DCTE 790: Special Topics in Instruction Delivery Systems

DCTE 790: Special Topics in Instruction Delivery Systems


Nova Southeastern University

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Course Syllabus

DCTE 760: Instruction Delivery Systems (4 credits)

Winter 2011 (January 3 – April 30, 2011)

Professor Gertrude (Trudy) W. Abramson, Ed.D.

Nova Southeastern University

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

CarlDeSantisBuilding, Room 4071

3301 College Avenue

Fort Lauderdale, FL33314-7796

(954) 262-2070

Contact Information

Personal contact with the professor is to be initiated through . The GSCIS Program Office requires that students use their NSU accounts for email at all times. Phone and in-person meetings may be arranged at the discretion of the professor Mondays through Thursday from 11 AM through 4 PM.


Winter 2011 is the 13thoffering of Instruction Delivery Systems. The course is modified each year based upon lessons learned during the previous iteration. The driving concept of the course is teaching and learning in a mostly distant delivery system. The new millennium is beginning its 12thyear. The physical classroom is no longer the sole, accepted delivery medium for instruction. Competition is healthy: online, asynchronous delivery systems in cyberspace and blended delivery systems in buildings will enable the best possible matches between societal needs and instruction delivery.

The purpose of education is to prepare learners to be productive citizens with the life skills needed to function successfully within society. The purpose of the course is to develop expertise needed to reengineer learning to meet the needs of society by using web-based technologies to devise the best possible learning experiences for learners of all ages. Although the course will focus on asynchronous online teaching and learning in adult, post-secondary environments, the lessons learned will be valuable in onsite and synchronous environments as well. The Discussion area of Blackboard (Bb) will be our classroom in cyberspace.

Updated Catalog Description

DCTE 760, Instruction Delivery Systems, provides opportunity for collaborative, creative, innovative exploration and development in teaching and learning in the Age of Communications. Course content combines experiential learning based in the asynchronous student forum with related scholarly pursuit. Synchronous and asynchronous delivery systems in buildings and in cyberspace will enable the best possible matches between societal needs and instruction delivery. The purpose of the course is to reengineer education to meet the needs of society, to use any and all technology to devise the best possible learning experiences for learners of all ages.

Required Textbook

Garrison, D. Randy & Vaughan, Norman D. (2008). Blended Learning in Higher Education: Framework, Principles, and Guidelines. San Francisco CA: Jossey-Bass. ISBN: 978-0-7879-8770-1. [Purchase the soft cover edition. Year in book is 2008, on Amazon.com is 2007.]


It is important that students comply with the dates below. Except in cases of extreme hardship, an incomplete contract will not be granted. The course runs for 17 calendar weeks with one set aside for spring break. Monday, January 3, 2011 is the first day of the term and Friday, April 29, 2011is the last weekday. All coursework begins on Mondays and ends on Fridays. Our always-open electronic environments(BlackBoard (Bb) & NSU e-mail) are available for work on weekends at the discretion of the participants. The chapter numbers relate to Garrison and Vaughan (2008), the required text.


1 / Mon, Jan 3 / Cluster meeting - Thurs 01/06 – Sun 01/09, 2011
Read preface and introduction before cluster
2 / Mon, Jan 10
3 / Tues, Jan 18 / Community of Inquiry (CoI) and Blended Learning (ch. 2)
4 / Mon, Jan 24
5 / Mon, Jan 31 / Designing Blended Learning to Create a CoI (ch. 3)
6 / Mon, Feb 7
7 / Mon, Feb 14 / CoI for Faculty Development (ch.4)
+++Online Learning Article due Thurs, Feb 17, 2011+++
8 / Mon, Feb 21
Mon, Feb 28 / ***Spring Break***
9 / Mon, Mar 7 / Scenarios (ch. 5)
10 / Mon, Mar 14
11 / Mon, Mar 21 / Guidelines (ch. 6)
+++Online Teaching Article due Thurs, Mar 24, 2011+++
12 / Mon, Mar 28
13 / Mon, Apr 4 / Strategies and Tools (ch. 7)
14 / Mon, Apr 11
15 / Mon, Apr 18 / The Future (ch. 8)
16 / Mon, Apr 25
Sun, May 1, 2011 / +++Course has ended. Last possible day to submit teaching/learning portfolio+++

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

Students will

  • Read, evaluate and report upon the literature of teaching and learning online;
  • Develop, moderate or co-moderate (teach) an online lesson/discussion;
  • Participate as students in online lessons/discussions;
  • Analyze the online interactive experiences and submit a teaching/learning portfolio;
  • Produce two, formal papers.

