Technology for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
CEP 952, Spring 2003
Professor Patrick Dickson
Wednesdays, 12:40-3:30

See Also:
Weekly Schedule for latest on assignments and schedule.

  Portfolios: Spring 2003.                                                                                                     See also:  Portfolios: Spring 2002.
  Blackboard for this Course

Top Ten Scholars Project.

Food for Thought.   A running list of websites referenced in the class.

Food for Body: Favorite Recipes Project.

CEP 952: Spring 2002. Last year's syllabus: Provides some ideas for what this year's class might do.
CEP 901B: Spring 2002.  Proseminar created links to steps in doctoral study, such as preliminary exams, dissertation, etc.

The course, CEP 952, Technology for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, will emphasize uses of technology in higher education and has been designed to help graduate students develop expertise that will advance their own professional development and career possibilities.  The premise is that people aspiring to become higher education faculty should add to their expertise some understanding of what research and theory can tell us about technology and learning, as well as add to their expertise in actually using technology themselves in support of their own teaching and learning as the most deeply grounded context for engaging with the research and theory.

The course is open to graduate students and faculty in all departments and is not limited to students with extensive background knowledge in technology. Enrollment by doctoral students from all disciplines who wish to developtheir own understanding of how they can use technology to enhance theirteaching and research are welcome. (Graduate student-faculty teams are welcome: see below*.)

 Faculty Positions and College Teaching. All doctoral students who aspire to be competitive for faculty postitions would be wise to begin exploring ways in which they could use the World Wide Web and other technologies in their teaching. More and more position announcements are explicitly mentioning "evidence of use of technology in teaching" as a desired qualification. In addition, as much of the cutting-edge scholarly discourse, publication,and communication is moving to the Web, graduate students should be encouraged to explore these new media through the lens of how they can benefit them. Recognizing the importance of preparing our graduate students to teach,MSU has created a certificate program:

   MSU Certificate in College Teaching. The Graduate School at MSU has created a certificate program for doctoral students who wish to showcase on their curriculum vitae accomplishments in preparation to teach: .  The certificate program has been implemented in the College of Natural Science, College of Engineering (contactTony Wojcik),Communication Arts and Sciences  (contact Chuck Salmon), the College of Human Ecology, and the Department of English (contact Pat O'Donnell). I am gathering information  about these programs at:

   MSU Explorations in Instructional Technology series . An example of how universities are trying to support faculty and graduate students in learning to teach better is this series:  You might wish to attend some of the sessions listed.

National Science Foundation: Preparing Future Faculty.  The importance of preparing future faculty became clearer to me several years ago when I was working on a NSF planning grant, a major focus of which has been the urgent needto prepare future faculty to integrate technology into their teaching andlearning. (Resources collected by Meg Ropp and Nicole Ellefson on thisproject may be examined at   National programs to prepare future faculty are also beginning to emphasizethe role of technology in teaching and learning ( ).

National Academy of Science.

One key text will be How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience and School, edited by Bransford, Brown and Cocking. This report, released in spring of 1999 by the National Academy of Science, reviews recent advances in our understanding of human learning. The text is online at:

Another text, also online, is a second report from NAS, which elaborates on the connection between research and practice. How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice, M. Suzanne Donovan, John D. Bransford, and James W. Pellegrino, Editors; Committee on Learning Research and Education. texts, having the status of the National Academy of Science behindthem, can serve as valuable references and citations in support of grantproposals, for example.

Your Project and Your Portfolio. Students in the course willwork on a major project of their choosing. Students will develop or elaborate their website to include a curriculum vitae linked to webpages in supportof their teaching and research.  This electronic portfolio will help prepare you for your career goals, including but not limited to the possibility of seeking a faculty position. For students pursuing the certificate mentioned above, work in the course will contribute to creating the required portfolio.

Past Participants. This course has evolved rapidly over the past two or three years as I taught it under the course number CEP 909.  Some of the portfolios created by students in the course during the past two years can be seen at:

We learned a lot fromeach other. One student used the course to support his mentored teaching in microbiology, and used this experience when he successfully interviewed for a faculty position during the semester. Another graduate student, used the course to help think through his career goals, and at the end of the semester left the university for a research position in California. Another student, who is an MSU employee working with faculty doing distance education, used the course to deepen her understanding of what is known about technology and teaching and learning, and so on.

    *Collaboration with Faculty Encouraged. As a part of the larger effort to support faculty at MSU in learning to use technology, graduate students in the course will also be encouragedto consider working collaboratively with a faculty member on integratingtechnology in teaching. I would call your attention to an innovative coursein the College of Education in which graduate students work with faculty to jointly explore the integration of technology into college teaching.(

Research Literature. The content of the course will be shaped by the interests of students enrolled in the course, to a certain degree. Readings in the course will, however, include attention to the best research and writing about cognition and technology with specific reference to information technology being used in three settings:
    K-12 Schools, Higher Education, and Teacher Education (which is at the intersection of the first two).
Students in the course will focus their readings on one of these threedomains. A goal of the reading will be to, among other things, help prepare students to pass their comprehensive examinations.

Research Methods and Projects. Believing that systematic research and evaluation of learning in the new multimedia environments is urgently needed, a portion of the course will be devoted to research methods appropriate for studying learning from Web-based environments.
    See the work of Jakob Nielsen on Usability Testing of WWW Designs, for example.  Jakob Nielsen's Website

Jacob Nielsen's "Alert Box" columns at Sun. (You need to search on these keywords.)

Usability Engineering by Jakob Nielsen.  Book., Sun's Usability Lab

Web-Focused. Major attention in the course will be on the Web as source of readings, interaction, and writing. Students in the classwill learn to harness the power of the Web in support of their work, including attention to developing a personal information strategy for dealing withthe vastness and changing forms of the Web.

