The success of this course depends on our ability to have read the assigned readings closely, to have thought carefully about the points raised or ignored by authors, and to bring to the group your questions and concerns about their concepts and positions into the discussions groups. Prior to each class I will post Professor Notes and outline the focus of the subsequent session and direct your reading.
This course is participation heavy. Students are expected to be actively engaged in all discussion board topics on a disciplined weekly schedule. Homework assignments and your Reflection Paper requirements are outlined below and should be completed in such a way that you demonstrate that you understand the topics and the ELCC standards and have grappled with their implications.
Please join the forums each week. Students must post a reply to weekly forums and reply to at least 2 other students for each Forum. This means that each week you should have 1 initial posts and at least 2 responsive posts. A minimum of three posts are required on weekly forums. You must support your responses with outside research or literature. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the each week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends in order to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.
- Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
- Initial responses should be no less than 300 words.
- Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
- Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
- Replies to classmates should be no less than 150 words.
- Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
- All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.
Throughout the course you will write responses to provided essay questions. These responses will involve analyses of readings, comparing and contrasting the views of various learning theorists, and critique of arguments presented by the readings or the class. Papers will be graded for accuracy of interpretation, rigor of argument, and clarity of expression. Papers should be 2 – 4 pages in length unless otherwise noted. Please refer to the assignment rubric for that specific assignment to guide your learning.
Course Capstone Assignment:
The Capstone Action Research course focuses on applying research and evaluation techniques to localized educational practices. Understanding the role and the processes of action research are the critical focal points of this experience. This course is designed as a capstone experience allowing the educator to question their current educational environment in such a way as to find practical and useful answers to important questions. Special attention will be given to using the local educational community to formulate questions, to apply research techniques, and to evaluate how the results of research can initiate change in a meaningful way.
A. Provide an abstract.
B. Provide an introduction (suggested length of 4–6 pages) that explains the rationale for the project by doing the following:
1. Present your topic.
2. Explain why you chose the topic.
3. Discuss why the project is important to your discipline.
C. Explain the problem (suggested length of 3–5 pages) by doing the following:
1. Outline the problem.
2. Provide background information of the problem.
3. Discuss possible causes of the problem.
D. Create a well-organized literature review of 10–15 professional sources by doing the following:
1. Outline research for best practices for your topic.
2. Summarize the professional literature relevant to the topic you have chosen.
3. Provide a conclusion that interprets how the literature applies to the problem being investigated.
E. State your research question(s).
F. Discuss the methodology you used for your project by doing the following:
1. Discuss the evaluation methods and tools you used.
2. Discuss how the integrity of the data you collected will be maintained.
3. Discuss your research design.
4. Explain your research methods.
4a. Explain why you adopted these research methods.
4b. Discuss what caused any differences between what you had planned to do and what you
5. Describe the participants in your proposed study.
Note: Include demographic information and any additional relevant characteristics of your target population (e.g., cultural factors, learning styles, education levels, prior learning, motivation).
6. Describe how you will obtain any needed permissions.
G. Outline how your results will be organized and presented.
H. Discuss the results of your research project by doing the following:
1. Provide an overview of the project that restates the general purpose of your research.
2. Summarize your findings.
2a. Explain how the results of your research were obtained.
3. Recommend possible solutions to your research problem based on your results.
4. Discuss implications and limitations of the project by doing the following:
4a. Discuss the strengths of the project.
4b. Discuss the weaknesses of the project.
4c. Discuss problems you noted with the project.
4d. Discuss any factors that may have skewed your findings.
5. Discuss how the study could be improved.
5a. Recommend areas of your topic that could be further investigated.
5b. Justify what you would do differently if you were to conduct the study again in the future.
I. Develop a reference list of all the references you cited in your capstone report.