity in accessibility, ethical strategies, prioritization levels of content that should be made publicly available, appropriate platforms and forms of media for disseminating different types of content, and the necessity of multiple modalities. Using three online resources as case studies, this paper focuses on the discussion of pedagogy, access, and ethics surrounding digital osteology. These three digital tools, 3D MMS, MapMorph, and J-Skel, can be used to teach students topics ranging from human variation methods and theory to juvenile age estimation. Developing a pathway forward, we encourage the anthropology community to think critically about the desired outcome of pedagogical tools in order to properly align the framework with the intended pedagogy, level of accessibility, and ethical codes. The ideal model would aim for equitable access to training materials on a global scale. Implementing these practices can foster a more adaptable and encompassing learning experience for students and researchers in biological anthropology who may have dissimilar access to resources.”