Course Syllabus

Learning Theory, Instructional Design & Technology
Credits: 3 Instructor: Sandra A. Lathem Meeting dates and Times: July 13 – August 21, 2009 Location: Online in UVM Blackboard

Course Description: This online course explores learning-theory research and its applications for technology-enriched, standards-based units of study. Students will study theories of constructivism, multiple intelligences, and research related to how people learn. Participants will learn how technology applications can be used to create learning environments that strengthen 21st century problem-solving skills, and encourage communication, collaboration, and reflection. Using instructional design strategies explored in this course, participants will develop a standards-based unit of study that strategically integrates technology and meets 21st century skills and national and state educational technology standards and assessments.

The goal of this course is to prepare Vermont educators to meet state and national educational technology standards as follows: Vermont State Criteria for Educational Technologist Specialist Endorsement: Knowledge Standards: Demonstrates knowledge of topics, concepts, and skills essential to the effective integration of technology in the teaching and learning process, as delineated in current national professional standards* including: 2. Ways technology can be used to support high-quality, standards-based curriculum, instruction, and assessment in all content areas, including instructional design principles that rely upon research-based learning theories to guide the use of computers and other technologies in education. 3. Proficiencies in current technologies. Performance Standards: Supports the effective integration of technology throughout all areas of the school’s curriculum as delineated in Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. Specifically, the educator: 6. Identifies, helps design, implements, and evaluates authoring, programming, and problem-solving environments for use in the classroom. 7. Designs and implements, and collaborates with classroom teachers to design and implement, tasks or projects that incorporate various technologies as tools to facilitate and enhance students’ research, critical thinking, problem solving, analysis, collaboration, communication, and presentation skills. 8. Assists classroom teachers and other staff to develop effective means of assessing students’ learning of technology concepts and skills across the curriculum, and to assess technology’s impact on the enhancement of student learning. 10. Adapts to new technologies and helps teachers to integrate them into the educational process, as appropriate.


* National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (2008, International Society for Technology in Education) Essential Questions: • How can learning theory research be applied with educational technology to improve student learning environments and opportunities? • How can we increase student understanding of content knowledge with purposeful instructional design practices that integrate educational technology? Understanding: Students will understand … Pedagogy that supports the integration of technology in the curriculum Their individual beliefs about learning and the use of technology Research improves one’s ability to teach students well and improve teacher practice Educational technology supports the complex and diverse ways that people learn Instructional design is essential in crafting learning environments that support deeper understanding of content
Learning Outcomes:

Students will know … Learning theory research for 21st century learners (constructivism, multiple intelligences and learning styles, problem-based learning, activating prior knowledge, etc. as based on the works of John Bransford, Howard Gardner, and others) Educational technology resources and tools that support diverse learners across the curriculum. Vermont and National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S) 21st Century Skills Vermont Grade Expectations in Information Technology. Understanding by Design (UbD) concepts (Wiggins and McTighe) Web 2.0 tools that support social construction of knowledge. Students will be able to … Create a personal statement concerning learning and the integration of technology. Create a standards-based unit of study using UbD concepts and processes that integrates technology to support learning goals and objectives. Create formative and summative assessments that align with Vermont Grade Expectations in Information Technology to assess student learning in content areas as well as in educational technology. Integrate educational technology applications in classroom instruction to support enduring understanding. Apply learning theory research to guide the use of computers and other technologies in education. Use graphic organizers, multimedia software, and collaboration tools to communicate and socially construct knowledge.


Evaluate and select educational technology resources to serve diverse learning styles and intelligences. Use Web 2.0 tools to increase productivity, collaboration, and communication with colleagues.

General Course Information
Course Policies/Expectations:

The following are necessary for successful completion of this course: • Active participation in online class discussions of readings and literature • Completion of readings • Completion of assignments Typically, students should expect to devote six-nine hours per week in reviewing online lessons and resources, reading required texts and articles offline, creating and completing assignments, and participating in discussions. Discussion postings should reflect student’s understanding and transfer of concepts contained in lessons and readings.
Attendance Expectations:


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Online participation in Blackboard each week to complete assignments and post discussion messages. Students are expected to visit the Blackboard site at least four times per week. Active participation in class discussions of readings and literature

The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work. Contributions in Class:

It is expected that participants will review all links in the Blackboard course posted for each week. Participants should also take an active role in class discussions around new information from assigned readings and classroom applications. Participation in discussion board topics must be timely (within each week’s assignments) with multiple postings per week anticipated. Students should expect to log in to the Blackboard course site at least four times per week.
Academic Honesty & Professionalism: All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the most recent edition of “The Cat’s Tale”. ( Accommodations: Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at to learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-656-0739, Email:, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.

