Syllabus 652 - Computer Supported Collaborative Learning

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Microprocessor with leads
ProfessorDr. Norman Herr.
phone: 818 677-2505
offices:  ED 2138;  W.M. Keck Science Education Lab ED2105
office hours:  Tuesdays, 1-4 (please email first)

Time: Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00 PM

Course DescriptionComputer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) is a pedagogical approach in which learning is characterized by the sharing and construction of knowledge among participants using technology as their primary means of communication or as a common resource. CSCL can be implemented in online and classroom learning environments and can take place synchronously or asynchronously. This course focuses on the design, development and use of computer-based curricular resources for the teaching of secondary school subjects in a collaborative online environment. Topics include computer supported collaborative learning, continuous formative assessment, collaborative resource development, interactive simulated experiments, curricular apps, online instruction, computer-assisted instruction, geospatial information analysis, online data collection and analysis, curricular games, curriculum-based spreadsheets and databases, and more. This course includes a review and analysis of research on the use of technology in science education. A required course for the Master of Arts degree in Educational Technology. Enrollment restricted to students in the Master of Arts in Educational Technology program or with instructor permission.

Course Outline 

  • Website development
    • Masters Program Website - Continuing development of a website to house all resources developed during the masters program. 
    • CSCL Website - Continuing development of a website to house all computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) investigations and activities developed by teachers and their colleagues.
    • Classroom / Teaching Website - Continuing development of a website for use in teachers' secondary school classrooms. This website is linked to the CSCL website and provides an opportunity to present curricular resources and to deliver and collect assignments, projects and student work
  • Developing Online Techniques to Build Student Reasoning Skills and Habits of Mind
    • Reasoning abstractly and quantitatively
    • Constructing viable arguments
    • Attending to precision
    • Using evidential reasoning
    • Understanding perspectives
    • Asking questions and defining problems 
    • Developing and using models
    • Planning and carrying out investigations
    • Analyzing and interpreting data
    • Using mathematics and computational thinking
    • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
    • Engaging in argument from evidence
    • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • Data Analysis & Interpretation
    • Spreadsheets, Graphing, Data Analysis -  Collaborative cloud-based spreadsheets provide an opportunity to collect, analyze, and present data from entire classes. Teachers will develop CSCL activities that incorporate collaborative forms and spreadsheets to collect and instantly analyze experimental data through instant graphs and plots. 
  • Digital Photography
    • Digital Photography & Editing- Digital photography, in its various forms, provides excellent opportunities to observe, analyze, and record natural and man-made phenomena and to record information that will be useful in the teaching of social studies, English, science, mathematics or other courses typically taught in secondary schools.  Teachers learn how to use digital photography to record such phenomena (digital microscopy, digital telescopes, slow motion analysis, time-lapse analysis, stop-motion, frame-by frame analysis) 
    • Instructional Video - Teachers collaborate in the development of instructional videos to teach and assess learning of various scientific and engineering principles.  
  • Collaborative Resource Development
    • Collaborative Presentations, Organizers -  Teachers learn how to engage their students in the creation of collaborative presentations, bulletin boards, diagrams, slide shows, mind maps and other resources, and to use these in a variety of STEM lessons.
    • Mapping, GPS - Global positioning systems (GPS) resources are used by many apps that have direct application to teaching science.  GPS tagging of photographs, for example, allows teachers or students to map the occurrence of any items (organisms, geological structures, etc.) to uncover patterns in distribution.  Teachers learn how to make maps of various phenomena and use such geospatial data to help their students understand patterns and  principles of cause and effect. 
  • Developing CSCL (Computers Supported Collaborative Learning) Lessons
    • Simulations - Teachers develop subject-specific lessons that incorporate simulations to enhance student learning of complex real-world scenarios.
    • Collaborative Surveys / Tests - Teachers develop online survey instruments, quizzes, and tests for the purpose of formative and/or summative assessment of student progress.
    • CSCL Lessons - Teachers develop lessons to engage their students in their subject matter using collaborative (pooled) data analysis, continuous formative assessment, and collaborative resource development.
  • Continuous Formative Assessment 
    • Formatively assessing student understanding in social studies, math, science, language and other fields secondary school classrooms
      • Continuous formative assessment to assess learning in Research on formative assessment
      • Monitoring Student Performance in Real-Time
      • Adjusting Instruction to Optimize Learning


SED 652 is a sequel to 622 (Educational Website Development) and therefore addresses all five student learning objectives (Reflective Practice, Theoretical Understanding, Research Skills, Educational Awareness, and Leadership), but focuses on , SLO #1 (Reflective Practice: by critically examining their subject knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and pedagogical skills to improve their diverse students’ learning), SLO #3 (Research Skills: by designing and conducting research ethically and effectively and presenting their findings at a professional level in oral and written forms); and SLO #5 (Leadership: by influencing policy and practice in educational communities through advocacy and example). Like its prequel, SED 652 emphasizes the use of computer-based research tools that will enable students to collect and analyze data in their coursework and action research projects (SLO #3).  Students are required to examine new cloud-based techniques for improving instruction to improve the learning of secondary school curricula (SLO #1).  After developing and understanding of factors that maximize student learning, and after acquiring skills with cloud-based research tools and techniques, students develop engaging, interactive web-based resources to teach science, math, language, social studies and other secondary school subjects.  These resources are shared via websites with educators around the world via the internet (SLO #5).  Specifically, students will

  • Develop skills for designing and producing CSCSL websites for teaching secondary school subjects:  science, math, English, social studies, etc.
  • Develop lessons that engage students in collaborative data analysis
  • Develop CSCL lessons that capitalize on a variety of aspects of digital photography (Slow-motion, time lapse, movie editing, video analysis, etc.)
  • Develop lessons that engage secondary school students students in collaborative resource development
  • Develop cloud-based activities that facilitate continuous formative assessment of learning in secondary school classrooms


Student work is graded holistically, considering issues of content, presentation, and technical expertise. It should demonstrate proficiency in the skills introduced in the class to create an educational resource that is useful, accessible and appealing. Although students should incorporate all resources introduced in class, excellence in certain aspects may compensate for deficiencies in others. All work should be reviewed by your editor before submitting.

Websites (80%).  Students will be developing three different websites.

  • The masters program website -  all resources used and work developed during the masters program in Instructional Technology.  Document all items on the checklist.
  • The CSCL (Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) website 
    • Include all CSCL lessons introduced in class,
    • CSCL Lessons developed by teacher
      • Each of the CSCL Lessons must demonstrate one or more of the principles of CSCL:
        • Collaborative data collection, analysis and interpretation
        • Collaborative resource development
        • Continuous formative assessment
      • Each CSCL lesson must
        • Introduce one or more concepts relevant to the curriculum you teach
        • Contain resources for a complete stand-alone lesson (background information, principles, instructions, data tables, charts, etc.
        • Be clear enough that it can be easily used by other educators in their classrooms
        • Include instructions to show others how to develop databases and tables for their own use
  •  The Classroom website - developed to teach a specific secondary school class.  Include a count of how many times the website has been accessed since inception.

Participation, Editorial Responsibilities (20%). Students are expected to participate in all in-class and online activities.  They are to serve as website editor for a fellow student and provide timely feedback and suggestions for improvement.  In addition, they are expected to make regular and thoughtful contributions to all wikis, online forums, quickwrites, collaborative docs and online sessions. 

93% A , 90% A- , 87% B+ , 83% B , 80% B- , 77% C+ , 73% C , 70% C- , 67% D+ , 63% D , 60% D- , below 60% F 


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