Assignment 2 (Summer 2018)

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. Your goal is to land on a problem you want to solve by the end of this assignment.

First, you should probably start by settling on one of the three tracks from the project proposal description: research, development, or content. If you’re not ready to decide, you can wait until the end of this assignment, but most people will probably want to decide early on.

Then, explore in more depth the other work going on in the specific area you want to work on. 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. If you’d like to author some content, you’ll want to look into both general pedagogical practice and pedagogical content knowledge for your chosen area.

Your goal with this research is to properly position your work so that it contributes to what others have done, builds on the lessons they have learned, and contributes something worthwhile. End your assignment by stating, at a high level, the problem you want to explore: is it that there does not exist good, accessible instructional material for a certain topic (content track)? Is there some unanswered question in the research community (research track)? Is there a problem that could be solved by developing a new tool (development track)? In brief, what do you want to solve? This will be the anchor for the qualifier question that your mentor provides you.

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 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.