Introductory E-mail (ungraded)

Prepare and send an introductory e-mail message to your instructor. This message should include your name, address, e-mail address, phone number, and additional background information (it’s entirely up to you) so that your instructor may get to know you better.

PowerPoint Slide (2 points)

Prepare a single PowerPoint slide (with a file size of less than 500 KB) containing the following information: your name, your address, your e-mail address, your phone number, a picture of you at your workplace (in your office, classroom, outside the building where you work, etc.). If you prefer, you may substitute a picture of you in your work area at home.

Attach this slide to a Blackboard e-mail message and send it to your instructor. The subject line should include your name and a descriptive title, such as “introductory slide.”

Research Exercise (13 points)

Identify a specific graduate degree program in instructional technology, distance education, or both, that is offered entirely or primarily via distance education. Identify just one program at one university. Answer the following questions:

Part I: The institution and its programs (1 point each, unless otherwise indicated)

  1. List the name, mailing address, and website URL of the institution. [.5 point]

  2. What degrees and majors are offered in the identified program? For instance, NSU offers an Ed.D. in instructional technology and distance education. Florida State University offers an M.S. in instructional systems design. [.5 point]

  3. For how long has the institution been offering the identified program at a distance?

  4. What course delivery technologies are used? (Be specific: general terms such as “Web-based” are insufficient.)

  5. Is there a face-to-face component of instruction? If so, where is it conducted, and for what duration?

  6. How long does it take to earn a degree in the identified program? (Indicate either the briefest amount of time required or, preferably, the amount of time most students require.)

  7. Is the institution accredited? If so, by what organization? [.5 point]

  8. Is the institution public or private? If private, is it for-profit or not-for-profit? [.5 point]

  9. What is the total enrollment of the institution? How many students are enrolled in the identified distance-delivered program?

  10. What is the tuition (per course or per year)?

Be sure to cite your source for each answer.

Part II: The institution’s Web site (1 point each)

Critique the institution’s (or program’s) Web site, answering the following questions:

  1. How would you rate the visual appeal of the site? What elements are visually appealing, and which aspects are less so? Include screen shot(s) to illustrate.

  2. Is the site easily navigable and well-organized? Provide examples.

  3. Does the site contain sufficient information to answer questions 1-10? If not, provide details.

  4. What is the most positive aspect of the Web site?

  5. What aspect of the site is most in need of improvement?

Submit completed paper to the instructor via Blackboard e-mail. Please give the e-mail and attachment a descriptive title, such as your name plus “research exercise.”

Web Site (10 points)

Extending the process begun with the PowerPoint slide and handout, create a multiple-page site, including the following:

On the main page

  • your name

  • your title

  • a photograph of yourself (or, if you prefer, another appropriate graphic)

  • a link to the e-mail account you regularly check

  • a link to your employer’s Web site (if applicable)

  • other content of your choice and as appropriate

On a second page, linked from the first, place links to your completed assignments for EDD 7007. Of course, you don’t have much EDD 7007 work to post to this page, but you can create placeholders for the time being.

The resulting website will serve as a starting point; throughout your program, you will add content and links to other pages. Most of your ITDE courses will have an online component and will require you to post a portion of your work to the Web. An entire class session will be devoted to explaining this assignment and showing examples of websites created by previous students. The instructor will not demonstrate how to create a website, but will identify useful resources.

Submit” your assignment by sending your instructor a Blackboard e-mail containing your website’s URL.

Website Grading Guidelines

The Website will be graded according to the following criteria:

Content (4 points)

Are the contents of the website appropriate?

Are the required elements included?

Design (4 points)

Is the website attractive?

Are text and graphics legible?

Functionality (2 points)

Do all hyperlinks function appropriately?

Lesson Plan (10 points)

As the first step in designing the final course project (see below), the student will create a brief lesson plan that will include the following elements:

  1. an overview of the lesson, including its topic and goal

  2. a description of the audience for which the lesson is intended

  3. one or two learning objectives, stated in behavioral terms

  4. a list/description of the media and technologies (note: PowerPoint is not an appropriate technology for the this lesson) you propose to include in the lesson and your rationale for selecting them

  5. a list of activities (that is, what the student will “do” to complete the lesson) that includes a minute-by-minute timeline

  6. an assessment plan (that is, how will you “test” the student to ensure he or she understands the content of the lesson) that relates to your objective(s)

  7. an evaluation plan (that is, how you will allow the student to provide feedback to you about the lesson).