Course Rules

  • The BlackBoard (Bb) Discussion tool is our classroom in cyberspace. In this course, it is our teaching/learning laboratory as well. The “classroom” forums, moderated by the professor, are open all the time. The “laboratory” forums are open for two-weeks each.
  • As per the catalog description above, the course requires that every student immerse himself in the current literature related to teaching and learning online. At the same time, every student will have the opportunity to teach (or team teach) online and to participate in seven sessions as a student.
  • The subject matter of each two-week lesson will be a chapter in the text. It will be instrumental to see how different people craft and implement the online teaching experiences. Full compliance is necessary for the experience to be of value.
  • Each lesson will have its own forum. The team is responsible for all aspects of the lesson. Lessons may include links to articles and or websites. They may use other tools in the Bb system if the learning curve is negligible.
  • Early posting is permitted for teachers only. It is permissible to edit one’s own work but all editing of the first and second entries should be complete by the first Monday of the lesson.
  • Posting by students after the last day of the lesson will detract from the grade ascribed to the portfolio. [In other words, do not post to a closed lesson.]
  • The first entry in the forum (by the teacher) should be a welcoming message, class rules and links to reading assignments, if any beyond the chapter and relevant appendices. Every lesson may have unique rules for participation (but the rules may not be changed after the first Monday). Make sure the lesson has a title.
  • The second entry in the forum (by the teacher) should be a complete “events of instruction” chart posted by the first Monday.
  • Maintain a professional presence at all times:Avoid all caps, all lower case, and street language. Use punctuation where indicated and check spelling before posting.
  • GSCIS rules for academic integrity and student behavior obtain as per the catalog.
  • It is not necessary to remind students they are not participating. If the teacher/team has such a need, fulfill it with e-mail, not on the forum.

Events of Instruction Chart

(Provide a title or name for the lesson.

Single-space to get entire chart on a single screen.)


Gain attention / (Motivate the learner to participate in the process.)
Inform learners of objective(s) / (Use measurable verbs only. Do not write “will be able to” or “will learn” or “will know” or “will demonstrate knowledge of” or “will understand”)
Stimulate recall of prior learning / (Walk students through necessary required skills and competencies needed before new learning may occur.)
Present the new content / (Use text, pictures, slides, links, etc. Make sure the students know what is expected of them. Watch the time!)
Provide guidance / (Use the Bb tools and the discussion forum as you see fit. You may set up a FAQ file, post questions, add materials, etc. You must be visible to the learners and help them master the learning.)
Elicit response, performance / (Remember that learning is to occur in a collaborative, online space. Require students to do something to meet objectives.)
Provide useful feedback / (Respond to student performance in a way that is helpful.)
Assess learning / (Assessment may be formative (ongoing during the two weeks) or summative (at the end of the experience)).
Generalize experience / (Send concluding message no later than the second Fri night.
Tell students how lesson mastery may be useful in future experiences.)

Original source: Gagne, R. M., Briggs, L. J. & Wager, W. W. (1992). Principles of Instructional Design (4th ed.) Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.

Current source: Gagne, R. M., Wager, W. W., Golas, K. C. & Keller, J. M. (2005). Principles of Instructional Design (5th ed.) Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.


  • The teaching/learning portfolio, to be submitted at the very end of the course, includes events chartat start-up and notes explaining changes for future implementations, experiences as a teacher, experiences as a learner, and experiences with technologies (50%). [Remarks in the portfolio must be consistent with online postings. A teaching experiment that fails may be of great value if lessons are learned accordingly.]
  • The two formal papers represent 25% of the course grade each.
  • All work must be carefully checked for spelling, grammar and sentence structure to qualify for review.
  • All graded assignments must be submitted to the professor as single attachments to NSU e-mail.
  • Work will be graded promptly, fairly and equitably. The numerical average will translate to a letter grade using the scale below. The third line contains the GPA point value.

