Assignment 1 (Summer 2018)

In this assignment, you’ll be exploring the world of educational technology, as well as past projects completed as part of this class. The goal of this exercise is to help you get a sense of both the scope of the field and the types of work you may choose to tackle.

First, 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 last Fall to browse our archive of past projects.

From this Past Project Archive, select three projects that you find interesting. Read their papers and/or watch their presentations. Then, briefly write about them: who were the students? What did they do? Why do you find it interesting? What opportunities for further work do you think there might be?

Next, just as you explored past projects in this class, explore other projects out in the field. Choose three or four areas to read about in more depth. Digest some of the introductory material from one of the course libraries, and use it to inform your further explorations in the field. Or, take some of the citations from the past projects you read about above and use them to anchor your exploration of the literature. Don’t spend too long on any one paper; instead, peruse several at a high level.

As you go, take notes on what you find. In the assignment, summarize the research that you find interesting, and note the open questions that you have. Think not only of what you would like to work on, but what others might want to work on as well. Your submission may take the form of a handful of short summaries of work you find interesting, or one or two longer descriptions if you already have a stronger idea of the direction you want to move. Either way, your submission should also include some early brainstorming for the area you might be interested in going in multiple areas.

The main goal of this assignment is for you to learn about the expanse of the educational technology community, in order to make an informed decision of where to focus going forward. The secondary goals are for you to help your classmates adopt a similar understanding by sharing your findings with them, to start to have the background necessary to select teammates, and to provide your mentor and classmates with the information necessary to help you find more material.

Your assignment should be approximately 800 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.

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 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 following the deadline; 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.