Spring 2004 Course Syllabus

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Spring 2004 Course Syllabus

Curriculum & Instruction 801: Interactive Media and Computers in the Curriculum
Professor: Kurt Squire,

544B Teb, 263-4672

Meeting Time: Thursdays, 4:35-7pm


Office hours Wednesdays 2-5 and by appointment

Over the past decade, a number research-driven educational technology projects have been demonstrating the potential for digital technologies to support learning, using design experiment methodologies to push forward theoretical understandings while also creating tangible products and technologies. Examples such as The Jasper Series, The Virtual Solar System, The Knowledge Forum, Boxer, StarLogo, ThinkerTools, GenScope, STEP, The Games-to-Teach Project, and Quest Atlantis all fit what Brown (1992) called design experiments, educational interventions that examine learning in complex social contexts that are engineered to produce meaningful learning. This shift in research goals has resulted in an accompanying shift away from classic positivist research methodologies toward more holistic research approaches. The reasons driving this shift can be linked across several movements in education, including acknowledging the importance of context in cognition (Cole, 1996; Gee, 1992; Lave and Wenger, 1991; Salomon, 1993; Wertsch, 1998), the socially situated and culturally-mediated nature of educational technologies (e.g. Engeström, Miettinen & Punamäki, 1998), and the failure of traditional research methods to generate much usable knowledge (Collins, 1990; Reigeluth & Frick, 1999).
This course uses the lens of design experiment research to examine contemporary research-driven projects with interactive media and computers in classrooms. We will trace the theoretical and practical concerns that gave rise to design experiments and examine several specific research programs. Tying together this inquiry will be a special focus on methodological issues in doing design research, drawing from recent special issues in The Journal of the Learning Sciences and Educational Researcher as well as contemporary work in ethnography, case study research, qualitative, and quantitative research methodologies. Research traditions and methodologies foreign to educational technology will be given special consideration, and students will be encouraged to pursue lines of inquiry germane to their research. Throughout the course, we will critically examine the epistemological and ontological commitments made by design researchers, given that most design researchers seek to not only understand but also transform learning, and research findings are validated examining the consequences of putting the theories and ideas into use.

Available online at amazon.com or bn.com

Koschmann, T., Hall, R., & Miyake, N. (2001). Computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) 2.: Carrying forward the conversation. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Rogers, E.M. (1995). Diffusion of innovations (4th ed.) New York: The Free Press.

Course pack of selected readings

Available at on-line through the course site or by arrangement with myself.

Class Format

This course will meet once per week and will be in a seminar format. There will be a mix of open-ended discussion and student-led presentations. My goal is for the seminar to be an opportunity for you to explore areas of interests, so the syllabus and course topics will be adjusted in response to class needs.

Preparing for class- Readings and reaction papers

Each class will include a set of readings and may include a technology demonstration program. Students will be expected read and to download and experiment with the weekly program/web-site in preparation for class. The day before class meets each student will prepare and submit a one-page summary of their reading and experimentation. These reaction papers will be graded on a pass/fail standard – if they show evidence that you reflected upon the material in light of the standards and course readings, you are fine. If you merely cite parts of the readings, summarize, or insert large sections of the phone book, then it will not be so good.
Students must complete 8 of the semester reaction papers to receive full credit. All readings must be completed regardless of whether a reaction paper is composed. Reaction papers are to be posted to the class discussion web-site and should be no more than one page in length. Papers should be posted by the preceding Wednesday by 5:00 pm.

Class discussion

The typical class meeting will consist of a discussion of weekly program or web-site as well as the required class readings. Since class discussions are vital to the success of the class, your attendance and participation are important and will contribute to your final course grade. We will make intermittent records of class participation. Successful class discussions also involve tolerance and respect for the diversity of opinions expressed by your colleagues.

Course Project

The course project will involve a research paper designed to address one of the main areas of the course discussion. We will decide on project parameters and expectations for the course project in class. The course project will constitute 50% of the final course grade.

Full Inclusion

We seek to fully include persons with disabilities in this course. Please let us know if you need any special accommodations in the curriculum, instruction, or assessments in this course to enable you to fully participate. We will try to maintain the confidentiality of the information that you share with me. Please contact us as early in the course as practicable. You may also contact the McBurney Disability Resource Center, 905 University Avenue, Madison (263-2741) if you have questions about campus policies and services. Questions or concerns about disability accommodations can be brought to the attention of Associate Dean Mariamme Whatley at 262-2463 or with Ken Scott, the coordinator in the Department of Educational Administration.