Required and/or recommended readings:

Wiggins, Grant and McTighe, Jay, 2005. Understanding by Design Expanded 2nd Edition. ASCD: Alexandria, Virginia. ISBN:1-4166-0035-3. List Price: $32.95 for non-ASCD members. Available: ASCD Web Site: (Also available for slightly less at _____________, 2000. How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School. National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C. ISBN 0-309-07036-8. Available online at: Paperback Version can be purchased via New: $16.47 or Used. ____________, 2001. Exploring How People Learn: CD-Rom mini course. Vanderbilt University. Available: Free, from instructor and will be mailed to students. Solomon, G., Schrum, L. (2007). Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). Available from ISTE at: Price: $34.95 for non-members.


_________, 2004. Grade Expectations for Vermont's Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities: Information Technology. Vermont Department of Education. Free Download.
Electronic Submissions/Internet Use: This course requires substantial Internet use given its online format. Online lessons include links to resources and readings associated with online lessons. Class discussion is conducted through an online discussion board in Blackboard. All course assignments are submitted electronically via Blackboard.

Student Evaluation/Assessment
Grading: Criteria for how grades are determined are described in the following sections. Course assessments are performance based and include written and multimedia performance products. Description of Class Assignments:

The following performance tasks and activities will be used to evaluate/assess student performance in this course: Thought Papers Thought papers are brief papers (1-4 single spaced pages) that enable the student to reflect on assigned readings and connect course content with personal experience and practice. Three papers are assigned throughout the course, with the final paper focused on the essential question of how learning theory research and educational technology can be applied to improve student learning environments and opportunities. A Personal Statement on Learning and Technology This task asks the student to create a multimedia presentation that conveys a personal statement about learning and technology. As educators, I believe it's important to take time to reflect about the experiences and thoughts that guide our actions. This task will allow students to organize their thoughts about learning, draw on personal experiences as teachers and learners, consolidate thoughts about the readings and activities encountered in the course, and review the discourse with classmates. Students will select their choice of media – this could be a PowerPoint presentation, a web site, a digital movie, a Wiki, a podcast, a digital story or some combination of the above. Collaborative Article Review As an online community, we will work together to construct our own “encyclopedia” of journal articles that examine issues of technology and learning. As a class, we will socially construct and share information using online tools, such as wikis, blogs, podcasts, and social bookmarking tools, etc. Standards-based Unit of Study Each student will create a standards-based unit using the UbD process. Students will be asked to complete this task in stages -- corresponding to the UdD process. In this process, students will build concept maps and write drafts of their units in a word processing program, using some templates provided by the instructor. Students will have ample time to write and rewrite unit to receive feedback from the instructor and others in the class. Active Participation and Thoughtful Discourse


The success of an online course relies heavily on each person's active participation. Each student will be expected to post his/her thoughts about activities and class readings each week. In addition, students will be expected to respond to the postings of others, to ask in-depth questions, and to help all of us probe deeper. I believe that we can help each other learn -- that we are not alone in our efforts and that learning is a community process. At times, I will ask students to work in small groups or to post and facilitate discussion questions. I will also ask students to review the work of others in the class and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback.

Scoring Rubrics: See attached rubric for multimedia presentation. Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment:

Performance Task Thought Papers (3) Standards-based Unit (1) and preparatory drafts and concept maps Personal Statement (multimedia presentation) Collaborative Article Reviews Participation and Discussion Collaboration (peer feedback) Total

Percentage of Grade 30% 20% 20% 10% 15% 5% 100%

Instructional Sequence: - List the course topics for each scheduled class meeting date including
readings and assignment due dates.


Week of .... July 13, 2009

Assignments  In Blackboard, read Introduction and Module 1, Lesson One – Getting Started. Follow links.   Order Required Textbooks Post a response to the first discussion prompt under the Learning Autobiography Topic Send me a photograph and write a short paragraph about yourself. Take the Prior Knowledge Survey Take the Technology Survey Review list of suggested journal articles to read or do a search for articles of your choice related to technology and learning. Write a 1-2 page (single spaced) thought paper that summarizes the learning theory review in Lesson One. Reflect on your own teaching practice and describe how you apply these theories in your classroom or learning environments. (If you are not a teacher, reflect instead on the instructional strategies used by your own teachers and relate them to the learning theories reviewed in this lesson.) Due in Blackboard by July 17.

