E-learning Design Principles 2013

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DRAFT DRAFT E-Learning Design Principles 05-899 DRAFT DRAFT

Fall 2013 Syllabus Carnegie Mellon University

Class times

1:30 to 2:50 Tuesday & Thursday


5222 Gates-Hillman Center (GHC)


Professor Ken Koedinger

Office: 3601 Newell-Simon Hall, Phone: 412-268-7667

Email: Koedinger@cmu.edu, Office hours by appointment

Class URLs

Syllabus and useful links: learnlab.org/research/wiki/index.php/E-learning_Design_Principles_2013

For reading reports: www.cmu.edu/blackboard


Course Prerequisites

To enroll you must either be in the Masters of Educational Technology and Applied Learning Science (METALS) or get the permission of the instruction.

Textbook and Readings

"E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: 3rd edition" by Ruth Colvin Clark and Richard E. Mayer. Other readings will be assigned in class. See below.

Flipped Homework: Reading Reports and Reading Quizzes

We are often going to implement "flipped homework", a variation on the flipped classroom idea you might have heard of. Flipped homework is an assignment before a relevant class meeting rather than after it. It helps students (you!) to "problematize" the topic -- to get a better sense of what you don't know and what questions you have. It helps instructors focus the class discussion to better avoid belaboring what students already know and to better pursue student needs and interests.

Before some class sessions, you will asked to do a quiz associated with the assigned book chapter. The quizzes will be on the Blackboard site (www.cmu.edu/blackboard) for the course.

Before other class sessions, you will be asked to write "reading reports". We will use the discussion board on Blackboard (www.cmu.edu/blackboard) for this purpose. Unless otherwise directed, you should make two posts on the readings before 9am on the day of class that those readings are due. If slides for the class are available, please review these as well.

These posts serve multiple purposes: 1) to improve your understanding and learning from the readings, 2) to provide instructors with insight into what aspects of the readings merit further discussion, either because of student need or interest, and 3) as an incentive to do the readings before class!

In general, please come to class prepared to ask questions and give answers.

Your two posts may be original or in response to another post (one of both is nice).

  • Original posts should contain one or more of the following:
    • something you learned from the reading or slides
    • a question you have about the reading or slides or about the topic in general
    • a connection with something you learned or did previously in this or another course, or in other professional work or research
  • Replies should be an on-topic, relevant response, clarification, or further comment on another student’s post.


There will be assignments associated with each section of the course. Grades will be determined by your performance on these assignments, by before-class preparation activities including reading reports, by your participation in class, and by a final paper.

  • Course work
    • 30% Before-class preparation, including reading reports, and in-class participation
    • 40% Assignments
  • Project & final paper - Due May 10.
    • 30% Design a new study based on one or more of these methods that pushes your own research in a new direction.
  1. Apply a method from the class to your research. You should not choose a method that you already know well.
  2. Think of it as writing a grant proposal. Because some methods will be introduced after the project proposal date, we are open to a modification in your project to apply the newly introduced method. But, please check with us to get feedback and approval on a proposed change.
  3. No more than 15 double-spaced pages. Be efficient. Space is always limited in academic publications and you will find it useful to learn to include only what is important. Since this is styled as a grant proposal, please include some literature review and discussion of significance of the area you want to investigate. You should also briefly detail plans for participants, explain specifically how you will apply the method, and describe how you will analyze the data.

Class Schedule in Brief

  • Aug 27 Overview; Examples Assignment; Project
  • Aug 29 1.E-learning; KLI Framework events
  • Sept 3 2.How People Learn; KLI KC's
  • Sept 5 3.Evidence-based practice; KLI Learning & Instructional Events
  • Sept 10 Determining instructional goals (tasks)
  • Sept 12 Guest lecture
  • Sept 17 Discovering learning objectives (KCs) & Rational Cognitive Task Analysis
  • Sept 19 4.Multi-media Principle
  • Sept 24 Empirical Cognitive Task Analysis: Think aloud
  • Sept 26 5.Contiguity Principle
  • Oct 1 CTA: DFA & Model building
  • Oct 3 6.Modality Principle & 7.Redundancy Principle
  • Oct 8 CTA & Designing Assessments for Continual Improvement
  • Oct 10 Midterm review; Flex topic
  • Oct 15 8.Coherence Principle
  • Oct 17 9.Personalization Principle
  • Oct 22 10.Segmenting and Pretraining
  • Oct 24 KLI & Selecting appropriate instructional principles
  • Oct 29 11.Leveraging Examples in E-Learning
  • Oct 31 12.Does Practice Make Perfect
  • Nov 5 13.Learning Together Virtually
  • Nov 7 14.Who’s in Control?
  • Nov 12 15.E-Learning to Build Problem Solving Skill
  • Nov 14 16.Simulations and Games
  • Nov 19 17.Applying the Guidelines
  • Nov 21 Project Presentations
  • Nov 26 Project Presentations
  • Nov 28 Thanksgiving, no class
  • Dec 3 Project Presentations
  • Dec 5 Project Presentations
  • Dec 13 Project Due

Class Schedule with Readings and Assignments

NOTE: This section is "living" -- it will grow as the semester goes on.

