TSEM 102

TSEM 102-Towson Seminar Current Issues in Education: Excitement
and Challenge of Extreme Teaching
Towson University-College of Education
Department of Educational Technology and Literacy-Spring 2017

Instructor: Scot W. McNary, Ph.D.
Office Location: HH0102F
Office Contact: phone: 410 704-4835 email: smcnary@towson.edu
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:15-4:15pm
Class Meeting Dates: Tuesdays-Thursdays 2:00-3:15pm
Class Meeting Location: HH0219

Course Description

Course Goals:
1. Students will display competency in essential skills required of a college graduate by:
a. Writing clearly and persuasively for a variety of purposes and for different
audiences, revising and improving such texts.
b. Making articulate, persuasive, and influential presentations.
c. Reading, interpreting, analyzing and evaluating written discourse.
d. Integrating ideas and concepts in order to make judgments based on
e. Researching a topic, develop an argument and organize supporting details.
f. Using software as appropriate for writing, for spreadsheets, for statistical
analysis, for calculations, or for presentations.
2. Students will use inquiry and critical judgment to make decisions by:
a. Reflecting and evaluating claims and evidence (rather than merely reporting
b. Thinking in complex terms that move beyond an either/or binary approach.

Course Outcomes
Students will be able to:
1. Prepare and present a compelling substantive interpretation, argument, and/or analysis
of a problem or issue in a research paper.
2. Gather and use academic resources effectively and according to the standards and rules
of academic integrity in formulating and presenting a substantive interpretation,
argument, and/or analysis of a problem or issue.
3. Understand and evaluate the nature and possible causes and implications of events,
behavior, problems, and issues from an informed and intellectually balanced
4. Connect concepts and empirical evidence in logically coherent, valid, and compelling

Grading: This course is graded according to the following criteria.

A=95-100% A-=90-94% B+=87-89% B=83-86% B-=80-82% C+=77-79% C=73-76% C-=70-72%

D+=67- F=59 and
69% D=60-66% below

Course Assignments:
TSEM 102

An Original Research Paper and Presentation

The final paper for the course represents a synthesis of your critical reading and review of
multiple sources on a topic of your choosing. The paper should be 5-8 pages and be written
in APA format.
Research Proposal. This 5-8 page paper should clearly indicate the background for your
chosen topic, a thesis statement, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. A reference list
in APA format containing at least ten sources:
 1 book from the Reference section of Cook Library (not the stacks) or an online
Reference source
 5 journals (peer reviewed) academic or scholarly
 1 newspaper article
 3 webpages (scholarly)
At least ten sources are required. All references in the on the reference page
should be appropriately cited in the body of the text and all citations must appear
in the list of references.

Final Paper Presentation. You will be expected to give an in-class presentation of your
research proposal, followed by brief class questions and/or discussion. This presentation
will highlight the major components of your final paper. You are welcome to use
Powerpoint or other slide presentation. The presentation should be five to seven minutes
in length.

Written Assignments (about 8)

Students will evaluate and discuss various research articles, blog posts, or other materials
focusing on the topic assigned. You must use your own words in your writing; direct quotes
are only rarely needed. Please submit all work on Blackboard in Microsoft Word/RTF format.
Documents in Pages for Mac format are not easily readable on Blackboard.

APA Investigations

Students will work together in teams to learn about APA formatting details using cases and
collaborative learning. Investigations will be completed in class, approximately one per

Midterm Examination

Students will provide an annotated bibliography in place of an examination. The annotated
bibliography will test critical reading and writing effectiveness across a range of several
types of resources of the students’ choosing. You must have at least five of your ten sources
reviewed for the midterm assignment.

Reflective Paper

There is an in-class written assignment that is the final examination for the course. It will be
held the last evening of the semester in class.

Part of Final
Component Grade

Written assignments (both in class and out, about 8) 30%

APA investigations 10%
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Midterm Examination 15%

Final Research Paper 30%

Research Presentation 10%

Reflective Paper 5%

Class Policies:

Academic Integrity.

You are expected to maintain a high standard of ethical conduct and academic integrity.
Cheating and plagiarism in preparing materials submitted as original work constitute a
violation of academic integrity. Penalties for academic dishonesty may result in failure for
the course. The university statement on academic integrity is here:

The following website has resources compiled by Sara Nixon at Cook Library for learning
more about plagiarism and how to avoid it: http://pages.towson.edu/sara/plagiarism.html


Attendance is expected. In-class and out of class assignment due dates are non-negotiable.
If you must miss a session for an emergency it is your responsibility to inform the instructor
prior to the missed class, and seek notes from a classmate for the missed class. Any
assignments due must be accompanied by a doctor’s note in the event of illness and a plan
to make up the missed assignment. Acceptable reasons for missed classes include
documented medical reasons, religious holidays, and TU sponsored events for which you are
authorized to participate. Documentation must accompany any request to make up missed
assignments. Unexcused or undocumented absences resulting in missed assignments
cannot be made up and will earn a grade of zero.

Technology resources

Email: All email will be sent to your Towson account. You will want to check it frequently or
have your TU email forwarded to an email account you use frequently. When emailing the
instructor, please use appropriate language, include a clear subject line, and sign your name
to your email message.