Readings  Online: Funderstanding – About Learning ( cfm)  Online: Caine Learning Institute 12 Learning Principles (

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July 15 2009

In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Two – Thinking About Learning. Follow all links. Read materials online at SEDL. View Parts I, II, and III of Exploring How People Learn, CD-Rom (take notes) Email instructor the title of the two articles you want to read and review. Contribute and Respond to postings in Blackboard discussion board. In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Three – How People Learn Complete the How People Learn, CD-Rom (Parts IV, V, VI, VII, and

Online: SEDL Constructing Knowledge with Technology ( Online: Technology and the Constructivist Classroom, ( How People Learn, Chapters 1-3 Exploring How People Learn, CD-Rom, Parts I, II, II

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July 17, 2009

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Exploring How People Learn, CD-Rom, Parts IV-VIII Begin reading your selected journal articles.

-8VIII)  Contribute and Respond to Discussion question in Lesson Three Due – Thought Paper 1 In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Four – Multiple Intelligence and Standards View Edutopia videos (Howard Gardner interview, Key Learning Community, Media Smarts) Download Vermont standards documents and grade expectations; read NETS standards and documents from st Partnership for 21 Century Skills web site. Write a thought paper of 1-2 (single spaced) pages that reflects on the learning theories introduced and the Vermont and national technology standards. Where is the connection between the two? Due in Blackboard: July 22. Begin to plan your multimedia presentation using your notes and written reflections. Contribute and respond to postings in the course discussion board. In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Five – Social Construction of Knowledge – Wikis and Blogs. Follow all links. Practice editing a wiki using our class wiki Self-register on VTcite portal. Learn to navigate the site. Review Resources and Forums on VTcite. Contribute and respond to postings in the course discussion board. DUE: Thought paper 2 In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Six – Web 2.0 Tools Explore at least two Web 2.0 tools mentioned in the Solomon and Schrum book. Write a short review on each and post this review in VTcite Forum on Web   Read Web 2.0: New Tools, New Schools, Chapters 1-5.  Continue reading your selected articles.

 July 20, 2009 

July 22, 2009

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 July 24, 2009  

-92.0 tools.    Download Cmap or Inspiration demo software Prepare first draft of multimedia presentation for peer review DUE: Journal Reviews written in Class Wiki In Blackboard, read Module One, Lesson Seven – Review and Final Presentations. DUE: First draft of multimedia presentation for peer review uploaded to discussion board. DUE: Peer feedback on presentations. In Blackboard, read Module Two, Lesson One – Introduction to Understanding by Design Install Cmap or Inspiration Contribute and respond to postings in the course discussion board. DUE: Final Multimedia presentations posted in Blackboard In Blackboard, read Module Two, Lesson Two – Six Facets of Understanding Contribute and respond to postings in the course discussion board. Begin to create your first concept map for Stage One in UbD In Blackboard, read Module Two, Lesson Three – Understanding and Assessment Contribute and respond to postings in the course discussion board. Create a table (using template) to plan Stage Two of your unit. Create a second concept map for Stage Two. In Blackboard, read Module Two, Lesson Four – Online Tools and Resources DUE: Stage 1 Concept Map,  Read Understanding by Design, chp 9.  Read Understanding by Design, chps 7-8.  Read Understanding by Design, chps 1-3. 

July 27, 2009

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July 29, 2009

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July 31, 2009

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August 3, 2009

Read Understanding by Design, chps 4-6.

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August 5, 2009

  August 7, 2009 

- 10 Unit Description, Stage 2 Table and concept map (first draft) August 10, 2009   August 12, 2009 August 14, 2009     In Blackboard, read Module Two, Lesson Five – Planning Activities Begin to design instructional matrix for learning activities. Work Day DUE: First draft of phase III UbD unit to Sandy for feedback In Blackboard, read Finishing Touches. Write a 3-4 page (single spaced) thought paper that reflects on the course essential question: How can we apply learning theory research with educational technology to improve student learning environments and opportunities? This reflection should draw on course readings and assignments to support your writing.   Read Understanding by Design, chps 10, Skim Chps 11 and 12. Read Web 2.0: New Tools, New School, Chps 6-9.