Grades for the course will be calculated according to the University of Wisconsin grading scale. Class work will count in the following proportions toward your final grade:
Reaction papers 25%

Class participation and attendance 25%

Class project 50%

Potential Projects

VSS Project

Science Space

STEP Project

CSILE / Knowledge Forum

Learning By Design


Star Logo


Jasper Project


Knowledge Integration Forum

MOOSE Crossing


Assessing Learning

Learning in Situ

Video Analysis



Mixed methods

Theoretical Foundations


Scaling Innovations

Course Schedule and Readings

Introduction to Design Experiments


Jan 22


Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments

Collins (1990)

Theory and research in instructional technology / clark kozma?


Jan 29

Contemporary Perspectives

ER Articles

Collins, Joseph, Bielaczyc



Feb 5

Theoretical Issues

Barab and squire

Activity theory

Distributed / sit cog



Feb 12

Case 1: Supercharged: Blending methods

Jenkins, Squire & Tan (2004). You can’t take that game to school.

Barnett, Squire, Higgenbotham, ICLS proposal.


Optional: Holland, Jenkins, & Squire (2003). Theory by design.


Feb 19

Cognitively-based curriculum: CSILE

Scardamalia & Bereiter, 1994;

Hewitt, J. (2002). From a focus on tasks to a focus on understanding: The cultural transformation of a Toronto classroom.

Collins, A. (2002). The balance between task focus and understanding focus: Education as apparenticeship versus education as research.

Hewitt, J. (2002). Response.


Feb 26

Project 3

diSessa & Cobb


March 4

Project 4


March 11

Adoption & Usability in Project-Based Science


Linn, sci-ed.

Barab & Luehman

Squire et al.


March 25

Kurt at GDC


April 1

Last project

Potential Themes in Design Experiments


April 8

Capturing Knowledge in Situ





April 15



April 22


Hickey, A New Perspective for Evaluating Innovative Science Programs. Science of education readings.

Reigeluth & Frick, 1999.


April 29

Sustainability / scalability

Fishman & Krajcik.

Dede & Sabelli,

Michigan Ed psychologist?


May 6

Research in social contexts

Scientific Research in education



Sample readings:

Barab, S. & Squire, K. (2004). Design-Based Research: Putting a Stake in the Ground. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 13(1), 1-14.

Collins, A. (1992). Toward a design science of education. In E. Scanlon&T. O’Shea (Eds.), New directions

in educational technology (pp. 15–22). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Brown, A. L. (1992). Design experiments: Theoretical and methodological challenges in creating complex interventions in classroom settings. Journal of The Learning Sciences, 2(2), 141–178.

Cobb, P., Confrey, J. diSessa, A., Lehrer, R., Schauble, L. (2003). Design experiments in educational research. Educational Researcher, 32(1), 9–13.

Dewey, J. (1938). Logic, the theory of inquiry. New York: H. Holt and Co.

Geertz, C. (1983). Thick description: Toward an interpretive theory of culture. In R. M. Emerson (Ed.), Contemporary field research: A collection of readings (pp. 37–59). Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland Press.

Laurel, B. (2004). Design-Based Research. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Messick, S. (1992). The interplay of evidence and consequences in the validation of performance assessments. Educational Researcher, 23(2), 13–23.

Reigeluth, C. & Frick, T. (1999). Formative research: A methodology for creating and improving design theories. In Reigeluth, C (Ed). Instructional-design theories and models vol II. Pp. 633-652, Mahweh, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Roth, W.-M. (2001). Situating cognition. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 10, 27–61.

Stake, R. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Bereiter, C. Design research for sustained innovation. In Cognitive Studies, Bulletin of the Japanese Cognitive Science Society, 9(3), 321-327. 2002. http://ikit.org/fulltext/2002Design_Research.pdf


Brown, Ann L. Design Experiments: Theoretical and Methodological Challenges in Creating Complex Interventions in Classroom Settings. In The Journal of the Learning Sciences. 2(2), 141-178 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates: 1992.