Blackboard: Blackboard will be used to retrieve course information, turn in assignments,
communicate with peers, and other activities as assigned [https://blackboard.towson.edu/].
You will want to become familiar with how to use Blackboard in order to participate
effectively in class. The Office of Technology S (OTS) has many resources available to self-
help in using technology at TU, including Blackboard.
TSEM 102

Because of the extensive use of technology in this course, you will need to have Internet
access through the TU computer labs or on your own. You will also need access to
computers with word processing capacity.

Class Participation and Homework.

Class participation by students is expected. Seminars work when all participants are
prepared by having read and thought about the assigned materials. Expect to interact often
and at length with your peers during the course of the semester. The main research
materials will be at the library. We will meet at the library for several of our classes.
Frequent use of the library resources are required for this class. Expect to spend an average
of six hours per week studying and preparing for classes.

In class behavior is expected to be courteous and respectful to others. Tolerance of others’
viewpoints and polite discussion are crucial to civil discourse.

It is not acceptable to use the computers in class for recreation, personal communications,
or other personal reasons during class time. At all times, use of TU computers and networks
imply your agreement with the Acceptable Use Policy:

Cell phone use is not permitted during class time. In the event of an urgent call, please take
your call outside of class with minimal disruption to others.

Assignment Due Dates.

Students are expected to submit all assignments on the due dates and participate in all
discussions. Unless indicated by the instructor otherwise, please submit written assignments
in person in class the date it is due. Late assignments will not be accepted.


Class will be canceled only when Towson University announces that classes will be canceled.
Towson University posts closing announcements on the main web page
(http://www.towson.edu) and creates messages on the following phone numbers: 410-704-
2000 and 410-704-NEWS. Towson University also notifies the following media sources with
closing information: WBAL Radio 11 (1090 AM), WLIF (101.9 FM), WWMX (106.5 FM), WYPR
(88.1 FM), WBAL-TV (11), WJZ-TV (13), WMAR-TV (2), and the Associated Press wire

Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance.

The following statement is taken from the Towson University Undergraduate Catalog (p. 39)
and from the Disability Support Services (DSS) website:
“Towson University is committed to providing equal access to its programs
and services for students with disabilities, in accordance with Section 504 of
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
TSEM 102

Disability Support Services is the office designated to provide reasonable
accommodations to students with disabilities. Students seeking
accommodations must identify themselves to DSS, request an appointment to
discuss their needs, and provide DSS with up-to-date and complete
documentation of their disabilities. DSS determines what accommodations are
reasonable on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the student’s
disabilities and needs, nature of their learning task, course standards and
essential requirements of the program of study, and educational
environment. Students are encouraged to register with DSS as soon as
possible after admission to the University to ensure timely provision of
If you accommodations you should provide a statement to the instructor from the Towson
University Disability Support Services Office (410-704-2638) authorizing your

Writing and Technology Resources

TU offers help with writing, both in person and online. The Writing Center
http://www.towson.edu/writingcenter/index.asp is available for in person consultation. You will need to
make an appointment to speak with someone. Take a copy of the rubric with you if you go.

The online writing resource available is the Online Writing Support site: http://www.towson.edu/ows/

Technology support from the Office of Technology Services (OTS) Student Computing Services (SCS) is
here: http://www.towson.edu/adminfinance/ots/support/scs/index.asp
TSEM 102

Tentative Course Schedule:

The following schedule may be adapted to meet the needs of the class. Chapter
assignments refer to readings/videos available on Blackboard (some elsewhere).

Date Topic Assignment Notes
01/31/1 Course introduction
02/02/1 Evidence types APA Investigation #1
02/07/1 How Should We Carifo & Carey (2010); Kohn (1999) 02/07 last day
to drop/add
7 Grade?
02/09/1 APA Investigation #2
02/14/1 Should we pay Fryer (2010) Sections I, V and VI; Kobliner
7 students for (2012)
02/16/1 Library, meet in CK Library Resources
7 512
02/21/1 Is this some kind of McGonigal (2011); Gee (2010)
7 game?
02/23/1 Library, meet in CK Keyword Searching and Journal Article
7 512 Evaluation
02/28/1 Education for the Watters (2015); Hayes (2015)
7 Masses?
03/02/1 TBA
03/07/1 Library, meet in CK Academic Integrity and Citation Generation
7 512
03/09/1 Three minute essay APA Investigation #3
03/14/1 Snow day
03/16/1 CRAAP test review
03/21/1 Spring Break
03/23/1 Spring Break
03/28/1 Midterm Your working thesis; Midterm due on
7 Blackboard
03/30/1 APA formatting APA Investigation #4
TSEM 102

Date Topic Assignment Notes
04/04/1 Writing practice Your working outline
04/06/1 Waiting for Waiting for Superman (rent on your own); 04/10 last day
to withdraw
7 Superman The Inconvenient Truth Behind the film
with W
Waiting for Superman (available on YouTube)
04/11/1 Writing practice Your introductory paragraph
04/13/1 Do we need Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall Project*
7 teachers?
04/18/1 Flipped classrooms
04/20/1 Wilderness
7 education
04/25/1 Simulations
04/27/1 TBA
05/02/1 Writing day
05/04/1 Presentations Final research paper due on Blackboard
05/09/1 Presentations
05/11/1 Presentations
05/16/1 Presentations Last day of
7 classes
05/18/1 Final exam: Reflective paper due on Blackboard (note:
7 reflective paper meet in HH0219 from 12:30-2:30pm)

Sugata Mitra’s TED Talk can be seen here: