CEP817 Syllabus

Wednesday 6:00 - 8:50 PM

128 Erickson Hall

Instructor: Matthew Koehler

TA: Aman Yadav



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.

CEP817 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.



Palloff, M. & Pratt, K. (2001). Lessons from the Cyberspace Classroom: Realities of Online Teaching. Josey-Bass: San Francisco, CA. (CLICK HERE FOR PRICING/BUYING INFO)

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.



Most of your work in the hours we are together will be within your working group. 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 and 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, if you have particular skills you already know, or are especially interested to learn something particular this semester, it is in your interest to speak up and carver out a place for these interests within your group. For example, if you already know some web page design, but want to learn more, when the group needs to some advanced features for their course, you should jump up and say "I'll do it!".

A lot of your time outside of the class will be spent learning on your own. You'll have to do the readings, contribute to the online discussion, and contribute to your group. Now that you volunteered to do some work for the group, you'll be (partially) on your own learning how to do that work, to set your own deadlines, and to get the work done.



Grades in this course will be based upon several aspects of your work, as follows:

(20%) Bi-Weekly Progress Reports – Every other week, you will submit a short progress report that contains information about what your goals are, what you've accomplished, what you're have been doing, and what you will be doing.

(20%) Online and In-class Participation - Each week, you are required to post something to the ongoing online discussion for the class. Each week will have a discussion facilitator, and your job is to contribute to that discussion. The online component (10%) is a simply a reflection, each week, of whether or not you contributed the discussion. The in class component of participation (10%) will be a subjective grade assigned by the instructor.

(20%) Final Paper - 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.

(20%) Project Result - A part of your grade is based upon an assessment of how well the group did. The instructor will judge how well the group did in accomplishing their goal of reaching a prototyped web site for the course under development.

(10%) Group Work - This grade is a reflection of how well you worked with your groupmates (how well you play with others). This grade will be assigned after consultation with your faculty group leader.

(10%) Discussion Facilitation - Every student will be responsible for leading and facilitating the online discussion for one week. When it is your week, it is your job to start the conversation, to set the topic, and facilitate and manage the conversation. Your job, is to explore potential ways to do this. By the end of the course, we'll have many different approaches to compare and contrast. When you are the facilitator, you'll have the following responsibilities:

(a) An introductory statement – The goal is to get the ball rolling for the week. So, you start the discussion. You can start with a summary of the reading for the week, an issue that was brought up in class, something you saw on CNN about online teaching (that is relevant to this class), or just a thought piece about some online issue. THE TOPIC IS UP TO YOU! Maybe you should introduce some discussion questions, maybe not. That is, you design the online pedagogy for a week.

(b) Monitoring the discussion – You'll have to check in frequently to monitor your classmate's discussions.

(c) Continue posting – Your job is to keep the conversation moving. How are you going to do it? Ask more questions, summarize what's been said so far? Introduce new questions? It is up to you!

(d) Summarize your experience - When the week is over, write a one page summary of your facilitating experience. What was your plan? How did it go? What was easy and what was hard? What did you learn? What would you do differently? What advice do you have for those who will do it after you?



Please feel free to contact the instructor or the TA 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.