CI 597G (Disruptive Technologies in Teaching and Learning) Spring 2015 takes on higher education as a grand design problem from the perspective of human-centered design (HCD) grounded in social learning theory centered around communities of practice. We will engage in an academically rigorous interrogation of practices in higher education to uncover emergent, disruptive, and subversive opportunities afforded by technology. To facilitate the process, we will disassemble and analyze existing notions – higher education as content providers, knowledge production/creation confined to an activity for the academic elite, and peer-reviewed research dissemination via academic publishers.
This course is different from your typical graduate course. We approach this course as an experiment and look forward to watching it evolve and grow over the semester. Our goal is to create an interesting and challenging blend of academic rigor within the context of applied technology. We will look at technologies that could be viewed as disruptive to typical classroom practices, but we will investigate them to uncover the emergent opportunities for discovering productive pedagogy. In other words, we will not only kick the tires, but we will strip the whole vehicle down, understand how it fits together, and rebuild it with a new ability to see its potential.
This is a face to face course that will take advantage of digital tools and online spaces. One of our goals is to press you into uncomfortable waters where you will need to be an active participant in order to thrive. Our best students are ones who are willing to take risks and make mistakes with us along the way. We strive to create more than a classroom experience — we work to create a learning community.
The last thing we feel important to mention is that while this syllabus only shows details for the first few weeks, the course is fully designed. We like to adapt the order things are exposed, assigned, and discussed based on the natural progression of our work together. We also appreciate the ability to make on the fly changes to the design based on your work, thoughts, and feedback — so please be a very active participant in the overall design of the course.
This course is co-taught by friends and colleagues, Dr. Scott McDonald, Dr. Michael M. Rook, and Brad Kozlek. It developed out of a collaboration between Dr. McDonald and former Senior Director of Teaching and Learning with Technology, Cole Camplese, who is now the CIO of SUNY Stonybrook.
These are the readings we suggest you purchase. We may be able to provide pdfs of some sections of these books, but you’d be doing yourself a favor by getting the physical copy of these books. We will also be assigning shorter articles and other media as the semester progresses.
- Etienne Wenger, Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity (required)
- McLuhan & Fiore, The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects
- Nelson & Stolterman, The Design Way: Intentional Change in an Unpredictable World (2nd Edition) (required)
Weekly Readings, Posts, and Comments
- Every Tues Night – Sunday Night = Read & Organize Group Post
- Every Sunday by 5pm = Publish Group Blog Post
- Every Tuesday by 12pm (noon) = Comment on other groups’ Blog Posts.
You will do much of the work in this course as part of a team. One of your team’s weekly assignments will be to post responses / reflections on the readings. These responses will focus around the three themes of the course: Community, Identity, and Design — culminating with a synthesis of the themes. Each week your team will focus energy on one of the themes. We will cycle through the themes three times during the semester and at the end of each cycle you will attempt to connect the three themes in a synthesis posting. The idea is for you to start to build up a strong theoretical foundation for the way technology should be used in teaching and learning and the implications of the affordances of various technologies. You will also be asked to post comments to the responses/reflections of the other team in the class.
When you are satisfied with your team’s weekly writing, ask one member of the team to post the reflection to the course blog by no later than 5 PM on Sunday prior to the following week’s class. Between Sunday at 5 PM and Tuesday at Noon, you are required as individuals to leave a comment on the other team’s post for the week. This means as a team you will make one reflective post per week and as individuals you will leave one comment on the other team’s post.
We will provide you with several platforms to perform this work in. You are asked to use these technologies:
- We will create groups in a Yammer network for you to easily share work. Yammer is an enterprise social networking service in use at Penn State. Yammer has private and public messaging, collaborative document editing, and other features that will allow us to work together as a class and in your smaller teams.
- You will be added to this blog space as an author so you can easily create new posts and comments.
