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Course Overview

The Proseminar in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology is designed to introduce you to the scholarly disciplines of educational psychology and educational technology and support you in the process of becoming a researcher and scholar. Many doctoral programs have courses called proseminars that introduce students to academic and professional fields.

In the EPET doctoral program (and in most other doctoral programs in MSU’s College of Education) the Proseminar serves as a required starting point for doctoral study. You will explore the relationship between educational psychology and technology, and between learning and digital media, with an eye towards developing your knowledge of the field, including its historical context, interdisciplinary conversations, and current topics. Thus, you will begin to situate your interests within the larger field and continue to develop your skills as a researcher.

Course Requirements

  • Class Attendance. Students should attend every synchronous class session, except in cases of illness and/or extenuating circumstances.
  • Participation. This is a graduate seminar emphasizing critical discussion of course concepts and readings. Students will work in groups and take turns leading class discussion.
  • Readings. Readings will be made available in class and distributed via the course website.

Course Expectations

  • Academic Dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes obvious offenses, such as copying another student’s work, and less obvious offenses, such as unauthorized collaboration on a paper or copying sections of an article for an essay. Note: it is still plagiarism to change a few words in a sentence that you have otherwise copied from another source. It is assumed that all students understand the consequences of academic dishonesty at MSU.
  • Incompletes. A grade of incomplete will be given only if (1) all completed work is satisfactory (i.e., averages 3.0 or better) and (2) there is a valid reason that you cannot complete the course. Students should contact me as soon as possible if interested in an incomplete.
  • Students with Disabilities. If you are a student with a documented physical or learning disability, please contact one of the instructors by the first week of class so that we can make arrangements for any necessary accommodations.

Weekly Course Assignments

  • Participation (5%) – Active, relevant, and regular participation in class activities is the most important requirement of this class.
  • Twitter Participation (5%)
  • Discussion Questions (15%) – Each asynchronous online week you will be asked to respond to questions about the readings. Each discussion question is worth 20 points.
  • Discussion Summaries (10%) – The purpose of the discussion summary assignment is to synthesize new insights, highlight different perspectives, and note unanswered questions that arose in the discussion questions. Working with your base group, two times during the semester you will write (a) summaries of the reading discussion as of Monday morning of the week after the initial response was due, (b) provide a brief (< 5 min) report on your summary during our FTF class session, and (c) write 3 follow-up questions for the FTF/synchronous class session. Discussion summaries should be 250-500 words.

Research Proposal Assignments

  • Research Reports (n = 4, 5%) – The purpose of the research report is to practice and improve your written and oral summaries of empirical research (i.e., an article reporting the gathering of data and drawing of inferences from those data). During the semester you must report on at least one quantitative and one qualitative study.
  • Article Critique (n = 2, 30%) – The purpose of the article critique assignment is to practice and improve your written critical review of empirical research. In 5- to 7-pages you should consider the study’s scientific merit, design, interpretation, and significance.
  • Research Spreadsheet (5%) – The purpose of the research spreadsheet is to practice creating a systematic record of empirical research. Using Google Spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel (or equivalent spreadsheet), you should record those aspects of the study that are most relevant to the particular body of work.
  • Research Proposal (30%) – A 10- to 12-page research proposal is required on some aspect of educational technology. Your proposal should draw on both theory and empirical findings and should identify an important gap and/or promising new directions in knowledge.
  • Course Grades – Course grades are based on the total number of points you earn:
4.0 = 94-100 2.5 = 78-82 1.0 = 63-67
3.5 = 89-93 2.0 = 73-77 0.5 = 58-62
3.0 = 83-88 1.5 = 68-72 0.0 = >58

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