Medieval Crisis Populations

Juvenile Osteology Research Workshop

2014 Evaluation

1. Did the project staff provide you with enough information beforehand to organize your packing for and travel to the project?

 

Strongly agree: 6

Agree: 6

Somewhat agree: 2

Disagree: 1

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • Might be helpful in the future to provide multiple routes to reach Odorheiu Secuiesc

  • Should have been made aware the state of the lab we were working in. IE - told us that its courtyard is all grassy and often muddy and wet. (not the fault of the staff necessarily, but something to keep in mind)

  • It was highly unclear what we were supposed to bring as well as what facilities would be made available upon arrival.  The use of Facebook was welcome, but could be exploited further.

 

2. Was the pickup arrangement made prior to the project adequately seen to by project staff?

 

Strongly agree:  10

Agree:  4

Somewhat agree:  1

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • It was very useful to be able to contact other participants in the program via facebook prior to arriving in Budapest. It was great to be met at the train station!

  • Pick arrangements were mentioned early on in planning, but never confirmed.

  • The moment we got off the train, several staff members recognized us and gathered us around and ensured we got aboard the bus. It was great!

 

3. Were the living accommodations provided by the project adequate for your needs?

 

Strongly agree:  6

Agree:  5

Somewhat agree:  4

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • A whole week had passed before we had our rooms cleaned, I had to talk to the owner about our floor being vacumed because it was so gross. For a group of students who need wifi I think the hotel could have upgraded their wifi to be better and a wider range. I think we wouldn't all be in the common room making noise if the wifi reached our rooms. The hostel was in a good location for the lab, it would have been nice to have fans or AC, there were some days so hot it was unbearable and there was no escape. There was only a AC unit in the common room.

  • The staff at Hotel Transit were pleasant and the rooms were nice. A better wifi connection would make workshop related research, skype calls etc easier. Overall a nice place to stay!

  • The kitchen was not adequate for the needs of 15+ people. Not enough keys to rooms. Being shooed out of the common room at 10pm every night, even on the weekends, was very inconvenient since most rooms have no wifi. A house or apartments might be a better choice for a group such as ours (even thought perhaps much more expensive).

  • A larger rental house or multiple rental apartments with good WiFi may have been better living accommodations

  • wifi a little slow

  • It would have been much nicer to have had a facility in which only Archaeotek participants were staying as opposed to a hotel/hostel.

  • There needed to be more forceful with making people adhere to the rules. As much as we're all adults I don't think it should just be left to other students to comment on poor behaviour and try and bring it in.

  • The living accomodations were adequate, but for the amount of online research required the lack of relatively easy wifi access was disheartening.  The hostel staff for the most part was friendly and polite but the night watchman was difficult to deal with and from the beginning treated us as criminals, despite the behavior of several non-Archaeotek lodgers which far outpaced the worst of our own.

 

STAFF REPLY:

  • The kitchen and the fridges are a courtesy. The kitchen is not meant to accommodate the daily cooking of the entire team.

  • As mentioned in the travel kit that was provided to you and during the orientation session, the hotel WiFi is only meant to check and send e-mails. It is not designed for research, streaming videos and Skype conferences with family and friends, especially when the entire team is doing it at the same time. However, several options and solutions were readily available to solve the situation. Every restaurant, bar, pub and park in Odorheiu Secuiesc, within 10min walk from the hotel, offers free WiFi. Also, for less than $50, students can  buy a pay as you go modem USB stick that would be more than enough for 4 weeks of research.

 

4. Did you encounter any problems with logistics, food, or travel?

 

 

YES:  4

NO:  11

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • My ATM Card had issues, but that was no fault of the program or coordinators.  They were helpful when I was trying to figure it out.

  • l had no problems.

  • Trips need to be planned way more ahead of time so people can bring proper money for them, rather than being told the week of and not being able to afford it.

  • During the third weekend, we were told the common room and kitchen were NOT available to us in favor of another group.  This was disheartening and ensured we all had to spend more time away from the hostel at a point when few could afford to do so.

 

 

5. Were the formal lectures presented informative and useful?

 

Strongly agree:  15

Agree:  0

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • The formal lectures were extremely useful. It was great to have the osteology lectures at the beginning of the workshop to become familiar with juvenile osteology. The transition into different topics in juvenile bioarchaeology provided even more informative and still useful lectures. In every single lecture, Jon would give tips, advice and direction for how to immerse yourself even more in the topic, including readings to look out for, conferences to go to, academics to look up etc.

  • Dr, Bethard and Katie Woords are great! So is Tyler!

  • Bottom line, Jon is amazing!

  • Jon is seriously one of the best lecturers I've ever had.

  • The lectures were absolutely phenomenal.  It felt like a years worth of undergrad work compressed into a few weeks.