During the first several weeks of the course we will harvest the top posts (measured through a complex algorithm related to interestingness and truthiness) and will facilitate a discussion in class.
At the culmination of the first two thematic cycles we will ask each team to prepare an artifact that will be shared with the class:
A synthesis presentation that will guide us through your team’s thoughts and reflections. In the presentations, any forms of technology/media can be used to expand upon your post. It is really up to you and we actually expect some creativity to engage the class and get beyond death by powerpoint. This should include a reconsideration of your current definitions of the core concepts: community, identity and design.
At the culmination of the third thematic cycle, we will ask you to prepare and present an overall course level synthesis that is fully enriched with the technologies you have investigated. These presentations should be an hour in length and thought of as activities designed to engage the class and drive high levels of conversation and discussion.
This is an area where we will continue to explore and expand as you begin to move into additional teaching and learning spaces throughout the semester. What that means is that we will measure your overall participation in very broad terms — contributions to blog posts, comments in class, tweets, bookmarks added, and more will be taken into account as a measure of your overall participation in the class.
Grading Policy and Scale
- 30% Ten Weekly (Team) Blog Posts @ 3% each
- 5% Final Synthesis (Individual) Blog Post
- 10% Weekly (Individual) Comments
- 10% Design Challenge 1 (Team Synthesis): Conceptual Framework
- 10% Design Challenge 2 (Team Synthesis): Teaching & Learning At Scale
- 20% Design Challenge 3 (Team Overall Course Synthesis): Disruptive Technologies in Teaching & Learning
- 15% Class Participation
- Total: 100%
94%-100% = A; 90%-93% = A-; 87%-89% = B+; 84%-86% = B; 80%-83% = B-; 77%-79% = C+; 70%-76% = C; 60%-69% = D; Below 60% = F
Students are expected to be honest in their academic work and to display integrity in the demonstration of their achieved competencies. A copy of Penn State’s policy on academic integrity is available at http://www.psu.edu/dept/ufs/policies/47-00.html.
If you have a documented disability and wish to receive academic accommodations, please contact the instructor as soon as possible. For more information, go to the following website: http://www.equity.psu.edu/ods/.
The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs and facilities without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state/federal authorities. The Pennsylvania State University does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Weekly Schedule (Subject to Lots and Lots of Change Based on You!)
Week 1: 1/13/2015
- Introductions and course background
- Syllabus review
- “For Profit Online University” (Presentation and Discussion)
- Determine Groups
- Meet some technology: Yammer and Sites at Penn State
- Technology Trivia
Assignments/Readings due before next class:
- Personal Introduction posted to the course blog space
- Register for the TLT Symposium
- The first weekly writing assignment posted to the blog by 1/18 @ 5pm
- Comment on other groups’ Blog Posts by 1/20 @ 12pm
Week 2: 1/20/2015 (Overview)
Week 3: 1/27/2015 (Community)
Week 4: 2/3/2015 (Identity)
Week 5: 2/10/2015 (Design)
Week 6: 2/17/2015 (Synthesis)
Week 7: 2/24/2015 (Community)
Week 8: 3/3/2015 (Identity)
NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK: 3/10/2015
Week 9: 3/17/2015 (Design)
- No Class due to mandatory attendance of TLT Symposium on March 21, 2015
Week 10: 3/24/2015 (Synthesis)
- Start working on Steps C 1 – 5 in HCD Toolkit.
- See Blog Post
Week 11: 3/31/2015 (Community)
- Start Step C-6 in HCD toolkit: Making Ideas Real
- See Blog Post
Week 12: 4/7/2015 (Identity)
- Start step C-7 in HCD Toolkit: Gather Feedback.
- Refine prototype
Week 13: 4/14/2015 (Design)
- Prepare For Synthesis
Week 14: 4/21/2015 (Final Synthesis 1)
- TBD or revealed on a need to know basis.
Week 15: 4/28/2015 (Final Synthesis 2)
- TBD or revealed on a need to know basis.