ISTC 541

Foundations of Instructional Technology

Fall 2011


T: 4:20PM – 6:50PM Hawkins Hall 209

Dr. Qing Li

office: Hawkins Hall 107 D email:


office hours: Monday, 4-5 pm, Wednesday, 2‐4 pm; or by appt.


Course Description

This introductory course provides an overview of the field of Instructional Technology. This course focuses on helping students to develop an awareness and understanding of the theories and philosophies driving the field. In addition, this course will explore common computer‐related technologies used within most learning environments.


Course Goals

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

• Discuss learning theories that guide the appropriate use of instructional technology (ALA/AASL 1.4, 2.2)

• Demonstrate skill in the appropriate use of technology for teaching and learning (ALA/AASL 2.1, 2.2)

• Assess and debate the issues surrounding effective use of instructional technology (ALA/AASL 1.4, 2.1, 2.2)

• Learn how to use a variety of technology and media resources

• Complete learning activities designed to meet the International Society Technology in Education National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS*T), Maryland Teacher Technology Standards, and the NCATE/AASL standards.



The following standards are incorporated into the course curriculum.

• Towson University Conceptual Framework

• Maryland Teacher Technology Standards

• International Society for Technology in Education, National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (ISTE‐NETS)

Š          Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) Advanced Standards.

• American Library Association/American Association of School Librarians Standards




Required Text

Articles to be distributed online via Blackboard


Suggested Textbooks

Newby, Stepich, Lehman, Russell & Ottenbreit (2010). Instructional Technology for Teaching and Learning. NJ: Prentice Hall.

Alessi, S. & Trollip, S. (2001). Multimedia for learning: Methods and development (2nd Ed.).

Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Reiser, R. & Dempsey, J.V. (2006). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology (2nd Ed.). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.


Technology resources

Each student will need the following:

          A flash drive

          A Towson email account.

Š                email accounts are available at no charge from the Office of Technology    


          Internet access through the TU computer labs or on your own.

          Access to computers with word processing capacity.


What you can expect from me

          To be respectful of others’ perspectives       To communicate to you in a timely manner           To be clear in my expectations       To facilitate discussion         To attempt to help you clarify your concepts related to instructional design        To create a supportive, tolerant community of learners           To care about your success in this class and as a student at this university

What I expect of you

          To carefully and thoughtfully prepare for class (e.g.‐ complete the reading and come with questions, comments, connections, or thoughts)

          To be respectful of others’ perspectives       To participate thoughtfully in class discussions                   To complete assignments in a timely manner      To communicate with me in a timely manner




Attendance is critical in this course, and you are expected to be present and arrive on time for every class. You are responsible for all content/instruction you miss, including turning in assignments at their scheduled times.


Class Discussion and Participation

A major portion of this class is based on weekly readings. All students are expected to carefully read the assigned readings for each week and be prepared to participate in both physical and online classroom discussions and activities as an active contributor the class learning community.


What does this mean? You are not allowed to say “I don’t know” in this class when asked a question. You are not required to know, but you are expected to think. So if I ask you a question and you don’t know the answer, you are responsible to think of an answer, to guess, to speculate, to wonder aloud.


              In addition to in‐class discussion and participation, we will be examining the instructional potential of various technologies by using them ourselves, throughout the semester:

          Blackboard, the TU course management system, will be used primarily as a place to store and retrieve electronic readings, as well as for occasional online discussions []

          each student will create their own blog to serve as a place to reflect on the weekly course readings []


Your participation is vital to this class. You are encouraged to share items that you think might add to and improve the quality of the class. This includes, bringing in or uploading to Blackboard relevant articles, web sites, new technologies, software, or anything you think might be appropriate.


Assignments and Grading


All assignments are due by the beginning of class, and will be submitted electronically through Blackboard. Unless specific circumstances have been discussed on a one to one basis at least 24 hours prior to the due date, late projects will not be accepted. Remember to back up copies of all of your work. See me immediately if you have questions about how to make and keep backups.

In addition to regular readings, there are a number of projects plus a final project assigned throughout the course of the semester. Each of the components and the corresponding points are outlined here, and discussed in specific detail toward the end of the syllabus. Rubrics and details will be available on Blackboard under Course Information.






