Watch the ED4372 Welcome Video!
About ED4372... from Dr Nix's perspective
As noted in the Distance Learning
FAQs in the UTTC Knowledge Center,
Certain people are better suited to distance
learning than others. A student who succeeds in distance education is
generally: self-motivated and self-disciplined; has the ability to work
independently; is comfortable with the written word and the use of e-mail;
and will ask for help when needed. Although commuter time is reduced, an
online student must have the time to dedicate to coursework. Students in an
online classroom should expect to spend as much or more time on their course
than in an onsite classroom.
This colorful schematic (below)
illustrates how these course components 'fit' together. You'll find out
about the details of the CPR Tool and Final Exam in plenty of time to
Having earned my doctorate via
distance, I particularly am sensitive to accessible design and time
allocation in online courses. I actually worked through each of the ED4372
lessons to ensure a reasonable load from the standpoint of student,
instructor, and administrator. On average, I spent about 45 minutes answering
the survey items and exploring the lesson content, 45 minutes reading the
textbook chapter, 60 minutes working on the project task (including the
discussion), and 30 minutes to prepare for and complete the quiz. That adds
up to 3 hours each week which is what everyone would expect for a 3 semester
credit hour course.
In keeping with the UTD schedule
of 2 class meetings per week as defined in the course schedule section of the
Syllabus, I tried to balance the amount of information and
interaction within a logical flow. You may access the currently available
items by simply clicking on the associated link in the main areas presented
on the course Home page. (Note that the 'breadcrumb' trail at the top
left is a handy way to jump around the course!) To help keep us all on track,
weekly Announcements will pop-up when you 'come' to class;
these are archived within the course as well for reference.
- I suggest that you log in
once as early in the Ed Tech 'week' as possible to complete the Lesson.
(Submitting your Survey responses will release the
remaining content, including the Group discussion forum
and textbook Quiz. These items which will remain open and
available throughout the semester for your review.
- You'll know what you ought to
be thinking about to develop your Project. The
experiential activity within the Lesson will get your
'creative juices' flowing and the assigned Textbook
reading will help with specific ideas for your unique topic. The reading
assignments also are noted in the Syllabus for easy
- With that background, you
will be prepared to log in again later in the Ed Tech 'week' to enter
your new comments on the Group discussion forum. Take a
few minutes to review additional postings in the Commons
area that may guide your coursework as general questions arise and
issues are identified. The last thing you need to do for class is to
take the weekly Quiz. You'll be able to track your
progress as the Quiz grade is entered into the Gradebook
Naturally, some things will take
longer than other things depending on your schedule, mood, ability, and even
the weather when internet connection is required! I incorporated the Textbook
to offload the majority of pure Lesson content and reformatted
the Project descriptions for printing so that you could work
away from the computer screen more often than before.
As noted in the course Syllabus,
the learning outcomes for ED 4372 are aligned to SACS (Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools) standards and the mission of UT-Dallas' Teacher
- The student will be able to execute
the educational technologies utilized in an asynchronous, online course.
- The student will be able to choose
tools and resources to improve educational practice within their field.
- The student will be able to construct
electronic media to support their ideas for enhancing teaching and
learning with educational technologies.
Part of my goal is to help you learn
how to speak the language of Ed Tech so that you can work effectively and
efficiently with the variety of tools and resources, especially people, that
are and will be available to you. Given the current trend toward open source
items and abundance of reputable shareware, I no longer require you to purchase
and use a certain version of any software or a specific type of hardware. Your
textbook provides a solid background on the latest and greatest examples. In
order to survive professionally these days you need to know how to leverage
whatever is available to you in the present moment and/or be able to figure out
what you need to get to make the right things happen! A lot of that has to do
with simply asking the right questions. That's what we'll practice together in
So, that leads into what's expected of you in Ed Tech. If
you are having technical difficulties, you need to contact the UTD Help Desk.
When you do have a question or concern about the course content, the first
place to look is through the Announcements and then the Commons
discussion area. If you don't see anything that helps in those places, either start
a discussion thread in the Commons area or email me directly at email@example.com if
it's an individual issue. I will check the discussion forums on a fairly
regular basis, but if you need a relatively immediate response, please let me
know! I'm almost always online...
If you’re not familiar with UTD’s eLearning system, a basic video (really a screencast) at http://screencast.com/t/rUxYca9b may help you get off to a fair start. In less than 5 minutes, I show you how I set up my display for learning – which is a very different view from that of teaching. As you gain more practice with the interface, you may discover a better arrangement for your own preferences, but this will give you a sense of the course layout and some idea of how the navigation works. (A transcript of the audio file is attached at the bottom of this page if needed.)
Another quick screencast at http://screencast.com/t/EfJLtyOwyoKe takes you on a tour of the Group Discussions submission - which is somewhat 'tricky' due to the way the eLearning system handles (or does not) direct links to group tools.
The last thing to go over right now is how your work in Ed
Tech will be graded. As stated in more detail in the syllabus, final grades
will be based on:
your submission of the class Surveys (complete or incomplete
your participation in the Group discussions (that develop your
your achievement on the weekly Quizzes (which cover the textbook
your performance on the Project tasks (completion of CPR stages)
Final Exam results.
The Project(s) serve as the main focus of the course really.
We'll work toward the end product (Project Final) by evaluating each others'
progress at critical milestones (Projects A, B, and C). Clearly, the tasks and
reviews are cumulative, building on prior work and evolving with peer
review and instructor guidance. Part of learning this techno-jargon
is presenting the critical aspects of each stage in a variety of ways. (That's
a key quality of effective educators!) The activities and notes provided in
the Lessons will help you develop your ideas and design your
up with the class schedule and staying
with your peers (classmates, teachers, supervisors, and friends)
and your instructor (me)
are two things that YOU CAN DO to succeed in this 100%
online, 100% asynchronous course.
Sundance (our virtual TA) and I look forward to learning
with and from you this semester.