Course Syllabus Inquiry-based Learning & Technology Credits: 3 Instructor: Lucie deLaBruere Meeting dates and Times: August

25 – December 8, 2014 Final Reflection Due – December 10, 2014 Location: Online in UVM Blackboard

Course Description:

This course engages educators in a student-centered, active learning experience using technology resources and tools to promote questioning, critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Educators will learn about technology resources & tools that support problem-based, project-based, and inquiry-based learning in all disciplines and design a project- or inquiry-based activity with assessments for the students (or teachers) they teach.

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:

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. ● 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:

Identifies, helps design, implements, and evaluates authoring, programming, and problem-solving environments for use in the classroom.

● ● ●

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. 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. Adapts to new technologies and helps teachers to integrate them into the educational process, as appropriate. Applies and models the ethical use of educational technologies. Demonstrates sensitivity to inequities in technology access in schools by incorporating and modeling specific instructional strategies that promote equity.

* National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (2008, International Society for Technology in Education)
Essential Questions:

How does project-based learning, problem-based learning, and inquiry-based learning activities enhance student critical thinking and problem-solving skills? ● How does educational technology support student learning and achievement?
• Understanding

Participants will understand …

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. That the design of student-centered and active learning activities promotes intrinsic motivation and student achievement, as well as life-long learning skills.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will know …

Differences between problem-based, project-based, design- and inquiry-based learning ● Strategies for developing essential questions ● Concepts and application of learning communities and communities of practice ● Guidelines for evaluating Internet websites and resources

● ● ● ● ●

Guidelines for appropriate use, copyright, and fair use in educational settings Educational technology resources and tools that support diverse learners Processes for creating project-based activities State and national education technology standards and 21st century skills Web 2.0 tools that support inquiry and social construction of knowledge.

Participants will be able to …
● ● ● ●

● ●

● ●

Evaluate project-based and inquiry-based activities. Create essential questions. Create mini-lessons on effective search strategies, Internet safety, media literacy, and copyright and fair use policies. 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. Design appropriate assessments Integrate educational technology applications in classroom instruction to meet state and national educational technology standards and 21st century skills Evaluate and select educational technology resources to serve diverse learning styles and intelligences. Use and apply web 2.0 tools to increase inquiry, productivity, collaboration, and communication with students and 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 and assigned reflections ● 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 the student’s understanding and transfer of concepts contained in lessons and readings. Attendance Expectations:

Online participation in Blackboard is expected each week to complete assignments and post discussion messages. Students are expected to visit the course 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: Participants are expected to review all links in the Blackboard course posted in the lessons during each week. Participants should also take an active role in class discussions around new information from assigned readings and classroom applications. Participation in discussion forum topics must be timely (within each week’s assignments) with multiple postings per week anticipated. Students should expect to log in to course-related web sites at least four times per week. A private Google+ Community will also be established for this class to create a “community of learners” that extends beyond the class 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 Readings: Boss, S., Krauss, J. (2007). Reinventing Project-based Learning: Your Field Guide to Real-World Projects in the Digital Age. Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education. Kindle Edition: $9.99 (Can be read on your computer ipad or other tablet using Kindle App.
4 /dp/B002KE4LFO/ref=tmm_kin_title_0 (Available in print through online purchase via (about $23.00 or ($25 if you are an ISTE member; otherwise $35.00.) Darling-Hammond, L. (2008). Powerful Learning: What We Know About Teaching for Understanding. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. (Available through for $14-$17).

Savery, John R. (2006) "Overview of Problem-based Learning: Definitions and Distinctions," Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-based Learning: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 3.
 Available at: Transformation & Technology: A New Way of Learning – Classroom Scenarios. Vermont Department of Education. Available online at:

Vermont Technology Grade Expectations, Revised 2010. Vermont Department of Education. Available online at: Additional readings, videos and web sites are presented through online lessons.

Supplemental Readings:

_______, (2004). Concept to Classrooms: Inquiry-based Learning. Educational Broadcasting Service. Mini-course available at:
Dede, C., (2004). Enabling Distributed Learning Communities via Emerging Technologies. The Journal Online (September). Available at:

Garcia, S., (2005). Learning Communities And Educational Technology: Part I. Available at:

Garcia, S., (2005). Learning Communities and Educational Technology: Part II. Available at:,

Garry, A. & Graham, P., (2004). Using Study Groups to Disseminate Technology Best Practices. Available at:

Hmelo-Silver, C. E. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, Volume 16(3), September. (Note – this article is only available through UVM Bailey Howe Library.) Myers, J. & Beach, R., (2004). Constructing critical literacy practices through technology tools and inquiry. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 4(3). Available at: Thomas, John W. (2000). A Review of Research on Project-based Learning. Available online at: Vogel, Tracy, ( 2007 ). The East Initiative: Students Use Technology to Promote Collaborative Learning. Available online at:

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 forum. All course assignments are submitted electronically. Evaluation/Assessment Grading: Criteria for how grades are determined are described in the following sections. Description of Class Assignments: The following tasks and activities will be used to evaluate/assess participant performance in this course: Participation, Discourse, and Collaboration (20%) 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. I will ask students to review the work of others in the class and provide thoughtful and constructive feedback. Students should read the postings of classmates as well as post individual topics for discussion. Each student should visit and read the posts contained in the Discussion Forum at least several times a week to keep up with current conversations. Google+ will also be used for discussion and inquiry. A Google Site/Wiki will be set up for students to contribute to throughout the semester.