A / A- / B+ / B / B- / C+ / C / C- / F
95-100 / 90-94 / 87-89 / 83-86 / 82-80 / 77-79 / 76-73 / 72-70 / 0-69
4.0 / 3.7 / 3.3 / 3.0 / 2.7 / 2.3 / 2.0 / 1.7 / 0

Assignments #1 and #2: Formal Articles

Article on online learning (#1) due no later than Thursday, February 17, 2011, 9 AM

Article on online teaching (#2) due no later than Thursday, March 24, 2011, 9 AM

Process for Each Article:

  • Select a single population (elementary, secondary, post-secondary undergraduate, post-secondary vocational, graduate). Do not combine literature about different groupings.
  • Find current articles (2005 or newer) on online learning (#1) teaching OR online teaching (#2). It is acceptable to use some of the same sources for both assignments.
  • Create annotations as you read. [Annotations are not to be submitted to professor.]
  • Combine the annotations into a synthesized review of the literature. [The review is pure reporting. It may not be about you.]
  • Add a discussion to include your thoughts, concerns, ideas, experiences, etc. [It is acceptable to write the discussion in the first person “I”.]
  • Submit an article that would be of interest to people in the field.

Assignment #3Portfolio in Teaching and Learning due no later than Sunday, May 1, 2011

Parts of the Portfolio

  • Plan: Gagne’s Events of Instruction chart as posted in the forum. Include a discussion of modifications made during implementation or for future iterations.
  • Tools: Short discussion of tools experienced as a teacher and a learner, what took place and thoughts for future work with these tools. Write separate paragraph for each tool discussed.
  • Teacher:Short evaluation of your performance as a teacher. Include mistakes, triumphs, and plans for the future. Include a statement on each student.
  • Student:Short evaluation of your experiences as a learner and as a peer. Write a paragraph for each session. Name the teacher and the subject.
  • Size:The entire portfolio should be between eight to 12 pages numbered consecutively. The events chart should be single-spaced.

General Requirements for All Graded Submissions

  1. Cover sheet with student name, username, date, and title; cover page is number zero;
  2. Number pages in upper right corner; no running heads;
  3. Add line numbers to facilitate feedback;
  4. Double space narrative; single-space charts; use Times New Roman 12 points;
  5. Section headings and margins should be left aligned and bold;
  6. Capitalize all major words in headings;
  7. Assume 250words per double-spaced page.


  1. Each paper should be based upon 4-8 articles and a maximum of six other sources such as journal editorials, newspaper columns, newsletter reports, websites, proceedings articles or identified chapters in books. The other sources should be used to confirm or contradict. The articles are the primary sources of data.
  2. Each paper must relate to the identified population.
  3. Websites should be cited as personal communications in the narrative. For example: “Dr. Abramson’s website ( may be used as a portal to WebCT, to the course syllabus and to other valuable materials.”
  4. Section headings should be bold, along the left margin, and all major words should be capitalized.
  5. Sub-headings, if needed, should be italicized, along the left margin with all major words capitalized.
  6. Check your word count. Everything counts. Absolute maximum=4,000 words. Recommended minimum= 2,500 words.
  7. All citations must be referenced and all references cited.
  8. Use APA style for citations, references, tables and figures.
  9. Use list form where indicated.
  10. Single digit numbers should be spelled out (six, eight). Double digit numbers and higher should be presented as numbers (12, 107, 830). Use commas for four or more digit numbers (3,250) but NOT for years!
  11. When preceded by a number, percentages should be reported as 15%, 100%, 2%.
  12. Enumeration answers the question: When? First, second, third, (no ly).
  13. In regard to (no s after regard).
  14. Research may be singular or plural. “Researches” is not a word.
  15. Doctoral. “Doctorial” is not a word.
  16. Principle (rule, standard). Principal (main, head of school).
  17. Complement with an e as in make complete.
  18. Compliment with an “i” as in to say something nice to someone.
  19. Name all authors (at least first six) the first time the citation appears in the narrative.
  20. Title of books and articles belong in the references, not the narrative.
  21. Avoid the word “this” unless followed by a noun. The word “the” is preferable.
  22. Do not use “them” or “their” as a singular pronoun. “He” or “his” is the acceptable singular pronoun in the English language. “She” or “her” is okay. To be safe, write in the plural whenever possible. Data are always plural; the singular is datum.
  23. Use a single tense consistently for reporting of literature. Past tense works best for most people.
  24. Do not rely on the technology to check your spelling, punctuation or sentence structure.
  • Print and read from paper before submitting work.
  • Each side of a semi-colon must qualify as a full English language sentence. If in doubt, do not use semi-colons.
  1. An abstract, by definition, should be the very last part of the paper to be written.
  2. The discussion should be grounded in the literature.
  3. Do not write an ampersand in the narrative or the word “and” inside parentheses.
  4. Refer to authors by last name only. [Exceptions do apply.]
  5. Do not write “in the study”, “of the study”, “in his article”, etc.
  6. Avoid quoting. See guidance below on quotes.
  7. Avoid redundant citations (citing an author at the beginning and the end of a sentence or paragraph)within the narrative.
  8. Avoid repeated use of terms and acronyms.
  9. Be wary of references earlier than 2005; strive for 2007-2010.
  10. Submit the narrative as an entity. (Do not start sections on clean pages.)
  11. Papers should not have tables of contents or appendices.
  12. Sections must have at least two paragraphs; paragraphs must have at least two sentences.

