Assignment 1 — Exploring IT Resources (20%)

Part A due: Sunday of Week 4

Part B due: as assigned

This assignment will be completed in two parts. In Part A, you will evaluate several content-style web sites. In Part B, you will select a week of the course for which you will post a report on a content collection/distribution site. Please email the instructor with your proposed site and the week you would like to present.

Part A: Annotated Resource List – Individual

On your blog, list and evaluate the academic appropriateness of some web-based resources. If you can’t fit this easily into a post, please create an MS Word or PDF document. Select a subject area and find at least 6 (and no more than 10 for now) web-based resources. List these resources, providing links to the relevant sites. Evaluate these resources for:

  • Grade-level match
  • Currency
  • Coverage
  • Accuracy
  • Objectivity

Alternatively, use the criteria you developed for the activity in Week 4. Be sure to note the criteria you used on the page.

Create a table on your post or document to display your evaluations of each resource for each criteria item.

Prepare a short report (no more than 500 words) that describes the nature of the resources you found and their suitability for supporting a lesson, unit, or entire course in your subject area. You can post this report on your blog. Submit the URL of this report to Assignment 1A in the Moodle site.

Once you have completed this assignment, participate in the related activity by reading other pages created by your classmates and commenting on their findings.

Part B: Student Media Tools – Group

This portion of the assignment will be done as part of a group of 2 or 3 students. The instructor will post a link to a poll tool for joining a group.

You will present your assessment of a student media tool to the others in this course and then lead an online discussion of this resource. This is a tool that allows the creation or distribution of student created content and that also enables classmates to comment on that content. Possible examples would include YouTube, Scribd, PBworks or Flickr. Please check with the instructor to see if your choice has already been done.

The first thing you need to do is determine which week of the course you want to present in and what tool you wish to evaluate.

Important: Email your choice of tool and presentation week to the instructor by the end of Week 2.

Add an entry on the wiki page and a post on your blog about your chosen tool. Indicate the type of media this site hosts and evaluate this resource for:

  • Ease of use
  • Confidentiality of content/discussion
    Can your content be shared only with other students? If there is a discussion feature attached to the service can you limit access and/or hide it from the public?
  • Transferability/scrubbability
    If you put your content up on the web with this service can you take it down in a format that lets you use it elsewhere? Can you delete your content from this service?
  • Appropriateness for academic use
    What uses to support learning have you considered for this tool or service? What age levels and/or subjects could it be used with?

Once you have completed this assignment in your selected week, lead the related discussion via comments on your blog post by asking questions, encouraging critical discourse and participating in the class discussion of your media tool. Submit the URL of this report to Assignment 1B in the Moodle site.

Assignment 1 – Part B: Evaluation Criteria Grid

Criteria Met Not Yet
Web Service Evaluation

Three or four of the criteria are effectively evaluated.

Only two or fewer of the criteria effectively evaluated.

Report effectively explains the nature and educational opportunities of the web-service.

Report effectively describes the educational opportunities for the web-servce, including at least one example for each unique opportunity.

Report is unclear on how the web-service would be used in education, no examples are given.

Facilitates discussion

Puts up assignment on time, poses lead-off question(s) to promote discussion, participates in discussion without inhibiting participation by others.

Any of: fails to post assignment on time without notifiying classmates, fails to initiate discussion or participates in discussion in a way that discourages or minimizes participation by others.

Assignment 2 — Ethical and Safety Issues (10%)

Complete either Part A or Part B

due: Sunday of Week 7

Part A: Web 2.0 Tool Safety Plan

Create a safety plan for Internet-based learning that you plan to introduce either in the K-12 or post-secondary sector. Regardless of which option you choose, submit the URL of your finished safety plan or plagiarism lesson to Assignment 2 on the Moodle site.

(1). K-12 Safety Plan
You are planning to introduce a unit that will allow students to create content, exhibit it on the web, and then discuss this content with their classmates. You have decided that the only way to confidently enter into this medium is to generate a safety plan. Create a plan that evaluates potential risks and describes actions for mitigation. Include a written document that you would send to parents, a note you might provide to administration, and a written handout or point-form talking notes for your students that address this safety plan.

