Artifacts and Provenance in a Different Arena

I am, for unknown reasons, overly interested in archaeology. Not quite enough to be a true amateur (although I wouldn’t say no if someone offered me the opportunity to be a volunteer on a dig), but I love reading archaeology blogs and watching archaeology-themed shows and movies.

My passion, if you haven’t noticed, is teaching. You ask me to teach something, I’ll do the research, put together a lesson, and teach it! Over the past year, my interests have moved from informal education toward instructional design. I’m still reading everything I can get my hands on in my spare time.

My love for teaching and interest in archaeology intersect in an odd way- e-learning has instructional objects (often referred to as artifacts). The usefulness of these artifacts is still being debated far and wide, the assumption being that once an artifact has been used, it can’t easily be repurposed to be used elsewhere.

Somehow, in reading a recent debate on this very topic, I started wondering if a learning artifact can have provenance the way an archaeological artifact can. Does the point of origination matter on these learning artifacts? Can it be repurposed so much that its purpose evolves into something completely different?

I’m finding a lot of overlap in my areas of interest, but this might be one of the more interesting, and it definitely could use some exploration!


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