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Journal Article

The Mummy Explorer: a self-regulated open-access online teaching tool


Wilkin,  Shevan
Department of Archaeology, Max Planck Institute of Geoanthropology, Max Planck Society;

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Furtwängler, A., Baumann, C., Majander, K., Wilkin, S., Tomoum, N., Rühli, F., et al. (2023). The Mummy Explorer: a self-regulated open-access online teaching tool. Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, 11(1): 009, pp. 129-138. doi:10.1093/emph/eoad009.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-5AE5-C
Background and objectives
Virtual teaching tools have gained increasing importance in recent years. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the need for media-based and self-regulated tools. What is missing are tools that allow us to interlink highly interdisciplinary fields such as evolutionary medicine and, at the same time, allow us to adapt content to different lectures.

We designed an interactive online teaching tool, namely, the Mummy Explorer, using open-access software (Google Web Designer), and we provided a freely downloadable template. We tested the tool on students and lecturers of evolutionary medicine using questionnaires and improved the tool according to their feedback.

The tool has a modular design and provides an overview of a virtual mummy excavation, including the subfields of palaeopathology, paleoradiology, cultural and ethnographic context, provenance studies, paleogenetics, and physiological analyses. The template allows lecturers to generate their own versions of the tool for any topic of interest by simply changing the text and pictures. Tests undertaken with students of evolutionary medicine showed that the tool was helpful during their studies. Lecturers commented that they appreciated having a similar tool in other fields.

Conclusions and implications
Mummy Explorer fills a gap in the virtual teaching landscape of highly interdisciplinary fields such as evolutionary medicine. It will be offered for free download and can be adapted to any educational topic. Translations into German and possibly other languages are in progress.