ETEC 524: Learning Technologies: Selection, Design and Application

Description

ETEC 524 is an online seminar that provides several theoretical frameworks to assist you in evaluating, selecting and using various learning technologies. In it, you will gain hands-on experience using a range of learning technologies and platforms, for:

  • content presentation, creation and sharing;
  • collaboration, interaction and communication;
  • formative and summative assessment

You will complete a number of assignments using different learning technologies as part of building a unit of learning. A significant component of this work is reflective in nature.

ETEC 524 has been designed according to a number of principles. First, we believe that knowledge is often best acquired through constructivist pedagogy: learning that is situated, relevant and engaging. Second, we believe that in the realm of educational technology it is education – and its aims – that takes precedence: learning technologies, therefore, support teaching and learning. Third, each of you is better qualified to determine how this course can best meet your needs, so we have tried to build a course that is substantive, comprehensive and flexible. Fourth, when learning is fun it is often more effective: perhaps think of the course as a structured sandbox in which to explore.

Finally, one of the greatest barriers to mastering educational technologies is a lack of hands-on experience – and fear of “messing things up” whilst exploring. We will provide you with plenty of opportunities to work through this. You will also be gently prodded through any trepidation or uncertainty!

Theory and Practice

As you are learning about different technology integration strategies, you will have the opportunity to work in various learning environments. In ETEC 524 you will constantly be switching between different learning spaces, primarily Canvas, where you will have course content, your discussions and where you will submit your assignments, and your selected platform or any learning environment of your choice, where you will design your unit of learning. In addition, you will keep building your ePortfolio (Canvas tool), where you will post your reflections on the assignments related to your learning design and technology choices you make. These pieces are complementary and equally important. You have to demonstrate how you make connections between theory and practice.

Learning Objectives

After completing ETEC 524, you will be able to:

  • Ensure ongoing alignment between your professional growth, interests and established standards of practice in your field;
  • Explore and choose appropriate learning technologies / platforms for specific contexts, informed by theoretical models of technology integration;
  • Implement appropriate learning technologies for assessment, collaboration, communication, content creation, sharing and delivery, informed by theoretical models of technology integration.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in and confidently speak about established and emerging learning technologies, including opportunities and considerations for each.

Activities

ETEC 524 is a complex mix of connected learning technologies. We have purposely created a set of spaces to give you opportunities to experiment with a number of different platforms and tools.

During the course you will participate in at least one learning activity for each one-week long unit. You will also participate in small-group activities designed to broaden your understanding of various technologies and their effective use in education, as well as to afford opportunities for peer feedback.

During your weekly work you will:

  • Read the required and optional readings, in order to gain background from a variety of critical sources. There are more optional readings identified in some modules than you could easily read, so follow your interests and manage your time carefully so as to avoid being overwhelmed by information.
  • Reflect about how you think about particular topics or issues. This is a valuable way to assemble and focus your thoughts about an issue or concept that is new or challenges your existing ideas. Your ePortfolio is a perfect space for your thoughts. We recommend to save all your submitted assignments in your ePortfolio. You will, however, have to reflect on Assignment 1 and 2.
  • Discuss different topics with your peers and instructor. This will provide an important social context for your learning. Often reflecting upon the assigned and optional readings, including how the ideas presented relate to your situation, will be helpful to you in making your postings.

The successful completion of the course requires you to demonstrate educational development process, educational technology competence, and critical thinking skills. Your performance in the course will be based on the completion of a modular work with multiple components. Each component constitutes an important aspect of learning technology selection, design and application. You will be building your unit of learning in LMS (or any learning environment of your choice), and you will reflect on the assignments in your ePortfolio. Each activity, conversation or reading will help you with completing your assignments.

Readings & Resources

All readings are accessible via the UBC Library Course Reserve, or provided within the Canvas course site itself.

Examples

Assignments & Assessment

  • Assignment 1: Learning environment evaluation rubric (20%)

You will do a lot of work in groups, but this is the only group assignment. Your task will be to design an evaluation rubric for technology selection (platform, tool or a learning environment) based on the given scenario.

  • Assignment 2: Designing a unit of learning (2 Parts, total 50%)

Designing a course, especially if it lasts for a term or longer, is impossible to do in a few months. Therefore, we will focus on specific elements only. Since not everyone works in the same context, instead of using the term “course” which may not be applicable to all, we will use the term “unit of learning.” This is your hands-on experience where you will have to make decisions on the tools you would like to use and provide evidence of how your vision can become a reality. You will have to justify your decisions throughout the course.

  • Assignment 3: Final assignment (15%)

This assignment will provide you with an opportunity to look back or look forward, as you have two options to complete it: to reflect on your overall experience in this course, or to propose a technology that you would like to use in the future.

  • Participation (15%)

You are expected to persistently and substantively participate in the discussion forums on the course site. These forums will provide you with an opportunity to share your knowledge, seek feedback on your ideas, and support your colleagues. From our experience it is in the discussion space of an online course that learning communities are built.


Minor course topic, activity, reading/resource and assignment details may change from year to year.