education's digital future

EDUC 391x: Engineering Education and Online Learning

EE 396 and EDUC 391x: Engineering Education and Online Learning
Spring Quarter 2014
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30-5:00pm, Littlefield 103

Instructors:
Larry Lagerstrom, SoE Director of Online Learning
Candace Thille, Director of the Open Learning Initiative and Asst. Professor, GSE 

Course Description
An introduction to web-based-learning design. In this course we will explore the evidence and theory behind learning design principles. In addition to gaining a broad understanding of the emerging field of the science and engineering of learning, students will experiment with a variety of educational technologies, pedagogical techniques, and assessment methods. Students will practice applying a design process and principles in an educational technology development project.

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:

  • Evaluate strengths and limitations of various educational technologies with respect to their potential for supporting students to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Design and create an online learning module and explain how the module will result in good learning outcomes for students who interact with the module.
  • Synthesize key themes and results of the discipline-based education research literature and adapt them for practical teaching use.

Assignments and Grading

  1. Development of and presentation of learning module = 50%: the development and assessment of an online learning module on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the instructor, plus an in-class presentation of the module.
  2. Class presentation on a reading/topic/edtech example = 15%: a short presentation summarizing and critiquing a relevant book, group of articles, an existing online module, or edtech example. 
  3. Creating assessment questions related to the readings = 15%.
  4. Class participation (including taking assessment questions created by classmates) = 20%.

Readings
Ambrose, Susan A., et al. 2010. How Learning Works: Seven Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. Available on reserve at the Education Library (in Cubberley).

Chase, Catherine C., Jonathan T. Shemwell, and Daniel L. Schwartz. 2010. “Explaining across Contrasting Cases for Deep Understanding in Science: An Example using Interactive Simulations.” Proceedings of the 9th International Conference of Learning Sciences, 1:153-60.

Clark, Richard E., David F. Feldon, Jeroen J.G. van Merriënboer, Kenneth A. Yates, and Sean Early. 2008. “Cognitive Task Analysis.” In J.M. Spector, M.D. Merrill, J.J.G. van Merriënboer, and M.P. Driscoll, eds., Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (3rd ed.), pp. 578-593.

MIT. 2013. Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education: Preliminary Report.

National Research Council. 2012. Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering. Available online via Stanford University Libraries (to Stanford affiliates) or on reserve at the Education Library (in Cubberley).

Svinicki, Marilla. 2011. “Synthesis of the Research on Teaching and Learning in Engineering since the Implementation of ABET Engineering Criteria 2000.” Paper presented at the Second Committee Meeting on the Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Discipline-Based Education Research. 

OLI Engineering Statics course Module on Forces or OLI Statistics and Probability Module on Examining Distributions. (Instructions for registration will be provided at the first class.)

Additional readings may be assigned in class.

Class Schedule
March 31: At this class meeting we will introduce ourselves, provide a brief overview of the course and engage in an abbreviated version of the learning activity design process.

April 2: At this class meeting, we will provide an overview of how people learn and present design principles for technology-enhanced learning. 

April 7: At this class meeting, we will give an overview of the purpose and format of assessment quizzes, and how to write effective quiz questions. We will also discuss the readings for this week: M. Svinicki, “Synthesis of the Research on Teaching and Learning in Engineering since the Implementation of ABET Engineering Criteria 2000” (32 pp.); Section 2 of MIT, Institute-wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education (“Working Group 2: The Future Global Implications of edX and the Opportunities It Creates,” pp. 40-68).

April 9: At this class meeting, we will discuss your experience of working through an OLI module (from Engineering Statics or from Introductory Statistics) as a learner, and then discuss, as an instructor, how you would use the data generated by the learners’ interactions to teach the class. We will also discuss the readings for this session: The Executive Summary and Sections 1-3 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Introduction,” “The Emergence and Current State of Discipline-Based Education Research,” and “Overview of Discipline-Based Education Research”), pp. 1-44.

