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EDUC 890: Educational Media as Foundations of Curriculum

Course Description

"These days, some technology enthusiasts are prone to talk about the advantages of new modes of curriculum "delivery." This kind of talk assumes that it is possible to cleanly separate curriculum from the media used to give it life. In this way, the "delivery" metaphor does violence to the daily practice of teachers, professors, educational technologists and learning designers.

In this course, we will take seriously the proposition that it has never been possible to separate curriculum from the media used to implement it. We will explore this proposition both through literature and our own technology design efforts. In the literature, we will examine some of the history of educational media and their use, as well as current technology trends and the scholarship around them." ~Kevin O'Neill

Learning Design Project

Design a technology-enabled system, curriculum, or artifact of some kind to address a problem of learning in a setting that matters to you; that is, something that experience shows your students find hard to learn, rather than systems that make typical processes of teaching and learning more efficient.

The content of what is to be learned is entirely up to you (you should choose content with which you are already well familiar if possible). However, there should be a compelling reason why the technology you choose should be part of your learning design. In other words, the technology should provide affordances that fit the problem of learning.

Your Learning Design submission will have two components:

  1. A short (3-5 page single-spaced) paper explaining:
    • What problem of learning your design addresses
    • How you define the problem, with reference to your experience and the literature
    • What technology you chose for your design, and why. What specific affordances does the technology have, and how do these fit the characteristics of the problem you identified?
  2. Either an electronic resource (e.g. web site, CD-ROM) or a storyboard.

Artifacts/Learning Objects

Sample Research Assignment

Note: this assignment is one that was used by two ENGL 105 instructors at UFV in the fall 2008 semester. There is no "typical" ENGL 105 assignment, but most of them share common characteristics:

The purpose of this essay is to argue for a specific change that you believe will help make your community a better place. You can define "community" in any way you wish. For example, your community may be your workplace, your school, a close group of friends, your apartment building, neighborhood, or town or municipality.

In this essay you will

The essay will need to offer reasons for the change you propose. The focus of your argument will be in defining the change you propose and tying that change logically to the problem you have introduced. You will need to persuade your audience that the change will be a good one.

Be sure to argue for a specific change rather than a general change like Improve transit" or "support cultural events." Perhaps you think that UFV should offer a program or course that is not offered, or Abbotsford should coordinate bus services with Langley, or a specific freeway on-ramp should be changed because it is dangerous, or your community group is too insular and should sponsor a refugee from Afghanistan. Choose a topic that you know something about and a problem that you would really like to see fixed. This essay allows you to draw on your expertise in your community (defined as you define it) and think about how to make that community even better.

Students develop this essay in three stages. In the first, they are not required to use any outside sources. In the second, they must interview three people who represent a range of backgrounds and interests and incorporate what they learn from these sources into their essay. In the final stage, students incoporate scholarly sources into their essay as support for their thesis. It is at this final stage that the librarian's intervention takes place.

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