 

6. Were the formal lectures presented interesting and engaging?

 

Strongly agree:  15

Agree:  0

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • Both John and Katy are great lecturers.

  • Dr. Bethard's lectures were so engaging that, no matter how long they were, I wanted them to continue. The material itself is already exciting but was elevated to the next level by his enthusiasm, knowledge, and overwhelming desire to help and guide us.

  • The topics were very interesting and it was fascinating to see how the lectures could relate to what we were seeing in the lab. Jon is a fantastic lecturer. His knowledge is incredible and he is always engaging and willing to answer questions. His enthusiasm is infectious!

  • The lectures were very interesting and engaging!

  • they were amazing!!!! I learned so much!

  • Dr. Bethard is a wonderful presence, who has a voluminous knowledge of osteology yet is quick to admit his shortcomings and where to find answers he cannot give.  He was the centerpiece of the course.  Lectures from Tyler and Katie were also wonderful, and all three deserve every bit of praise.

 

7. Were the supplementary materials (i.e., handouts, electronic resources, Dropbox files, etc.) useful?

 

Strongly agree:  14

Agree:  1

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • YES! :)

  • My only comment would be to have the PDFs of the lectures match up with the Power Points. Some Power Points were combined in the PDFs and it made it a little hard to find things.

  • The only issue with the handouts was the difficulty in the entirety of us accessing Dropbox at once, but aside from that they were invaluable.

 

8. Did bone quizzes help prepare you for the research component of  the workshop?

 

Strongly agree:  10

Agree:  2

Somewhat agree:  2

Disagree:  1

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • I'm much better prepared for working with human remains after the bone quizzes and lab time.

  • I think the first (Thursday) bone quiz was way too easy since there wasn't enough material and on the other hand might have been much too hard for students with limited experience who might not have seen fragmented bone before.

  • The bone quizzes gave us a series of smaller goals to work towards which ensured a familiarity with the osseous material we would be in contact with.

 

9. Did you find the project staff understanding of osteological terminology and fragment identification?

 

Strongly agree:  15

Agree:  0

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • The staff was friendly, knowledgable, and eager to help at every turn, both in fragmentary identification as well as processual.

 

10. Did bone quizzes help reinforce your osteological skillset?

 

Strongly agree:  12

Agree:  3

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • I learned more about osteology here than I did in my semester long course at school!

  • Even though I still got questions wrong a lot, it definitely helped me realize what I need to focus the most on (osteologically) in the future!

  • I think its a catch-22. Unless you're the type of student who does really good in speed (meaning you're the optimal 10% of people) and have no issues (learning, health, lack of experience outside of this course) that 45 seconds was a little short. Most practicum style tests I've had over the years have been 1-2 minutes and I find that even that extra 15 seconds could probably have made a lot of difference for people.

  • I feel these number of quizzes and the rapidity of them was an invaluable stressor to enable an appropriate study atmosphere.  I tried to never make the same mistake twice.

 

11. Were the instructions provided by project staff in the lab clear and helpful?

 

Strongly agree:  14

Agree:  0

Somewhat agree:  1

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • There was a lot of inconsistency with how people were told to fill out forms and a general lack of interaction in that regard. People using pen, people not knowing that peer review means make notes (not just erase the other person's work), people being told to input data one way and another group being told to do it another way.

  • Jon was very meticulous and clear, but still gave each of us a wide range of interpretation to work within for each of the project assignments.

 

12. Did your understanding of how to approach basic research of non-adult skeletons improve during the workshop (i.e., skeletal inventories, age estimation, basic pathological/taphonomy identification, etc.)?

 

Strongly agree:  14

Agree:  1

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • I went from fairly comfortable with adult morphology and wholly ignorant of juvenile osteological devlopment to being quite comfortable with both.

 

13. Did you feel actively engaged in all aspects of analysis in the lab?

 

Strongly agree:  14

Agree:  1

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • With the small group I certainly felt heavily involved in literally all aspects of study.  The only time when it didn't seem so was out of choice for anyone.

 

14. Did you feel overall intellectually engaged and challenged with your work?

 

Strongly agree:  14

Agree:  1

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • I came in to this workshop very worried about whether or not I'd be able to keep up. It was definitely still an engaging academic environment but I also found it to be a forgiving one as well - which I am grateful for. I was able to learn at my own pace, but still elevate myself intellectually.

  • Yes!

  • Absolutely yes.  It pushed my understanding to new limits, and kept me fulfilled for the entirety.

 

15. Was the project staff able to adequately answer all of your questions?

 

Strongly agree:  13

Agree:  2

Somewhat agree:  0

Disagree:  0

Strongly disagree: 0

TOTAL:  15 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • BONE DANCES!