Why should quotes be avoided?

1. Quotes make the narrative choppy.

2. Quotations are often lifted from a greater context that is not shared with the reader.

3. Quotes are often poorly written statements. You may not correct the grammar within a quote. Quotation marks indicate that the words within are being reproduced exactly as written.

4. Quotes often contain acronyms that have been spelled out earlier.

5. Copied and pasted pieces indicate that the writer has found something deemed relevant. They do not show an understanding of what has been found.

6. More often than you would care to believe, writers put multiple citations after a quote. (That is an absurd situation.)

7. Multiple quotes make the writer look semi-literate. If you have used quotes extensively, try this: Remove all quotes from your paper. What is left?

8. Are there instances in which quotes are permissible or desirable? Yes, but quotes should be used very sparingly.

Checklist for Parts of the Formal Papers (Assignments 1 and 2):

  • Cover sheet with your name, username, title of paper and date submitted
  • Number pages in upper right corner. Cover sheet is number zero (0).
  • Add continuous line numbers.
  • Double space narrative; single space charts and tables.
  • Font: Times New Roman, 12 points.
  • Meaningful title of fewer than 10 significant words
  • Author name
  • Abstract (A synopsis of the entire paper — no citations!)
  • Keywords/key-phrases (Avoid general terms such as learning, education, etc.)
  • Introduction (Tell the reader what the paper will be about.)
  • Body of the paper
  • Review of the literature
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion (Pull the ideas together; opinions are okay. No new sources.)
  • References
  • About the Author


Note 1: I have capitalized significant words in the titles in violation of APA rules.

Note 2: The book list contains a variety of resources for doctoral students.

Note 3: Beware current, edited books with chapters that are old articles.

Note 4: Some of the books go back to 2002. Look for newer editions. It is acceptable to use an older source if it is supported by current ones.

Anderson, R., Bauer, J. & Speck B. (Eds.). (2002). Assessment Strategies for the Online Course: From Theory to Practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers

Bender, T. (2003). Discussion-Based Online Teaching to Enhance Student Learning: Theory, Practice and Assessment. Herndon, VA: Stylus Publishing.

Boettcher, J. & Conrad, R. (2004).Faculty Guide for Moving Teaching and Learning to the Web(2nd ed.). Phoenix, AZ: League for Innovation in the Community College.

Bracey, G. W. (2006). Reading Educational Research: How to Avoid Getting Statistically Snookered. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Carliner, S. & Shank, P. (Eds.). (2008). The e-Learning Handbook: Past Promises, Present Challenges. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley.

Clark, R. C. & Mayer, R. E. (2003). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer.

Conrad, R-M & Donaldson, J. A. (2003). Engaging the Online Learner: Activities and Resources for Creative Instruction. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.