INST 6105: Distance Education Tools

Download a copy of the syllabus:


Doug Holton
Room 205 Education Bldg
doug.holton on gtalk

Class location:
Meets in Room 280 (computer lab) of the education building, 8:15am to 10:30am, M-F

Class schedule:
  1. June 14 - June 18 (online)
  2. June 21 - June 25 (on campus) 8:15 to 10:30 AM, M-F
  3. June 28 - July 2 (on campus) 8:15 to 10:30 AM, M-F
  4. July 5 - July 9 (online)
  5. July 12 - July 16 (on campus) 8:15 to 10:30 AM, M-F
  6. July 19 - July 23 (online completion of projects if needed)

Course Description:

In this course we'll learn about tools and principles for creating effective and engaging online and blended learning environments. Some of the things we'll try to do include:
  • develop a philosophy of teaching and technology
  • identify misconceptions about online/blended learning and educational technology
  • review recent research and theory about online learning
  • set up online personal learning networks for professional development and lifelong learning
  • learn how to evaluate e-learning and redesign courses for blended/online learning
  • learn about new media literacies, 21st century learning, digital communities and identities
  • design effective visualizations, animations, and multimedia
  • design instruction in a learning management system
  • and the primary focus, learn how to use various tools that can be used in support of online/blended learning, as described below.

Example tools:
Some of the types of tools we'll be learning about include:

  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Social bookmarking
  • Micro-blogging
  • Social networking
  • Animation/multimedia authoring
  • Learning management systems
  • Content management systems
  • Virtual worlds
  • Video, podcasts, screencasts
  • Simulations, videogames
  • Presentation tools
  • Digital note-taking, tablets/slates
  • Mobile learning
  • Cloud computing, Google apps
  • Visualization tools, concept mapping

Materials Needed for the Course:

No textbooks are required to be purchased for this class.
A free, online pdf book we will be using is:
The Theory and Practice of Online Learning:
(click the 'Ebook' tab on that page for the pdfs)
You will need to bring your laptop with you to our class in room 178 (which has no computers).
If you don't have one, I can lend you a netbook to use.

Participation and Grades:

This is a participatory class. No quizzes or papers to turn in, only projects and activities to work on. If you do the activities and try your best, you'll get full credit.
Your final grade will be composed of:

  • 10 pts: philosophy of teaching & technology assignment (see above)
  • 150 pts: We are essentially meeting 15 times, and you'll get 10 points for participating each day
  • 40 pts: final project
For a total of 200 points.
If you cannot make one or more classes, you can makeup the activities online.