Weekly readings


Ed Tech Trend Wiki


Instructional Design Online Project


Research Paper


Research Paper Peer Evaluation


Theory Treasure Hunt


AECT Standards/Digital Presentation


Final Project









The grading scale for this course is as follows:

A = 300 – 284 pts.          A‐ = 283 – 272 pts.        B+ = 271 – 266 pts. B= 265 – 242 pts.         C = 241 – 225 pts.        F = 224 pts. and below


Academic honesty

All students are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of honesty and integrity in every phase of their academic careers. Students are expected to maintain a high standard of academic integrity. Inappropriate classroom conduct, cheating, and plagiarism are unacceptable and are grounds for a failing grade in this course. Students are responsible for adhering to the Towson University academic integrity policies described in the Towson University Graduate Catalog.


Computing policies

Students are expected to adhere to the Towson University policies for responsible computing, which can be found online at the following locations: TU undergraduate catalog: and OTS University Guidelines for Responsible Computing:



If you have a documented learning disability, please contact me the first week of class to discuss accommodations in the class. The following is Towson University's policy on disabilities taken from

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. 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 services.


Tentative Schedule of Topics

**Full schedule, including weekly topics, assignments, and due dates, is available on Blackboard





Sept. 6

Introduction and course overview

Define Educational Technology



Sept 13

Š          Library research resources, Intro to APA

Š          Paradigms of Teaching, Learning, and Technology:  TPACK


Sept. 20

Š                Paradigms of Teaching, Learning, and Technology: Constructivism and Behaviorism

Š                TPACK student presentations


Š                TPACK project

Sept. 27

Š                Theories

Š                TPACK student presentations




Oct. 4

Š                Paradigms of Teaching, Learning, and Technology: Universal Design for Learning  


Š                Technology Exploration student presentations


Š                Theory Treasure Hunt

Oct. 11

Š                Web page design and development

Š                Web 2.0


Oct. 18

Š    Multimedia tools introduction and in‐class project work

Š    Peer review papers



Š                Draft paper for peer review (Due Oct. 15)

Oct. 25 (Online class)

AECT standards (Research)


Š    Final research paper

Nov. 1

Š                AECT Standards (Apply)



Nov. 8

Š    AECT standards presentation

Š    Introduction to Instructional Design and Educational Technology


Š    AECT standards project

Nov. 15 (Online class)

The instructional design process




Nov. 22 (Online class)

The instructional design process




Nov. 29

Factors influencing technology integration

ID online project

Dec. 6

Students presentation –final project


Dec. 13

Students presentation –final project

Final project

Dec. 16

Course Wrap Up









* rubrics available on Blackboard > Course Information

Blogging (35 pts)

For this course, you will create and maintain a personal blog that will serve as a place to reflect on the weekly course readings. By the end of the semester, you should be able to look back at your posts and get a sense for the issues and themes in our field that most interest you. In addition, blogging provides a platform for regular writing for a public audience beyond your professor and peers (a practice central to both Web 2.0 technologies, and the work of being an academic). To receive full credit for blogging, you are expected to complete all assigned blog posts, in a thoughtful manner that fully addresses the prompt.

A note: while the blog is an assigned component of the class that makes up a part of the overall grade, it is intended to be a less formal space for personal reflection on the course materials and your own relationship with technology. While the written assignments are closely graded for good writing (grammar, spelling, etc.), on the blog I encourage you to write freely! It is your space, and you’re free to use it above and beyond the assignments, to post about anything that strikes you as interesting (though preferably with at least a tangential relationship to the course).


Technology Exploratorium (15 points)


Over the course of the semester, each student will be asked to lead a 10‐minute presentation on a technology of their choosing. Your presentation should aim to familiarize us with the particular technology, its features, and capabilities, and provide examples of how the technology might be useful in a formal or informal instructional setting. You may wish to include a discussion of the technology within the context of relevant course topics and themes.

In addition to the presentation, you will post a brief (200 word max) summary of your presentation, your slides, and a link to the technology resource on the Technology Exploratorium wiki. This is due the day of your scheduled presentation.


