Abstract # 2701 Poster # 68:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 20, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 5 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


GREAT APES AND CONSERVATION: STUDENT FEEDBACK FROM AN ONLINE SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE FOR UNDERGRADUATE NON-MAJORS

D. A. Smucny
Social Sciences, University of Maryland University College , 3501 University Blvd. East, Adelphi, MD 20783, USA
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     Many undergraduate degree programs now require that all graduates demonstrate knowledge of global issues, as a hallmark competency for general education or major program requirements. Primatology courses which examine conservation issues may be appropriate to fulfill such degree requirements. This poster presentation focuses on the development and online delivery of a special topics course for undergraduate students at University of Maryland University College (UMUC) about conservation of great apes. The special topics course, “Great Apes”, (ANTH 398K) was piloted in Spring 2009 in online format. The class is designed to maximize student interactivity and participation in the asynchronous online discussions. Links to online videos of great apes, use of online resources (such as Primate Info Net), and supplemental readings (e.g., classic field studies as well as current studies), enhanced the textbook readings and instructor presentations. Initial student feedback about the course has been very positive. Additional information from the official course evaluations will provide suggestions about how to make the subject material more engaging and accessible to the non-majors student. ANTH 398K is an example of how a primatology course can: (1) serve the general education curriculum by making undergraduate students aware of global issues and their role as global citizens, and (2) provide specific knowledge of great ape conservation and promote awareness of individual’s role in support of conservation efforts.