April 14: At this class meeting, we will give a detailed overview of the design process and how to write effective learning outcomes. We will discuss the benchmark tasks you have designed, and write and discuss first pass learning outcomes for your project. We will evaluate examples of educational technology and discuss the readings for this week: Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works, Introduction and Chapters 1-3 (“How Does Students’ Prior Knowledge Affect Their Learning?”, “How Does the Way Students Organize Knowledge Affect Their Learning?”, and “What Factors Motivate Students to Learn?”), pp. 1-90.

April 16: At this class meeting, we will provide a review of the design and features of several online platforms, including OpenEdx, Coursera, Udacity and NovoEd. We will evaluate them with respect to their strengths and limitations for designing effective learning experiences. We will also discuss the readings for this week: Section 4 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Identifying and Improving Students’ Conceptual Understanding in Science and Engineering”), pp. 45-74.

April 21: At this class, we will discuss conducting an empirical cognitive task analysis (CTA) and practice conducting an abbreviated empirical CTA on some aspect of the design project. We will also discuss the readings for this week: Clark, et al., “Cognitive Task Analysis,” pp. 578-93; Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works, Chapter 4 (“How Do Students Develop Mastery?”), pp. 91-120.

April 23: At this class meeting, we will present principles for the design and delivery of effective presentations, in order to avoid “death by PowerPoint.” We will discuss the readings for this week: Section 5 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Problem Solving, Spatial Thinking, and the Use of Representations in Science and Engineering”), pp. 75-118.  

April 28: At this class meeting, we demonstrate various technologies that may be useful for the student projects. We will also discuss the readings for this week: Chase, et al., “Explaining across Contrasting Cases for Deep Understanding in Science: An Example using Interactive Simulations,” pp. 153-60; Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works, Chapter 5 (“What Kinds of Practice and Feedback Enhance Learning?”), pp. 121-152.

April 30: At this class meeting, students in the class will present on a book, article, course or educational technology. We will also discuss the readings for this week: Section 6 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Instructional Strategies”), pp. 119-139.

May 5: At this class meeting, we will give an overview of multimedia design principles and discuss the use of multimedia in your projects. We will also discuss the readings for this week: Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works, Chapters 6-7 (“Why Do Student Development and Course Climate Matter for Student Learning?” and “How Do Students Become Self-Directed Learners?”), pp. 153-216.

May 7: At this class meeting, we will present principles of learning assessment and how they can inform the practice of just-in-time teaching. We will hear a student presentation on a book, article, course or edtech example. We will discuss the readings for this week: Section 7 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Some Emerging Areas of Discipline-Based Education Research”), pp. 140-164.

May 12: At this class meeting, we will give an overview of the concepts of fixed and growth mindset and how they relate to student resilience and learning. We will hear a student presentation on a book, article, course or edtech example. We will discuss the readings for this week: Ambrose, et al., How Learning Works, Conclusion and Appendices (“Applying the Seven Principles to Ourselves,” “Student Self-Assessment,” “Concept Maps,” “Rubrics,” “Learning Objectives,” Grounds Rules,” “Exam Wrappers,” “Checklists,” and “Reader Response/Peer Review”), pp. 217-60; Section 8 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Translating Research into Teaching Practice: The Influence of Discipline-Based Education Research on Undergraduate Science and Engineering Instruction”), pp. 165-185.

May 14: At this class meeting, we will hear student presentations on book/articles/course or edtech examples. 

May 19: At this class meeting, we will hear student presentations on book/articles/course or edtech examples and discuss the readings for this week: Section 9 of the NRC Report on Discipline-Based Education Research (“Future Directions for Discipline-Based Education Research: Conclusions and Recommendations”), pp. 186-204.

May 21: At this class meeting, we will hear student presentations on book/articles/course or edtech examples and discuss the design projects.

May 26 No class: Memorial Day Holiday

May 28: Students present project learning modules

June 2: Students present project learning modules

June 4: Students present project learning modules. This will also be a time to reflect back on what we have learned together.