Assignment 1: Exploring CS6460 (Spring 2019)

This week, your assignment is to explore the work that has been done in this class in the past, and start brainstorming the work you’d like to do this semester.

What to Do

In the Files page of Canvas, you’ll find the Past Project Archive, an archive of final projects and presentations from previous semesters of this class. You’ll also find a spreadsheet that gives some information to explore the library. Or, you can use Kirk Brunson’s EdTech project from to browse our archive of past projects. Generally, each project will have a presentation and a paper.

Peruse some of the old class projects. Select a few at random to give you a scope of the possibilities. For each one, you might choose to watch the presentation, or you might choose to read sections of the paper. You won’t need to read all of every paper: generally it’s sufficient to read the abstract, introduction, and conclusion sections, then read the rest of the paper only if you’re still interested. Your goal is to get a picture of the kinds of projects that have been done in the past: you don’t need to know each project worked.

After perusing some random projects, you can use a keyword search (either in Kirk Brunson’s tool or in the spreadsheet) to find projects that touch on your interests. If you don’t already have some particular interests in EdTech, see which projects catch your eye early on, then search for more like those.

To be adequately prepared to start working on the assignment, you’ll likely want to peruse 20 to 30 past projects. You’ll likely only need to spend on average 10 minutes on each: some you’ll flip through in as little as 5 minutes, while some that catch your eye may need 20 to 30 minutes.

What to Submit

From the projects that you perused, select the three projects that you find most interesting. If you perused some very similar projects, you can group them together and talk about them as one. For each project, share its title and semester (and a link, if you’re using Kirk’s library). Then, briefly summarize the project: who were the students? What did they do? What did they build, and why? Or, what did they investigate, and why? What were their findings or results? Then, briefly give your thoughts on the project:¬†why do you find it interesting? What opportunities for further work do you think there might be?

The main goal of this assignment is to help acquaint you with the class and its goals; after all, you’ll finish the class by assembling a paper and presentation just like the ones you see in the library. This project also serves as an introduction to the breadth of the educational technology space: just in browsing the spreadsheet, you’ll see the massive number of different projects and efforts going on within this space.

Your writing is expected to be semi-formal: it is acceptable to use personal pronouns, share your own anecdotes or perspectives, and provide your personal history to explain your interests. However, your writing should be well-organized, grammatically sound, and cleanly formatted.

Submission Instructions

Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment submission page in Canvas. You should submit a single PDF for this assignment. This PDF will be ported over to Peer Feedback for peer review by your classmates. If your assignment involves things (like videos, working software prototypes, etc.) that cannot be provided in PDF, you should provide them separately (through OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.) and submit a PDF that links to or otherwise describes how to access that material.

This is an individual assignment. Even if you already plan to work on a team for the project, this assignment should still be completed individually.

Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of such an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.

Grading Information

As with all assignments in this class, this assignment will be graded on an 11-point scale (0 to 10), in accordance with the grading policy outlined in the syllabus. If your deliverable receives a 9 or below, you may revise and resubmit it once within two weeks of the original due date or one week of receiving a grade, whichever is later. Resubmissions may receive up to a 9. Note that this should not be treated as a de facto free pass to submit sorely lacking work initially; we reserve the right to deny resubmission or grade a resubmission more harshly if we perceive the original submission was lacking in earnest effort.

Peer Review

After submission, your assignment will be ported to Peer Feedback for review by your mentor and classmates. Grading is not the primary function of this peer review process; the primary function is simply to give you the opportunity to read and comment on your classmates’ ideas. All grades will come from the mentors alone.

You will typically be assigned four classmates to review. You receive 1.5 participation points for completing a peer review by the end of the day Thursday; 1.0 for completing a peer review by the end of the day Sunday; and 0.5 for completing it after Sunday but before the end of the semester. For more details, see the participation policy.