  • 8-27 Overview, course project, your interests
    • Class activity: Discuss your interests in e-learning
    • Assignment: Examples, due next Thursday, 9-5
      • BUT bring two screen shots of your first example to next class
    • Assignment: Project step 1, due subsequent Thursday, 9-12
    • NOTE1: You will have some time in class to make progress on Assignments
    • NOTE2: See reading for next time below
  • 8-29 E-learning intro and KLI Framework events
    • Class activity: Promises & pitfalls review of e-learning examples
    • Reading (from course book): 1.e-Learning: Promise & Pitfalls (28 pages)
      • Pre-class quiz: Answer questions for Chpt1 Quiz on Blackboard
    • Reading: KLI Framework paper, just sections 1-2 (7 pages)
      • Post: Do at least one post to answer one of the following questions or make a needed addition or correction to another answer: Define one of the three kinds of events in KLI (should be answered 3 times). What can be directly observed and what must be inferred? What's an example of an activity that is both an instructional event and assessment event? How does the scope of KLI differ from cognitive neuroscience? How does the scope of KLI differ from socio-cultural education research? What is a motivation for developing KLI (can be answered multiple times)?
  • 9-3 How People Learn and KLI Knowledge Components
    • Class activity: Project idea discussion
    • Class activity: KC type in e-learning examples
    • Reading: 2.How Do People Learn from E-Courses (20 pages)
    • Reading: KLI section 3 (11 pages)
  • 9-5 Evidence-based practice and KLI Learning & Instructional Events
    • Class activity: Principles present in e-learning examples
    • Reading: 3.Evidence-based practice (18 pages)
    • Reading: KLI sect 4-5 (12 pages)
    • Due: Examples
    • Assignment:
  • 9-10 Determining instructional goals (tasks)
    • Class activity: Review P1 write-up reqs; Benchmark task spec
    • Reading: Clark(or Feldon) paper; Contextual Inquiry?
  • 9-12 Guest lecture
    • Due: Project step P1: Domain, Context & Initial Resources
    • Assignment: P2 due on 9-26
  • 9-17 Discovering learning objectices (KCs) and Rational Cognitive Task Analysis
    • Reading: Newell & Simon?; Zhu & Simon?
  • 9-19 Multi-media Principle
    • Reading: 4.Multi-media Principle (24 pages)
  • 9-24 Empirical Cognitive Task Analysis: Think aloud
    • Reading: Gomol; [& suggestion from Aleven?]
  • 9-26 Contiguity Principle
    • Reading: 5.Contiguity Principle (24 pages)
    • Due: P2:Benchmark Tasks & Rational Cognitive Task Analysis
  • 10-1 CTA: DFA & Model building
    • Reading: Picture Algebra?
  • 10-3 Modality Principle & 7.Redundancy Principle
    • Reading: 6.Modality Principle & 7.Redundancy Principle (36 pages)
  • 10-8 CTA & Designing Assessments for Continual Improvement
  • 10-10 Midterm quiz & review; Flex topic (design?) **Reading: Kirshner?
    • Due: P3: Empirical Cognitive Task Analysis & Cognitive Model of Instructional Goals
  • 10-15 Coherence Principle
    • Reading: 8.Coherence Principle (28 pages)
  • 10-17 Personalization Principle
    • Reading: 9.Personalization Principle (26 pages)
  • 10-22 Segmenting and Pretraining
    • Reading: 10.Segmenting and Pretraining (18 pages)
  • 10-24 KLI & Selecting appropriate instructional principles
    • Reading: KLI sect 6-7

Due: P4: Assessment & Initial Instructional Design Assignment: P5

  • 10-29 Leveraging Examples in E-Learning
    • Reading: 11.Leveraging Examples in E-Learning (28 pages)
  • 10-31 Does Practice Make Perfect
    • Reading: 12.Does Practice Make Perfect (28 pages)
    • Reading: Cognitive Tutor principles?
  • 11-5 Learning Together Virtually
    • Reading: 13.Learning Together Virtually (30 pages)
  • 11-7 Who’s in Control?
    • Reading: 14.Who’s in Control? 30 pages)

Due: P5: Instructional Design Prototyping & Testing Assignment: P6

  • 11-12 15.E-Learning to Build Problem Solving Skill
    • Reading: 15.E-Learning to Build Problem Solving Skill 30 pages)
  • 11-14 16.Simulations and Games
    • Reading: 16.Simulations and Games 32
  • 11-19 17.Applying the Guidelines 17.Applying the Guidelines 24
  • 11-21 Project Presentations Class Presentations
  • 11-26 Project Presentations Faculty course evaluation Final Prj P6: Research Design 
  • 11-28 Thanksgiving, no class
  • 12-3 Project Presentations
  • 12-5 Project Presentations
  • 12-13 Project Due