CEP 817: Learning Technology Thru Design

There is no formal syllabus for this course as of yet. However, for interested parties, I have included:


Course announcement sent to Faculty

Wed, 6pm-9pm.

Next semester (Spring, 2002), Matthew Koehler will be teaching a faculty development course on integrating technology and teaching. The course will be taught as CEP 817: Learning Technology through Design. In previous years, the course has been taught as a special section of CEP 882. The focus of this offering is on the development of online courses or the transition of an existing course to the online environment.

The course is open to graduate students and faculty members alike. Students enrolled in this course will work closely with a faculty member to design an online course. In doing so, there will be a chance to examine recent technological innovations, design new solutions, understand student learning, and explore policy issues surrounding the online course environment. By working in small teams with faculty members, students will be engaged in reciprocal relationships whereby they learn from experts in the field about teaching and learning with technology.

The course is also designed to help faculty use technology to improve the education of their students (especially undergraduates, interns, and master's). Recognizing that thoughtful integration of technology requires time, expert assistance, support and other resources, the program encompasses all these components. Faculty members who participate are given opportunities to explore issues around online learning specific to the courses that they will teach. By participating in the course, these faculty members are provided support from the instructors and the graduate students in their team. Faculty who take the course will receive a laptop computer that they will be able to keep and use in their future teaching and will receive $1000 that can be used to purchase additional equipment, software, instructional resources for the course.

This program is being offered to tenure stream faculty who are interested in developing an online course or moving a traditional course to the online environment. If you are a faculty member who wishes to take the course, send a one page statement of interest to the Dean's office no later than November 28th. The statement of interest should indicate the course(s) you will work with for the online environment, the issues of online teaching and learning you want to address, your goals for taking the course, and the potential impact of your participation.

If you wish to know more about the program and faculty members' experiences, you should contact last year's participants: Jean Baker, John Dirx, John Kosciulek, Cleo Cherryholmes, Linda Patriarca, or Sandy Wilcox. If you have any questions about the course, feel free to contact Matt Koehler (mkoehler@msu.edu) or last year's instructor, Punya Mishra (punya@msu.edu).


Syllabus from Last Year


CEP 882: Designing Technology for Learning

Spring 2001

Wednesday 6:00 - 8:50 PM, 128 Erickson Hall

Instructors: Punya Mishra & Matthew Koehler

TA: Aparna Ramchandran


Online education is the fastest growing area in the field of education today. Peterson's 1999, a popular list of courses, lists over a thousand different web based courses. Graduate students wishing to pursue a career in education will be increasingly involved in teaching, designing and evaluating online learning.

CEP882 is a course that focuses on exploring and designing online learning environments through a project based approach. We will grapple with difficult and contentious issues about the process of design and the complexity of technology integration in online settings. This course is unique in that it will allow students to work closely with faculty from the College of Education. Together we will examine recent technological innovations in online learning with the goal of designing creative new approaches, activities, and resources that are directly applicable to courses taught at the College of Education. By working in small teams with faculty members, students will be engaged in reciprocal relationships whereby they learn from experts in the field about teaching and learning with technology.

What this class is

A class about reading, hard work, and collaborating to help design an online course. Participation and social skill are important components. Faculty members will be teaching online next semester —- they have deadlines that need to be met. Hard work will be rewarded.

What this class is not

This is not a course to learn HTML, or how to make web-pages (although much of this will go on). Skills will be needed and developed, but will not be explicitly taught.

Textbooks and Readings

Required Books

Palloff, R. M. & Pratt, K. (1999). Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace: Effective Strategies for the online Classroom. San Francisco: Josey Bass. You can comparison shop at BestBookBuys. http://www.bestbookbuys.com/cgi-bin/bbb.cgi?ISBN=0787944602

Collison, G., Elbaum, B., Haavind, S., Tinker, R. (2000). Facilitating Online Learning: Effective Strategies for Moderators. Madison, WI: Atwood Publishing. Once again you can comparison shop at BestbookBuys.com. http://www.bestbookbuys.com/cgi-bin/bbb.cgi?ISBN=1891859331

Other readings will be assigned as the course progresses. Most of these readings will be available online at the course web site.