  • Yes the staff was remarkably knowledgable and extremely helpful at every opportunity.

 

16. Would you recommend this project/workshop to your peers?

 

YES:  13

NO:  0

MAYBE:  1

TOTAL:  14 answers /15 students

 

COMMENTS:

  • Absolutely! For anyone interested in osteology and bioarchaeology this is an amazing and unique experience with amazing instructors.

  • It was thoroughly engaging, interesting and Jon is amazing (and hilarious)!

  • I definitely would recommend this workshop to any of my peers who are interested in focusing on skeletal biology for their career.

  • Since its only in its second year its hard to say. The forms need a lot of work, the major inconsistencies in the lab need a lot of work, there needs to be one hour of one day where the group as a WHOLE are taught how to do the forms together (and seriously told rules like no using pen, don't erase the people you're peer reviewing's work make notations because that's how you peer review) rather than everyone being told different things over the course of the weeks.

  • I've already recommended the program to several from my department

 

17. Please provide us with your thoughts on what you found most rewarding about your bioarchaeological experience on the project:

 

  • Getting to work with such a unique collection as the juvenile osteological collection as well as the succinct explanation for such collections. Also the opportunity to be in such a foreign country and culture.

  • The most rewarding part was definitely the final project.  It was extremely satisfying and exciting to synthesize all the knowledge I had acquired during the field school.

  • I found working with such a variety of bone and cataloguing brand new skeletons was the most rewarding part of the experience.

  • Having the opportunity to work with such a unique collection of remains was incredible. Working with fetal and juvenile remains was very exciting and interesting. However, the guidance, advice, knowledge and enthusiasm that Jon provided made the experience exceed any sort of expectations I had. Katie's help and advice was also invaluable and it was inspiring to see a student in her position who is so knowledgable and passionate about what she does.

  • Jon, Katy and Tyler were such a valuable team and resource to me. They explained so much and helped me develop as a bio archaeologist and as a student. They gave opportunities to challenge me to think about the answers to my own questions and gave valuable insight to being a grad student and working in the field.

  • Being able to expand my knowledge on juvenile skeletons and being able to age estimate them.

  • Most rewarding is how much I have learned throughout this whole experience, as well as the friends that I've made and also being able to have Jon as my lecturer (even if only for a month!).

  • The chance to work with juvenile remains was awesome! I also enjoyed meeting other bone nerds!

  • I was wonderful to meet and learn from Jon, Katie, and Tyler.

  • Being able to work on case studies and not just teaching material.

  • Being able to work with such a unique sample and networking with people from schools all over the world.

  • I learned so much! Dr. Bethard is the best professor (and I have had four in terms of skeletal biology)! He explains the information so well and is so enthusiastic and engaging that it definitely helps the moral of the students!

  • Just having the opportunity to work with so many juveniles was rewarding in and of itself. The rarity of an opportunity like this alone made it worth every penny.

  • Dr. Bethard gave us wonderful one on one time to really flesh out our plans for future education, approach networking, and how to feel more engaged in the literature rather than being a passive observer.

 

WHAT'S UP?
LAST EVENT

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • The outstanding success of our 2018 and 2019 GPR projects, the Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications, prompted us to buy a second GPR unit with a different central frequency and a different configuration. As a result, our participants will have the unique opportunity to get fully proficient on a 250MHz GPR system, in a cart configuration, as well as 500MHz system, in a rough terrain configuration.

  • Furthermore, participants who are committed to expand their field skill set can register to our new Geophysics Exploration and Field Excavation program. It is a 4 week program, combining the GPR Applications Workshop (5 days) and  Roman Villa Excavation (3 weeks). Participants save $200 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2020

New for our 2020 season: our Applied Field Geophysics Workshop-GPR Applications will allow the comparative professional training on the core GPR systems and configurations used in near surface investigations: 250MHz and 500MHz transducers, in respectively cart and rough terrain configurations. Our program is open to all disciplines, focusing on GPR theory, methods, techniques and applications.

 

As a result of overwhelming positive response and further request from our participants, we are offering the possibility to combine all sessions of our the GPR Applications Workshop with both field sessions of our Roman Villa Excavation as a stand alone program, allowing to save $200 on the combined fees. Our two research/training case study sites have been carefully chosen to combine increasing complexity of ancient, historical and modern features. These sites provide an unparalleled access to a diverse set of features and conditions.  We address urban and proto-urban settlement construction, complex anthropogenic stratigraphic relationships, variation in soil structure and conditions, wide range of materials and their use/reuse, unmapped ancient and modern utilities, potential graves, modern and ancient civil works projects (including the remains of roads, aqueducts, and wells), changes in hydrogeological environment caused by modern human intervention, and all as-yet undiscovered features. The highest quality for the best price on any GPR courses available anywhere!!!

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