Technology in Teaching Showcase

Collaborative Technology-Based Projects at Hamilton College

Pursuit of Higher Conciousness Project Overview

Description and Resources


Course Name:
Altered States

Course Description:
Research and reading about pursuits of higher consciousness in traditional religions. Emphasis on both classic and contemporary religious thought and practice. Projected topics include pilgrimage among Mexico's Huichol Indians, narratives of the Desert Fathers and the origins of Catholic monasticism, and the Life of Naropa, founder of the Kagyu order in Tibetan tantric Buddhism. Students will participate with the professor in collaborative research in these broad areas.

Project Description:
This project was intended to serve as a repository for the students' research and findings. Students explored a wide variety of religions, from early Christianity to the Huichol Indians, and compiled their findings into an easy to read and navigate format for the Internet.

» Professor Richard Seager

Completed Student Projects

Altered States Website - Created Spring, 2009

Goals, Process and Outcomes

Project Goals:
  • To study pursuits of higher consciousness in 3 cultural-historical settings
  • To explore the challenge of comparative study of religion
  • To develop selected sketches of these through collaborative research and writing
  • To experiment with mindfulness techniques for deep seeing, reading, listening etc.

Faculty Interview: Project Goals

Learning Objectives:
Students will record and process information from research using the Learning Objects wiki tool in Blackboard. Students will then construct a website to articulate their information.

Project Process:
Students first learned how to use the wiki that is provided by Blackboard, and became comfortable with adding, deleting, editing, and citing content.

After that, they were instructed in basic website creation through a presentation. They then went on to begin creating their website, adding information from their own work and research into the project as a whole.

Learning Outcomes:
Each student created a web page as a part of the course's larger website.

Project Feedback:
Student Feedback:
"I learned pretty valuable collaborative skills in terms of putting something together on the web. I've taken a couple classes like this before; but the end result was never this good."

(on the wiki's usefulness) "Yes. [The wiki] allowed us to build up a body of work on the project and have it monitored by the professor as we went along without having to deal with setting up the website until the end of the semester. Great idea."

"I learned how to lay out information so that the structure of it is immediately understood."