August 21, 2009

Complete all performance tasks and assignments and upload to Blackboard. DUE: Thought paper 3 DUE: Final UbD Unit uploaded to Blackboard

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Multimedia Presentation Rubric
Criteria Concept And Miles to Go ..! (Below Expectations) Purpose of the proposal is unclear and not well stated. Concepts are not supported adequately and many questions are likely to exist. Presentation does not prioritize major points and ideas and lacks overall organization. Ideas are not presented in a coherent manner and do not logically follow one another or come to a final conclusion. Almost There! (Nearly Achieves Expectations) The purpose of the presentation is stated but is superficial, incomplete or unclear. The audience is able to grasp a general idea and understand several underlying premises, but some points require additional explanation and/or information. The presentation needs additional work to prioritize and organize major points and ideas. Good Job! (Meets Expectations) The purpose of the presentation is stated clearly and thoroughly, is easy to understand, and comprehend. All components (or slides) support the primary concept and assist the audience to understand the reasons and justifications set forth by the author. Viewers of the presentation are left with a complete and sound understanding of the proposal and arguments and are able to make a thoughtful decision as a result. Arguments set forth in the presentation are well supported by current research. All research is cited and the presentation includes complete citation of all sources. The author selects appropriate research to support arguments. Counter arguments are anticipated and the presentation includes and addresses concerns likely to be raised by audience members. Presentation thoroughly describes how the proposal meets state and national standards, including vital results, content knowledge and in educational technology. Standards are presented both in terms of student standards and teacher standards. Reveals presenter’s knowledge and implementation of Vermont Framework of Standards, Vermont Grade Expectations, and NETS standards. Presentation adequately addresses the professional development needs of teachers, staff, and administrators to support proposal implementation. Presentation provides viewers with a thorough understanding of the skills, attitudes, and dispositions teachers need to be successful. Bravo! (Exceeds expectations) Meets expectations plus … Concept provides compelling arguments and represents a masterful, skillful, and thought provoking proposal. Presentation provides new insight into issues likely to arise from this proposal. The author combines creativity and ingenuity in all aspects of the proposal/presentation. Meets Expectations plus … An annotated included. bibliography is


Presentation does not use research to support arguments or concepts. Research used is not appropriate to support the arguments set forth in the presentation.

Presentation is supported by some research but fails to support proposal/concepts thoroughly. A complete citation is not included. Counter arguments are not anticipated or are insufficiently addressed.

Reveals a sophisticated and indepth understanding of learning theory research and reveals strong connections between theory and technology integration. Meets expectations plus … Addresses the changing view of today’s students and the challenges of living and working as a global citizen


The proposal fails to connect its purpose and goals to meeting state and national standards in educational technology.

Standards are mentioned but not explained or described thoroughly. Presentation does not demonstrate the connection between the proposal concept and state and national standards explicitly.

Professional Development

The presentation fails to include the skills, attitudes, and dispositions that teachers will require in order to successfully implement the proposal.

Proposal’s professional development plan begins to explain the skills, attitudes, and dispositions that teachers need to implement the proposal but is weak or does not thoroughly address how teachers will execute programmatic goals and objectives. Implementation and logistical

Meets expectations plus … Professional development proposals are clearly based on current research about staff development and the professional development needs of adult learners.

- 12 issues concerning professional development are not addressed fully or convincingly. Proposal addresses the professional development and public relation needs of parents and community members. Proposal provides links and/or examples of effective technology integration in classroom instruction. Examples appropriately support the proposal and are persuasive and convincing. Meets expectations plus … Selected examples are tightly aligned with proposal concepts are provide new insight to support concepts. Presentation includes links to additional examples for people interested in learning more about this topic. Meets expectations plus … Includes audio and/or video segments to enhance presentation and engage audience. Reveals sophisticated knowledge of visual design and graphics to create effective presentations. Author creates original artwork and graphics throughout presentation. Meets expectations plus … The presentation is accompanied by a complete narration or typed speech.


Examples of effective technology integration are lacking or are inadequate to support proposal.

Examples are not tied directly to primary concepts and are not strong enough to provide convincing arguments in favor of the proposal.

Visual Design

Presentation lacks an overall design that is visually appealing. Author does not understand how to balance text and graphics in a pleasing manner.

Author attempts to design presentation effectively but work still needs to be done to create a design that is symmetrical and visually appealing. Special effects such as animations and transitions are overused. Slides are text laden and need to be modified to simplify and consolidate major points.

The presentation is effectively designed, visually appealing, and demonstrates the author’s facility in creating multimedia presentations. Major points are logically presented and outlined without over emphasis on text.


No notes or narration is provided to help the reviewer understand what the author will say.

The presentation includes “notes” but the notes do not include enough information to give the reviewer an adequate understanding of what will be said by the author.

The presentation includes a complete set of notes that provides the reviewer with a thorough understanding of the points the author will make when speaking to the audience

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