E19.2174 Cognitive Science and Educational Technology I

Dr. Jan L. Plass
Educational Communication & Technology
New York University

  Meeting Agenda | Course Documents | Assignments | Reading



Preparation for each class meeting.  I expect that you have: completed the reading, both assigned and additional reading of your own choosing, taken notes in form of an annotated bibliography, and answered questions provided by me in preparation of the meeting; and that you participate in a lively class discussion. Please bring to class any questions you have about the reading, articles you found, and materials, such as  relevant instructional CD-ROMs or Web Sites you would like to share.


Student-led Activity (Software presentation/discussion)  [ View Signup Sheet ](approx. 10–15 min.)

Working in pairs, and in consultation with the instructor, you will prepare and conduct a review of one or more software applications that illustrate the application of the topic of a particular class meeting that you signed up for.  The goal of this activity is to provide a foundation for the application of the theory discussed in class to the design of an instructional unit (see description of final project below).  A draft (extended outline) of your activity is due one week before your facilitation.


Annotated Bibliography.  Due: 4:00pm before every theory class meeting; Final version: May 3

Summarize the most important ideas and questions for each paper and book chapter you have read in approximately one third to one half a page.  This is not a reaction paper or an excerpt, but rather your synthesis of the main ideas and related questions.  Use these summaries to create a notebook that is the basis for your discussion in class, for your design document, and, later, a summary of the topics covered in this course.  You are expected to find and read at least one theory/research paper per theory class meeting on your own (for a total of 11 additional papers, i.e., not for the first and last meetings ) and include them in this bibliography.


Design Document. [ Download Evaluation Form ] Due: March 8, Revision: May 3

The design document is a description of the design of an instructional technology unit of your choice. Based on the Instructional Design Process, this document includes the Analysis (problem description, target audience) and Design (learner characteristics, content analysis, goal, objectives and their sequencing, description of delivery platform) as it is relevant to the specifics of your project.  Describe the materials and activities you will implement and provide a Flow Chart (Unit structure) and Storyboards (Screen design).


Job Aids What types of learner characteristics to include in analysis (Wiley Book Supplement)
How to formulate learning objectives (Florida State U)
What verbs to use to describe learning on different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (Penn State)


Review: Design Document (approx. 500 words).  Due: March 22

You will review a design document from another student and make useful suggestions that should allow for an improvement of the design.  Based on the readings, class discussions and your own experience, emphasize both what you like and what needs improvement in approx. 2-3 pages.


Theory Paper (10 pages–approx. 2,500 words) [ view Criteria for evaluation of theory papers ].  Due: April , Revision: May 3

This paper will provide the theoretical foundation for your project. Using theories discussed in this course or in other related courses you will provide a justification for the design of your instructional technology unit.  This includes an overview of relevant research, a description of the primary cognitive science principle related to your instructional unit, and a discussion concerning either your overall learning approach or an overview of the instructional design model you used for the project.


Project Implementation.  Due: May 3

Working in small groups, you wil implement a prototype/proof of concept of the project described in the design document for demonstration purposes only. Students interested in research (especially doctoral students) may instead choose to design and implement a research study.  Please consult with me if you plan to do so.


Final Project. Due: May 3

The final project consists of the revised theory paper, expanded design document, and implemented project or treatment materials for the research study.




Student-led Activity                          5%

Attendance/Class Participation             5%

Annotated Bibliography                     10%

Design Document Review              10%

Design Document & Implement.      30%

Theory Paper                              40%


  Meeting Agenda | Course Documents | Assignments | Reading