Assignment 3: Exploring Your Area (Spring 2017)
Due: Sunday, January 29th, 2017, by 11:59PM UTC-12 (Anywhere on Earth).
Last week, you took some time to explore the expanse of the educational technology community. You also have peer reviewed your classmates’ work on the same topic, gaining further perspectives on potential areas you might choose to pursue. This week, you’ll select and zoom in a bit on the area in which you’re interested.
Based on the full course calendar, you have now spent about fifteen hours perusing some literature and library materials on educational technology. For Assignment 3, define the area on which you want to focus for the next couple weeks. You might be interested most in a technology like intelligent tutoring systems, or an audience like students with special needs, or a content area like foreign languages. Select an area and explore what’s out there. What tools, theories, or communities exist? What are the general current problems? Who are the major players?
At this stage, you may want to start considering the two tracks described in the project proposal description. Most students will choose either the research track or the development track, either understanding more about educational technology or building a piece of educational technology. If you’re looking at building something, you might want to look at what companies or lab groups are already building tools to address the problem in which you’re interested. If you’re interested in doing some research, you might want to look at what the dominant theories are in this area, as well as the types of methods (e.g. quantitative or qualitative) that are usually used.
Your writing on this assignment can be somewhat informal and reflective because completing the assignment is meant to primarily be a learning activity for you; however, to adequately complete this assignment, you will definitely want to be able to cite specific sources, whether they be competing products or existing papers on similar ideas.
The main goal of this assignment is for you to learn about the community in which you’re interested in participating. The secondary goals are for you to have the background necessary to select teammates, to provide your mentor and classmates with the information necessary to help you find more material, and to have you learned to drive your own research into a topic.
Your assignment should be approximately 500 words long. This is neither a minimum nor a maximum, but rather a heuristic to simply describe the level of depth we would like to see. Feel free to write more, or if you believe you can complete the assignment in fewer words, feel free to write less.
Assignments should be submitted to the corresponding assignment on T-Square in accordance with the Assignment Submission Instructions. Most importantly, you should submit a single PDF for each 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 (either through the class Resources folder or your own upload destination) and submit a PDF that describes how to access the assignment.
This is an individual assignment. Even if you already plan to work on a team for the project, this assignment should be completed individually. You are not required to explicitly choose a track (research or development) yet, although you may want to start thinking about your preference and tailoring your explorations in that direction.
Late work is not accepted without advanced agreement except in cases of medical or family emergencies. In the case of an emergency, please contact the Dean of Students.
As with all assignments in this class, each milestone will be graded on a traditional A-F scale based on the extent to which your deliverable met expectations. If your deliverable receives below an A, 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. 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. Due to T-Square restrictions, your grade will be provided on a 5-point scale: a ‘5’ is an A, a ‘4’ is a B, a ‘3’ is a C, a ‘2’ is a D, a ‘1’ is an F, and a ‘0’ is a failure-to-submit.
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 graders 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.