Research paper peer evaluation (15 pts)

For this online activity, you will be paired up with a peer in our class. You are required to share your research paper with a peer as well as read and comment on the work your peer shared with you. You are expected to share concise and clearly stated comments and recommendations. Please make sure to keep your communications regarding the paper and the activity within the Blackboard discussion board so that I can have a record of your completion of this activity. You can choose to revise your research paper based on the feedback you received from your peer.


Research paper (50 pts)

The purpose of this research paper is to give you the opportunity to develop an understanding of ideas and theories driving educational technology and instructional design. This assignment asks that you research several terms that have many similarities as well as many differences. Within this assignment you are to define, compare, and contrast the terms educational technology, instructional technology, instructional design, and instructional development. You are asked to use scholarly resources found in peer‐reviewed journals or book chapters online and/or at the university library to support your definitions and conclusions. The paper should be written in a scholarly manner, using an academic voice.

This paper should include at least five references outside of the class textbook and follow referencing guidelines as described in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th edition). APA style is picky and precise, and I will be looking closely at your use of in text citations, your reference list, your formatting, and your tone, so pay close attention! This paper should be no more than seven pages in length (including title page and references page) and exhibit proper spelling and grammar.


Instructional design online project (40 pts)

The purpose of this activity is to build an understanding of the instructional design process, and to provide you with experience in online group collaboration. Through this activity your group will focus on one of the steps that make up the instructional design process and share your research and findings with the class as a whole. In addition to the online discussions, you will be expected to complete a learning journal that describes your experiences during the activity. Further details regarding this activity will be provided before the online sessions.


Web page project (30 pts)

For this project, you are asked to create your own webpage. The webpage should show an understanding of design techniques and digital graphics technologies as discussed in class. This homepage should consist of at least the following components:

1) an introduction page with brief introduction of yourself, and the purpose of this web page; 2) an information page that provides links to your projects as well as some useful educational links;

3) at least one digital graphic.

You are free to design the page in any way you like beyond these requirements, adhering to best practices for professional and accessible design.

You are expected to post this page onto the Towson server and submit the URL to me via email at


Digital storytelling (30 pts)

Digital storytelling incorporates audio, video, and still images as a form of multimedia writing – to tell a story. For this in‐class project, you will create a digital story on an instructional topic. Specific guide and tutorials regarding this project will be provided in class.


Final project (60 pts)

This final and cumulative project is designed to allow you to express your understanding and experience applying the theories, concepts, and technologies taught within this course. This project should show a strong understanding of all concepts covered throughout the semester, including but not limited to proficiency with computer technologies, design techniques, and theories of learning and teaching. The project contains three parts: a technology product, a written paper, and a brief presentation. You should feel free to take advantage of the time spent on this project to create something that would be appropriate for your teaching situation (if applicable). When designing this project, be creative and think outside the box, view this as your opportunity to experiment with the theories and technologies you have learned over the past semester.

(a) Technology Product

This project asks that you create a unit of instruction on the topic of your choice within which a technology, that you have “mastered”, is integrated to improve student learning (technology product). Within this project, the term “master” is defined as the display and implementation of advanced uses of the technology and its integration. Any technologies covered within this course would be appropriate for use with this project (i.e., spreadsheets, databases, web page design, multimedia design, desktop publishing, etc.).

(b) Written Paper

The instructional unit, which acts as the setting within which this technology is integrated, should be described with a focus on the design process. This written portion of the project should set the stage for how the technology is used. This paper should show an understanding and ability to implement the design process and include topics such as: audience, definition of the problem, goals and        objectives (SWBAT), learning and teaching styles, implementation, assessment, etc. As with all projects completed in this course, you are asked to use correct spelling and grammar, write in a scholarly manner, and use references where necessary to strengthen and support you ideas. All references should follow APA guidelines. This paper should be no longer than ten pages in length.

(c) Presentation

During the final days of class you will be asked to present your project to your peers for the purposes of sharing, feedback, and evaluation. This presentation should be no more than seven minutes and describe the design processes used and how the technology was integrated. This presentation should be viewed as an informal time for you to share your ideas and views on the design process and technology integration.