What is OpenEvo?

We are a project within the Department of Comparative Cultural Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, working to support an open, networked, and interdisciplinary evolution and sustainability education research community. 

This aim is purposefully broad in one sense and quite narrow in another. It is broad in that "evolution education research", in our interdisciplinary view, is wide-ranging in scope, including classic concepts from evolutionary biology, but also topics, themes, and projects not traditionally associated with "evolution", such as culture, music, learning, well-being, sustainable development, and school improvement. 

Yet our aim is also quite narrow and focused in that, while we work to support a wide diversity of foci, our scope is limited to working with those interested in understanding the role and value of core evolutionary concepts in our everyday lives and in creating a world that works for all. Additionally, our core aim is focused on improving teacher education, however, to do this, we engage stakeholders from across the science-to-learning chain. We collaborate closely with students, teachers, and scientists to evolve our collective knowledge about how to teach evolution as an interdisciplinary science and towards developing helpful understandings for what it means to be human. 

What can I do on this platform?

Most obviously, one can learn about evolution and related themes on OpenEvo, yet we are much more than an online learning platform. The broader aim of OpenEvo is of collaboratively improving our collective knowledge about how to teach about evolution, behavior, and sustainability as interdisciplinary themes towards the development of science-informed and adaptive understandings and competencies. 

That is to say, while it is possible to enroll in or teach an online module on OpenEvo, such modules are the result of long and continuing iterative processes of collaborative improvement work. The OpenEvo platform is primarily concerned with supporting those collaborative innovation and improvement processes through educational design research. That is, we primarily exist to serve students, teachers, and researchers seeking to contribute to this global commons of collective knowledge. As a learner, you also contribute to this improvement work by letting us know what works and does not work so well and what kinds of competencies and understandings you gained.

How can I do things on this platform?

Reading this FAQ is a good start! Next you need to decide whether you are here primarily as a learner (that is great, welcome!), or whether you are interested in teaching and research (also great, welcome!).

If you are interested in learning, either you have an enrollment key from a collaborating educator, or you can browse the Module Directory to see if and when open access self-study modules are planned to be accessible to the wider public. You can also look at the Platform Development Roadmap to see when we plan to make certain modules available.

If you are interested in teaching and/or research on OpenEvo, you can enroll in the Teaching on OpenEvo module, where you will find out more about how you can get involved.

Check out the other tiles in this overview module to find out more about the basic structure of the platform and possibilities to get involved.

What are the terms of use and policies of this platform?

If you are a guest on the website, you should have seen a banner at the bottom of the page with links to our policies.

When you create an account on this platform, you must agree to our Terms of Use and our Privacy Policy. In the Research Consent form, you can opt-in or out of the use of your data for educational research purposes.

You can review these policies anytime on this page, which is also linked in the footer of the website ("Policies").
You can also see the policies and your consent status on this page, which is also linked on your profile page under "Policies and agreements".

Who can I contact if I have questions or problems?

You can post your questions in the forum that you find at the top of this module page, or in the forums within specific modules (to use the forums, you need to be logged into the platform). You can also contact us directly per email or through the platform messaging system:

Dustin Eirdosh: Profile page; dustin.eirdosh@eva.mpg.de

Susan Hanisch: Profile page; susan.hanisch@eva.mpg.de