Cobb, P., Confrey, J., diSessa, A., Lehrer, R. & Schauble, L. "Design Experiments in Educational Research". In Educational Researcher, Volume 32, No.1. 2003 http://www.aera.net/pubs/er/pdf/vol32_01/AERA320105.pdf

Collins, A.; Joseph, D. & Bielaczyc, K. Design research: Theoretical and methodological issues. To appear in Campione, J. (Ed.) Volume in honor of Ann Brown. In press. http://www.extension.harvard.edu/2002-03/programs/cte/ext02drt.pdf

Collins, Allan. "The changing infrastructure of education research" In Issues in Education Research. Problems and possibilities. Edited by Ellen C Lagemann & Lee S. Shulman, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1999.

Edelson, Daniel. Design Research: What We Learn When We Engage in Design. In The journal of the Learning Sciences. Volume 11 Number 1, Jan. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2002.

Greeno, James et al. "Research, reform and Aims in Education. Modes of action in search of each other." In Issues in Education Research. Problems and possibilities. Edited by Ellen C Lagemann & Lee S. Shulman, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 1999.

Lobato, J. How Design Experiments Can Inform a Rethinking of Transfer and Vice Versa. In Educational Researcher, Volume 32, No.1. 2003 http://www.aera.net/pubs/er/pdf/vol32_01/AERA320107.pdf

McCandliss, B.D., Kalchman, M. & Bryant, P. Design Experiments and Laboratory Approaches to Learning: Steps Toward Collaborative Exchange. In Educational Researcher, Volume 32, No.1. 2003 http://www.aera.net/pubs/er/pdf/vol32_01/AERA320106.pdf

Reeves,Thomas C. Enhancing the Worth of Instructional Technology Research through "Design Experiments" and Other Development Research Strategies. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA, USA. 2000. http://it.coe.uga.edu/~treeves/AERA2000Reeves.pdf

Richey, R.C., & Nelson, W.A. Developmental Research. In D. Jonassen (Ed.) Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp.1213-1245) New York: Macmillan. 1996.

Schon, Donald A. The design process. In V.A. Howard (Ed.), Varieties of thinking: Essays from Harvard's Philosophy of Education Research Center (pp.111-141). New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul. 1990.

van den Akker, Jan. "Principles and methods of development research". In J. van den Akker, R. M. Branch, K. Gustafson, N. Nieveen, & T. Plomp (Eds.), Design approaches and tools in education and training (pp.1-14). Boston: Kluwer Academic. 1999.


Hoadley, 2002

Barry Fishman, Ronald W. Marx, Phyllis Blumenfeld, & Joseph Krajcik

Elliot Soloway, Creating a Framework for Research on Systemic Technology Innovations

Paper Set:

Building Sustainable Science Curriculum:
Acknowledging and Accommodating Local Adaptation

Guest Editors: Sasha Barab & April Luehmann


1. Introduction to the Paper Set: Building Sustainable Science Curriculum: Acknowledging and Accommodating Local Adaptation (Sasha Barab & April Luehmann )



2. Designed Curriculum and Local Culture: Acknowledging The Primacy of Classroom Culture (Kurt Squire, Mike Barnett, James MaKinster, April Luehmann, & Sasha Barab)


3. Research Towards an Expanded Understanding of Inquiry Science Beyond One Idealized Standard (Nancy Songer, Hee Sun Lee, & Scott McDonald)


4. WISE Design for Knowledge Integration (Marcia Linn, Douglas Clark, & Jim Slotta)


5. A Pragmatic, Situative Framework for Evaluating Innovative Science Learning Environments (Dan Hickey)


6. Commentary (Joe Krajcik & Barry Fishman )


Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (1994). Computer support for knowledge-building communities. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 3(3), 265-283.

Hickey, D. T., Kindfield, A. C. H., Horwitz, P., & Christie, M. A. (2003, in press). Integrating curriculum,

instruction, assessment, and evaluation in a technology-supported genetics environment. American Educational Research Journal, 40 (3) (Fall 2003)

Hickey, D. T, & Zuiker, S. (2003). A new perspective for evaluating innovative science learning

environments. Science Education, 87, (3) 539-563

Hickey, D. T., Moore, A. L., & Pellegrino, J. W. (2001). The motivational and academic consequences of

two innovative mathematics environments: Do curricular Do curricular innovations and reforms make a difference? American Educational Research Journal 38, (3) 611-652.

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