Before submitting the lesson plan to the instructor for grading, share it with at least one classmate for feedback. Include that student’s comments—and indication of any changes you made as a result—with your completed document.

Note that this is a plan/outline for your final project in this course, the web-based lesson about distance education. The primary purpose of the plan is to ensure that you give adequate thought to the design of your lesson before moving to the development stage. The secondary purpose of the plan is to ensure that you do so early enough in the term so that you have time to do a good job on the lesson. The tertiary purpose is to provide an opportunity for the instructor to provide oversight and feedback. An entire class session will be devoted to explaining this assignment and identifying useful resources.

Submit completed lesson plan to the instructor via Blackboard e-mail. Please give the document a descriptive title, such as your name plus “lesson plan.”

Grading guidelines for the lesson plan

1. The paper is clearly written, with proper spelling and grammar

2. Each element identified in the assignment is present, sufficiently detailed, and appropriate

3. Assuming that the above conditions are met, one point will be assigned for lesson plan elements 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. Two points will be assigned for elements 4 and 5. One point will be assigned for classmate’s feedback and discussion of changes made (if any).

Web-based Lesson about Distance Education (20 points)

Based on the lesson plan (above), prepare a brief (10-15 minutes) single-concept web-based lesson about an aspect of distance education.

Remember, this is a very brief lesson (not merely an activity) designed to teach about some aspect of distance education (such as Otto Peters or virtual high schools, but not biology or algebra, etc.). The lesson must be web-based: that is, its content must be on the Web, primarily on a website you create. An entire class session will be devoted to explaining this assignment and showing examples of lessons created by previous students.

Grading guidelines for Web-based lesson

The Media (10 points)

Quality of the materials, appropriateness of the media to the topic, functionality


The Content of the Lesson (10 points)

Inclusion of all required elements, overall “feel” of the lesson, appropriateness of the topic to the grade/audience level, importance of the topic, appropriateness of references cited, creativity

Submit” your final project by sending your instructor a Blackboard e-mail containing your lesson’s website URL.

Peer Review of Final Project (5 points)

Final projects are shared with subcluster members, who “take” your lesson—including completing the assessment and evaluation—and complete a final project peer review form and return it to you. Compile the forms into one document, indicate changes you will make to your lesson based on the peer feedback, and send the document to the instructor via Blackboard e-mail. Please give the document a descriptive title, such as your name plus “peer reviews.”

Online Discussions (30 points)

Active, thoughtful participation in online discussions is an important element of the course.

Criteria for online threaded discussions

There is the overarching expectation that postings are substantive, presenting new ideas. And:

  1. At least two postings each week: one responds directly to the week’s question or topic, and subsequent postings respond to postings of at least one other student.

  2. Postings build on the postings of others.

  3. Postings present your own ideas and examples of application, such as in your (or others’) workplace.

  4. Postings are supported by readings, properly cited.

  5. Postings are clearly written, with proper spelling and grammar.

Grading guidelines for online threaded discussions

With these criteria in mind, weekly discussion scores will be assigned as: 3 points (good)—fully meet criteria; 2 points (fair)—meet most of the criteria; 1 point (poor)—meet few of the criteria; 0 points (travesty)—meet none of the criteria or are very wide of the mark.

Discussion Moderation (3 points)

Each subcluster will identify one weekly discussion for which they will prepare discussion questions and which they will moderate. Details will be provided in class.

Class Sessions (7 points)

Active, thoughtful participation in online class sessions is an important element of the course. One half point will be earned for participation (synchronously or asynchronously) in each online class session. To earn credit for participating in recorded class sessions, watch the recording and, within one week of its “air date,” submit to the instructor an e-mail message in which you briefly reflect on the content of the presentation and include any questions you may have about that content.

Every assignment must include the FSEHS cover sheet/title page. Go to for directions and exceptions to the APA format.

Complete and submit the Presubmission Checklist with each assignment. That form can be downloaded at: or

EDD 7007