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Course Requirements

EDUC 450/650: Technology & Cognition

The purpose of this course is to present major theories of learning and instruction and discuss their relationship to the use of computers in education.  Emphasis is placed on current learning sciences theories (e.g., cognitive and socio-cognitive theories) and their role in the design and use of educational technology in real world settings. The course is designed to (a) familiarize students with computer-based learning environments or instructional interventions developed within a learning sciences framework, and (b) enable students to apply learning sciences theories in the design of instruction that utilizes technology. Four specific learning objectives guide the course design as follows:

  1. Students will develop an understanding of the major theories in the learning sciences and cognitive psychology.
  2. Students will develop an understanding of the role of technology in facilitating teaching and learning in K-16 settings.
  3. Students will be able to apply learning theories in the design of instruction that makes use of technology.
  4. Students will become familiar with a number of key scientists and innovative projects in the learning sciences.

In the sidebar is a list of the specific assignments and how much they count toward your grade in the course. Detailed explanations of these assignments appear below.

Assignment #1: Weekly Discussion Forum

Every student in this class is required to participate actively in the course discussion forum. To enter the discussion forum, log on to the course and choose the Discussions option. One of the first messages you write in the forum should inform your fellow classmates about the nature of the project you are hoping to create. The discussion forum is an excellent place to network with your fellow students and form teams in which you can work together to create your projects. To earn all your discussion points, write a thoughtful message at least once per week during the course. Creating a new discussion post counts the same as responding thoughtfully to an existing post.

During the course, three graded discussion topics will appear in the forum. Responding to these topics counts as a weekly participation during the week when you make the response. When responding to the discussion topics you are expected to write one or two paragraphs in the Discussions in Canvas. Please avoid very lengthy responses. It is more important to be concise in your own reaction and respond to other students’ thoughts rather than write a very lengthy reaction and ignore your classmates’ ideas. The grading rubric for the individual assignments is focused on the following 3 dimensions: integration of readings, responsiveness, and timeliness. Follow this link to the rubric used to grade these discussions.

Assignment #2: Presentation Topic

During the course of the semester you (individually or with a partner) will be responsible for presenting one of these Learning Environments (or one of your choice if approved by the instructor). New technologies become obsolete very quickly. The purpose of this activity is therefore twofold: First it will enable you to enhance your skills by exploring a technology-enhanced learning environment that you haven't seen before. Second, it will help you develop your skills as instructor/ trainer /administrator etc. As you prepare for this activity here are some things you need to keep in mind:

In response to the Presentation Topic assignment, please indicate which learning environment you would like to present, and give one or two preferred class dates when you would like to make your presentation. You are welcome to schedule a meeting with the instructor as you prepare for your Presentation. If you are taking the course totally online, you can submit your presentation as a digital video file.

Assignment #3: Presentation

This is where your instructor will grade the presentation of your chosen learning environment. Your grade will be determined as follows:

Assignment #4: Final Project Idea

For your final project you are required to produce an instructional unit/application/environment to be used in one of the following settings: (a) a formal learning environment (e.g., school orcollege); (b) an informal learning environment (e.g. museum or after school club); or (c) a corporate setting (e.g., organization or company). The final project should be reflective of your understanding of course material and should be based on a learning theory explored in this class. It is best if the project is situated in a real world context, meaning that is produced to solve a problem/need within your teaching/work environment. Wherever appropriate, the final product should be presented on the Web. You are welcome to work in collaboration with other class members whenever feasible.
The final project will progress incrementally throughout the semester.

Assignment #5: Final Project Proposal

The project proposal is essentially a paper that summarizes your ideas for your final instructional program. Your paper should explicitly refer to the following points:

Limit your Project Proposal to 6 double-spaced pages.

Note: M.Ed. Candidates may submit a portion of their curriculum project to meet this requirement.

Assignment #6: Final Project Submission

Final versions of design projects must be mounted on the Web for Dr. Hofstetter to review and grade. Post the URL (if relevant) of your final project in Canvas or submit your final product (e.g., curriculum and reflective journal for M.Ed. students).

Assignment #7: Course Evaluation

Your final assignment in this course is to evaluate it. During the last couple weeks of the course, you will receive email at your udel.edu email address instructing you when the evaluation period begins and ends. You must log on to the course evaluation system within this window of time. The Web address of the course evaluation system is www.udel.edu/course-evals. After you complete the course evaluation, your instructor will give you credit for completing it. The responses you give are completely anonymous. While your instructor will be able to see the ratings and comments, it is impossible for your instructor to identify the person who gave a certain rating or made a given comment. Once you complete the evaluation, your grade on this assignment will be an automatic A.

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