CEP817 Syllabus
Wednesdays, 6:00 - 9:00 PM128 Erickson Hall
Instructor: Matthew Koehler
TAs: Aman Yadav, Scott Schopieray

CEP817 is a course that focuses on exploring and designing educational technology through a project based approach. The projects vary from year to year, depending on which college of education faculty have signed up to take the course. That's right, your professors are signing up to take a course too. The faculty come to the course with genuine educational technology projects, problems, and questions. Together, working with ed-tech students, the goal is use the semester to design a piece of educational technology to meet these needs. Most of the class is working in groups – or as we like to call them, design teams. Both in groups and in whole class we will grapple with difficult and contentious issues about the process of design and the complexity of technology integration in technology 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 with the goal of designing creative new approaches, activities, and resources that are directly applicable to project groups.

That is not to say that you will not be learning on your own, or developing your own skills – you will. The group projects are a context to develop a wide range of technological skills, including web-page design, work with video, and many others. It also an ideal setting to learn and apply many of the educational ideas and theories you have learned throughout the rest of your degree program.

What this class is and what it is not

This class is about hard work, reading, collaboration, as well as working alone to develop ideas and skills to design educational technology. Participation and social skills are vital components to this course, because design is about a team working towards a common goal. Faculty members will be using the products of your effort the following semester or year – they have deadlines that need to be met. Design teams are largely in charge of managing themselves and their own learning. Hard work will be rewarded!

This is not a class for learning 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. Design teams (and individual students) will have different needs in terms of what they need to know. Accordingly, instructors advise, and help guide students towards the learning they are trying to reach, rather than assume the whole class needs a lesson on the same piece of software on the same day. That is, the group project is the context for the learning that needs to happen.

Textbook and readings

For most weeks of the course, one required reading will be assigned, with several optional readings for those who are interested. Readings will be provided to you via ANGEL on the course website. Also, 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, and your own individual learning). This could mean visits to the library or looking up information on the web.

Working groups and individual work

Most of your work in the hours we are together will be within your design team. The group will consist of a faculty member and three or four students. Group formation is mostly a voluntary process, according to 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.

Assignments and grading

Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, may result in a zero grade in the course and removal from the program.

Grades in this course will be based upon several aspects of your work, each contributing to your overall grade. Each of these will be covered more extensively in class, but a brief summary of each follows:

(30%) Group Project - A part of your grade is based upon an assessment of how well you, and your group, progressed towards meeting group goals. Of course, these goals will vary from group to group, and will be negotiated early on in the course. This portion of your grade has two components: a) The overall group outcome as measured by group goals, b) Your individual contribution as judged by course instructors (subjectively and from your journal entries) in consultation with the faculty group leader.
(20%) Individual Learning Project - Part of your task this semester is to identify one area of technology that you self-select for independently learning about (e.g., making digital movies, learning style sheets - CSS, flash, etc.). This selection will be based on personal interest, and in part, the role in which you naturally settle into in your group project. You identify the technology, you learn it on your own (with our guidance as needed), and you document your goals, and your progress throughout. Keep a journal, including artifacts to document your learning.
(10%) Personal website - We want you to become fluent enough in web design to make a website for, and about, yourself. As such, we want to see semi-professional website when we go to http://www.msu.edu/~yourmsuidname/ This includes some contact info, perhaps a photo (if you're willing), and a link to some of the coursework you've completed. Also, this is where we want you to display any work you do for this class, including the documentation of your individual learning project (above), your design challenges (below), and your writeup for the discussion facilitation (below).

(20%) Design challenges and other assignments - Throughout the semester, we will be offering mini-design projects called design challenges. For example, you may be given a few weeks to make a short video about an educational idea, or to redesign a website to make it more usable. Other assignments may come up throughout the course as well, including short quizzes.

(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.
Grading Scale

4.0 : 92 - 100%
3.5 : 87 - 91%
3.0 : 80 - 86%
2.5 : 75 - 79%
2.0 : 70 - 74%
1.5 : 65 - 69%
1.0 : 60 - 64%
0.0 : 00 - 59%

(10%) Class participation - Your participation online and your participation inclass both count towards your grade. 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 (5%) is a simply a reflection, each week, of whether or not you contributed the discussion appropriately. The in class component of participation (5%) will be a subjective grade assigned by the instructors.
(†††) Attendence policy - It is expected that students will attend class regularly. However, sometimes, real life interferes with the ideal situation imagined by university educators. As such, students can miss one course meeting with no grading penalty. Beyond one course absence, however, 5% deducted from your overall course grade (without a very good excuse, preferably pre-arranged).
Finding Help

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.

Course Website

The bulk of this course is run through ANGEL. Simply visit http://angel.msu.edu/ and use your pilot ID and password. If you're in the class, CEP817 should show up as one of "My courses" and you can take it from there.