(2). Post-Secondary Safety Plan
You are preparing to teach online a course that you have taught on campus several times. The course includes significant seminar portions where the discussions in the past have always been vigorous and heartfelt. In the past you have needed to step in to provide a safe discussion environment where all felt able to contribute. Create a plan that outlines how you will create and maintain a safe online environment for your class.

Part B: Plagiarism

Create and publish a plan for a lesson to educate students about the rules and consequences of plagiarism, with a focus on the use of online resources. Publish this lesson on your blog. Take care to ensure your lesson is about plagiarism and not copyright.

Assignment 3 — Web-based Activity (30%)

Due: Sunday of Week 10

Develop and construct a web-based activity and present it on a single web page. It could be a lesson for a topic in IT specifically, or, if you prefer, for a non-technical topic. Either way, your activity needs to include:

  • a single learning outcome or objective
  • a statement of what the student is going to do
  • clear instructions for the student to complete the activity
  • links to the resources needed to complete the activity

The activity could be individual to team-based. The webpage can be created by hand-coding HTML, using an HTML editor, using an online “startpage” service, or using your blog or a wiki. You can go to a new service to do this or put it on your own blog site.

Everything the student needs to complete the activity should be on the web page so that it could be part of an online course or used in a blended course. Submit the URL to Assignment 3 in the Moodle site.

Criteria Met Not Yet
Activity includes:
• objective/outcome
• statement of student goal
• student instructions
• links to resources
Activity components are complete and comprehensible by other teachers Some activity components are missing or are not clearly communicated
Web Page design presents information well Components of the activity are easy to use and logically presented Web page design makes finding information difficult

Online Discussions (5%)

There is only a small percentage allocated to participation in online discussions in this course. Everyone is encouraged to engage in the opportunities provided to explore these topics with the course members.

Online Discussion: Evaluation Criteria Grid

Criteria Met Not Yet
Listens to Others(self-evaluation only)

Reads the posts of other students with an ear for the point-of-view of the speaker.

Does not always read the posts of other students or considers them only in relation to his or her own argument.

Makes a Contribution to the Discussion that is Informed by the Readings

Provides thorough commentary, based in a sufficient command of course material, that is either original or builds upon the commentary of others.

Posts agree with other students or repeat information already posted.

Communicates Respectfully

Posts using an appropriate tone and language, within the assigned topic and timeframe, and in such a way that does not pre-empt or intimidate others.

Uses language and tone that could be interpreted as aggressive or otherwise inappropriate and/or implicitly or tacitly discourages others from contributing.

Final Project – Create a Unit of Online Learning (35%)

Due: Sunday of Week 13

Make up a unit plan for your subject area that includes a minimum of four lessons to be delivered online or in a blended environment (classroom-based but with significant learning done by using your website). Your project is to create the website that delivers this unit to your students along with a unit plan that guides instructors in teaching your unit.

Your unit plan should take each lesson and identify the learning outcomes, instructional strategies, and activities to be used. Identify the necessary resources and materials, while integrating IT tools and showing how technology will be applied.

The technology used in the lessons can include web-related activities; web-based resources; web-based applications; and client-based applications, such as word processing and/or presentation software, such as PowerPoint. Give the title, location (URL), and a brief description of the different websites, databases, and so on that you use for each lesson. The unit must also have a final assessment with clearly outlined assessment criteria and must be published on the Internet.

To communicate your lesson plan and deliver your unit to your students create the required web pages on a web-hosting service (you can use the same one you used for Assignment 3 if you wish). The pages that deliver the unit material/activities and assessment must be designed and presented for the student – it should be ready for students to access, navigate and complete the unit. A ‘simple’ solution is to have one home page that links to a ‘lesson/unit plan page’ as well as to four pages to support each ‘lesson’ or stage of the online unit. Please note below that more emphasis is given to student usability for this Final Project. Submit the URL to Final Project on the Moodle site.

Criteria Met Not Yet
Unit Plan includes:
• objective/outcome
• audience
• content & activities by stage
• assessment
• links to resources
(10 points)
Unit plan components are complete and comprehensible by other teachers Some unit plan components are missing or are not clearly communicated
Web Site design successfully presents content and features navigation that supports student learning
(20 points)
Components of the unit website are easy to use and logically presented Unit website design makes finding/using content difficult
Web Site hosted on a suitable service
(5 points)
Site host provides ability to support styling, navigation and design Site host impairs the ability to create an effective web page