We do expect that this course will require a great deal of reading and research on your own (or as a part of your group work). This could mean visits to the library or looking up information on the web.

Working Groups

The primary locus of work in this class will be the project groups. The group will consist of a faculty member who is trying to design an online course. Students will be put into groups (mostly voluntary selection) according to their interests in skills. For example, it would be nice to spread technical expertise evenly among the groups.

Working groups will be largely self-run. How the work of the group gets done is up to the group. However, we want to learn more about how the groups operate and understand better the issues that they confront. As such, we are asking each group submit a bi-weekly summary of the group’s activity. This summary is part report of what’s happening and another part ethnography. The dictionary’s definition of ethnography will serve us well here: Ethnography the study and systematic recording of human cultures. As such we want some information about how and why the group (and the individuals in the group) do what they do.

In particular, each summary should contain one paragraph about each of the following:

Summary of Progress: Where are you in your project? What milestones have been reached, which ones have eluded your project?

Working Roles: What roles have been assigned to people in the group, and have they changed over time? For example, someone might initially be the "text writer" and later change into the "web guru."

Group Interactions: Who’s talking to who? Does the "text writer" talk to the "web guru". Do you meet or talk face to face or online?

Thinking about Technology: How does your group think about technology and/or teaching online? What has changed since last report.

Hot Topics: What are the latest hot topics or issues in your group?

These reports should be submitted on every other Monday. Submit them to the Group Projects Discussion board.

Individual Journals

Each student is to turn in 2 reflective journals through the course of the semester. The dates for journal submission will differ from student to student and will be assigned the 2nd week of class. Each of these journals should be approximately 3-4 pages in length and should be posted to the "Journals" discussion board (i.e. for everyone in the class to read). The topic of the journal should be relevant to the topic being discussed that week in class.

Think of a journal entry as a short paper, a think piece, a reasoned argument (or arguments) that goes out to the entire group. It should be 3-4 pages in length (at least). But, how does one count pages in an e-mail message? To pin things down a little better we did a word count on a MS Word document (one-and-half spaced, 12 point Times) and 3 pages turned out to be somewhat more than 1000 words. So a fair description of a journal would be "a well written and crafted short essay, approximately 1000 words in length, offering a thoughtful & provocative take on issues relevant to or touched upon in the previous class."

These reflective journals should be thoughtful, introspective, insightful, informal, personal, quirky, and thought provoking. They must include: (a) a brief recap of what happened in class the previous week; (b) raise a couple (or more) issues up for discussion; and (c) include links to at least 2 web resources relevant to the issues you are talking about.

The key to a good journal is to generate discussion, to raise more questions than answers. Generating controversy through devil's advocacy is encouraged J

Final Reflections

There are no exams or final projects (per se) for this course. However, you do have to write one formal paper that is due on the last day we meet. This paper should be 8-10 pages long and be a reflection over the your experiences during the semester.


Participation is very important in this course — both online and in class. There will be no formal rubrics for participation. However, we expect to see a contribution from each student in the online discussion and in class. In general contributions should be responsive to other comments, should refer to the readings, and help "push the envelope" of ideas. Students can assume that they are doing okay on their participation unless they hear otherwise from the instructors.


This course has a very open grading procedure. Every piece of work you do is visible to everyone else in the class. The components of your grade are:

Individual Journals — 20 points each (graded as per the "journals" section above)

Final Paper - 20 points;

Online Participation - 10 points

In Class Participation - 10 points

Group work: 20 points (We will assign these points after consultation with the lead faculty member)

Final Project - 40 points (instructors assessment of the quality of the group’s project)

Finding Help

Please feel free to contact the instructors if you need any help outside of the class hours. E-mail is often the best way to get in touch with us. If ascii text as a medium seems inadequate we can schedule phone meetings and/or regular face2face meetings.