Designing Learning Environments. The research literature on cognition and technology calls attention to the importance of the context or learning environment. If we are to change education, we need to consider how "classrooms"of the future need to change. Universities and K-12 schools are beginning to create new designs and architecture for the information age.  Thus,part of the work of the class will be to read about designing new spaces for learning. (See, for example, ,the organization of designers and architects creating new buildings foruniversities. Research on learning and advances in technology call for new environments such as: ).The class will meet in room 250, Erickson Hall, which is being developed as an experimental teaching room, which needs a name such as the "Brainstorm Center". The room is equipped with Ethernet connections for the laptops, two projectors, and surround sound. We compare and contrast computer classrooms and other spaces on the MSU campus and at new schools such as Rockford(MI) High School.

Web Design.  All students in the course will create an electronic portfolio on the Web containing work done in the class.  We will discuss critical issues for scholars in optimizing the cost-benefit equation in using technology in teaching.  Although the course is not devoted to principles of web design, every student will be expected to learn about web design as they create their electronic portfolio.

The key text for web design is:
    Designing Web Usability by Jacob Nielsen.  New Riders Publishing, 2000.

Electronic Portfolio.  Each student in the class will be supported in developing a web-based portfolio. The goal is to help students enhance their teaching and research, as well as advance their career interests by using the power of the Web as a medium for self-expression.

Rosewood Avenue Seminar Series. I enjoy cooking, good food, and conversation and have installed Ethernet throughout my house so we can discuss cognition and technology over dinner on occasion during the semester, with participation voluntary and recipes found on the Web obligatory.

Tailored to Student Interests. The first class meetings willbe devoted to defining the course in accordance with student expertise, interests, and perceived needs.

Personal note: I have personal interests in integrating technology intoK-16 classrooms,
    cross-cultural perspectives on technology and education,
    experiential learning in museums (
    gardens in education (,and
    sign language (,and
would be delighted to work with students with similar interests.

Grading.  From an idealistic perspective, I would prefer this course to be either ungraded or Pass/Fail.  In general, we should study for the reward of learning, not grades, and in particular, I have never in all my years in higher education seen a search committee for a faculty position consider grades or even look at the transcript of applicants.  What matters is the quality of your curriculum vitae, especially evidence of scholarly writing, conference presentations, high quality research including the dissertation, and, increasingly, evidence of high quality teaching.

From a realistic perspective, however, we are all human and incentives help set priorities.

    Your grade will be based on:

        50%    an overall assessment of the quality of your electronic portfolio.
                    which includes the web design features and
                    the papers and other evidence of work accomplished on the web site
        20%    class participation, contributions to the class via web postings, email,etc.
        20%    essays and reflection papers
        10%    attendance


01.08   Week 1:  Introduction to the Course:

01.15    Week 2: Planning allocation of time in this course.

        Chat Assignment

What follows is the weekly schedule for spring 2002 class.

01.09    Week 1:  Introduction to the Course

                Introduce yourselves: Who are you and why are you here?
                   Are you a TA now or in future? Blackboard.
            Auditing your resources:
               Your web design skills?  Planning some working sessions.
              Your tools and workspace? : computer survey, laptops, etc.
            Analyzing your context: Taking a digital photo of your working space(s).
                    See Tony Clay's "Reading Room" as an example.
            Analyzing your "Personal Information Strategy":
            Sources of Information on Technology in Education
           Chronicle of Higher Education (Higher Education: Information Technology section)
           Education Week  (K-12 Education)
           New York Times:  "Circuits" section on Thursday
            Current Events: Dean Ames' Email on Copying in College of Education

01.16    Week 2:  Portfolios, Change in Higher Education

          Discuss assigned reading:
              Read  executive summary, chapter 6, 9, and Conclusion. Skim rest of report.
            Chronicle of Higher Education:  sign up for job postings.
                Articles: the "Pit" for history PhDs; etc.

           Portfolio concept.
           Portfolio Page for this Class

01.23   Week 3: Online Learning in Higher Education: A Changing World

            Assigned Readings: Proquest as Resource
            Read Arthur Levine, Teachers College: The Future of Colleges: Nine Inevitable Changes
                Sixty Minutes Video: Arthur Levine and others

    Clarifying Job Objectives:
    Assignment: Job Search

    Assignment for Weekend Chat:
    Reading for Chat: Paulson, Karen (2002). Reconfiguing faculty roles for virtual settings. Journal of Higher Education.
    During  the weekend, participate in one one-hour chat. Discuss Paulson reading online.

01.30    Week 4:

        Discuss: Chat Experience (see links from classnotes).
        Discuss: Paulson article
        Discuss: Job Search assignment

         Assignment for next week:
                Draft "proposal for your course" and
                "Required Readings" for your course (real or planned).

        Read for next week:
        Portfolios in the Big Ten: A Recent Study

        Read for next week:
            APA's Learner-Centered Principles.

02.06    Week 5:

        Discuss: Portfolio study
        Discuss: APA's Learner-Centered Principles.
        Videotape: Dean Ames' presentation to Fall Faculty Meeting, September 2000.

02.13    see classnotes

02.20    see classnotes

02.27    see classnotes

03.06   MSU's spring break.  MACUL Conference in Grand Rapids.
    work on  your portfolios including your courses.

03.14    see classnotes

03.21    see classnotes

03.28    see classnotes

04.03   AERA meets in New Orleans: No regular class meeting. May meet on Web.

04.08    Monday: Optional: Join CEP 901B at Michigan Virtual University at 1:00 to hear Dr. Spencer.
04.10    see classnotes

04.17    Presentations of Portfolios

04.24    Presentations of Portfolios

05.01    MSU's official exam week.