Research Article Review (5%) Near the beginning of the course, you will have the opportunity to research a scholarly article of your choosing. The article should be one published in a peer-reviewed academic journal and represent contemporary research on inquiry-based, project-based, problem-based, design-based, case-based, or expeditionary learning projects in PK-12 education. To complete this assignment, you may use UVM’s Bailey Howe library or other electronic journals or databases, or academic search engines such as Google Scholar to locate an article of interest. You will also read the article and write a brief summary and critical review of the article in a course Google Site/Wiki designed for this purpose. Journal Reflection on Lessons and Readings (20%) Students will be required to post four written assignments in a private journal in Blackboard. This posting should contain a two-page summary (single spaced) and reflection. The summary section of the posting should describe, summarize, and depict the content covered in the lessons at designated times. This written review of the lesson provides the instructor with evidence that the student has completed and/or read all assigned material. The second portion of the posting contains a personal reflection about the subject or content introduced in the lesson. This reflection should describe how the week’s content may or may not affect the student’s practice or understanding of the concept. Reflections are due on Monday mornings (8 AM) when assigned.

Group Google Site/Wiki Project on Internet Searching and Appropriate Use (10%) Students will participate in a small group wiki project to research topics concerning Internet inquiry and search strategies, Internet safety, evaluating and assessing web-based content for validity and accuracy, and how to improve media literacy skills. Each group will be assigned a topic to research and will create a multimedia presentation and/or web resource about this topic in the course Google Site/Wiki, which will be accessible to everyone in the course. Inquiry-based Activity Evaluation (5%) After you have had a chance to learn about problem-based, project-based, and inquiry-based learning concepts, you will select and evaluate a project of your own choice using a scoring rubric provided by the instructor. This evaluation should be an in-depth review of a project using criteria of centrality, driving question, constructive investigations, autonomy, and realism. This written review will be submitted in a course

“Google Site/Wiki.” Peer Feedback (10%) At different points during the course, you will be asked to review work submitted by someone in class and provide in-depth and constructive feedback to enable the author to improve upon and enhance his/her work. Original Inquiry-based Learning Activity (30%) The culminating project for the course is the creation of an original problem-based, project-based, or inquiry-based learning activity that is based on content standards or a transformation scenarios and that purposefully integrates technology to support learning goals and assessments. The topics and the format for presentation of this activity are self-selected. This project should reflect best practices in project-based learning as presented through the course lessons and readings. These activities should be student-centered, allowing students choice in constructing questions and identifying problems to solve. Real-world, authentic learning experiences should be designed in response to this assignment. Formative and summative assessment of student content knowledge and mastery of curriculum standards are included in this assignment.

Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment:
Performance Task Participation, Discourse, Collaboration Journal Reflections on Lessons and Readings Research Article Review Group Wiki Project - Internet Searching & Appropriate Use Inquiry-based Activity Evaluation Peer Feedback Original inquiry-based learning activity/unit Total Percentage of Grade 20 20 5 10 5 10 30 100%


Tentative Instructional Sequence

Week Week 1

Essential Questions What is inquiry-based learning?

Week 2

What does the research say about inquiry-based and project-based learning?

Major Assignments Due ■ Create your personal profile in our course Google Site/Wiki ( ■ Discussion Forum Posts – Respond to prompts for Lesson 1; Read and respond to other postings. ■ Write critical review of the research article you have chosen. Post this review in the course Google Site/Wiki .

Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

Week 3

What are essential questions?

Weekly Reflection Due for Lessons 1&2 Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

What are learning communities?

Week 4

Week 5

What skills do students need to become good students of inquiry? What does good inquiry-based learning look like?

Use Group tools in Blackboard to research and present a mini-lesson on your topic. Due: October 1. ● Journal Reflection Due on Lessons 3-5

Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

Week 6

How do web quests

Discussion Forum (Post, read &

and telecommunication projects support project-based learning?


Week 7

How can collaborative ■ Discussion Forum (Post, read & web 2.0 tools support respond) student learning? How do I evaluate good IBL and PBL projects?

Week 8

Inquiry-based Activity Evaluation Due

Week 9

What project will you create? What are your learning goals? What resources will you need?

■ ■

Reflection Due on Lessons 6-9 Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

Week 10

How will you implement your project?

Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

Week 11

How will you assess student learning?

Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond) First draft of inquiry- project due

Week 12 Week 13

Week 14

---- Thanksgiving Recess ---What advice and support can you offer to others? What finishing touches does your project need before implementation?

Feed back provided to classmates on their inquiry-based projects Discussion Forum (Post, read & respond)

Original Inquiry-based Learning Activity

Week 15

Course Final Reflection Due – Dec 10 by 8 AM


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful