The L.E.A.R.N. Online curriculum was produced for Archaeology Department at James Madison’s Montpelier. The department had run a successful archaeological field school program for three decades and, starting in 2006, added week-long experiential, fee-based programs that allowed members of the public—citizen-scientists—to join the field team and excavate (etc.). Both programs had suffered from trying to “pre-load” participants with the right type of information and taking up valuable program-time in introductory and explanatory lectures.
The L.E.A.R.N. Online curriculum was designed as a scalable tool that acted as a gateway to these programs by offering a hierarchical curriculum that invited but did not require learners to delve into the depths of the different programs and subject areas. Exploring the different subject areas was incentivized by simple PBLs that integrated with extant social media programming and physical marketing.