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TEC 908 Online Course Review Documentation

Instructor: Bob Jost | bobjost@gmail.com | voicemail: 559-495-1919

Date of Review: January - April, 2011

Course Name: Internet: The Connected Classroom

Course Number: TEC 908

Course Syllabus: April 2011 Revision: .doc | .rtf | .pdf | .html

Primary Course Website:

http://www.cotwcourses.net/tec908/ (Jan. 2011 updated version)

Mirror websites with identical content to insure 24/7/365 accessibility:

http://www.josts.net/tec908/ (Jan. 2011 updated version)

http://www.sps3000.net/tec908/ (Jan. 2011 updated version)

http://www.sps3000.net/tec908old/ (archived pre-2010 version)

Note: After the course review process is completed, I will replace the older version of the course with the most recently updated version.)

Course Introduction and Learner Outcomes:


Course Overview and website Navigation:



Course Interactive Syllabi (with hyperlinks to course content):

Online Communication Module Interactive Syllabus:


World Wide Web Module Interactive Syllabus:


Webpage Design Module Interactive Syllabus:


Instructor Summary:

For existing courses going through the review process, please provide a summary indicating how, as an instructor, you have updated the course, improved, or made changes to the course from the original or since the last update:

The TEC 908 online course has been in a continual state of revision since it launched in January of 1997. Links to the online resources explored throughout the course have been reviewed and updated several times every year. New online resources have been added to the course website as they became available. Based on feedback from course participants, introductory comments and assignment prompts have been revised several times to clarify both content and expectations.

The last major revision of the course took place in January of 2010. At that time, I completely rewrote the online communications module to bring it into alignment with the EdTechProfile online communications guidelines. I added the email skills checklist and the internet skills checklist to the course assignments. These two checklists are used as pre and post assessments for the first two modules of the course.

I revised and updated the world wide web module including recently available background reading resources, checking and updating all of the links (as I have done again in January 2011). I revised several of the assignment prompts to clarify expectations.

The webpage design module was completely rewritten to include additional web development options that have become available since the course was initially developed (blogs, wikis, GoogleSites, etc.)

I completely revised and updated the entire course website utilizing a template that will also be accessible from tablet computers and smartphones as well as the traditional web browser.

I updated the course booklet that is mailed to course participants upon registration and revised the course logbook to bring it into alignment with the updated and revised course content.

In January 2011, I revised the course syllabus to bring it into alignment with the most recent FPU/CPD guidelines. I once again, reviewed and updated all of the links to online resources that are used throughout the course.


Component: Embedded standards/objectives

National Content Standards and National Professional Teaching Standards are identified and thoroughly addressed through course content at specific grade levels. State and/or District Content Standards are addressed by students through course assignments. Course objectives directly relate to Content and Professional Teaching Standards identified in course syllabus.

Course Evidence:

Technology Proficiency Standards

TEC 908 is in alignment with key elements of the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers 2008 developed by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).


TEC 908 is also in alignment with key elements of the EdTechProfile, an assessment instrument developed by the California Department of Education State Educational Technology Service.




National Standards for the Teaching Profession

TEC 908 is in alignment with key elements of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Five Core Propositions.


Curriculum Content Standards

In Assignment 5 of the World Wide Web Module, course participants are directed to explore their state's elementary content standards using online content standards reference sites.

Content Standards Exploration Assignment Prompt:

Course participants are directed to "Identify one or more specific curriculum content standards that will be the focal point(s) for your exploration of the educational resources websites that will follow. As you find relevant resources, add them to your Bookmarks/Favorites list.

Send me an email message telling me which content standard(s) that you have selected. Include the words "Content Standards" in the subject of your email message."


In Assignments 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 of the World Wide Web Module, course participants conduct online research using a variety of online search tools. The focal point of this research is the content standard that they identified in Assignment 5.

Online Research Assignment Prompt:

"...You will explore Search Engines, Web Indexes, Parallel Search Engines and Web Directories.

Earlier in the course you identified a specific content standard related to your classroom curriculum. Using this topic as the focal point of your research will be an excellent way to find more resources that will be of immediate use in your classroom."


Online Research Reflection Prompt:

Upon completion of Assignments 13-17, course participants are directed to "Send me an email message with your reflections on the online search tools. Describe which search tools you prefer. Explain why you found them to be better than the other available search tools. Tell how you will be able to use the online search tools to gather more educational resources to use in your classroom. Include the words web D in the subject of the message."



Reviewer Recommendations:






Component: Application to the Professional Setting

Course content, assignments, and teaching strategies are appropriate and applicable to specific grade levels within the K-12 grade span. Critical thinking skills, problem solving, reading and writing in the content area, and best teaching practices are applied to classroom experiences through course assignments.

Course Evidence:

TEC 908 was designed to meet the specific needs of K-12 educators. The focus of the course is less on the theoretical and more on curriculum support resources that can be immediately integrated into classroom instruction. However, the exemplary web resource sites were selected for inclusion in the online explorations of this course precisely because they demonstrate best practices in K-12 technology integration. Many have been developed by national curriculum associations and/or by practicing educators.

The tone of the curriculum resource explorations of the course is much more of a "Let me show you something that you can use tomorrow morning..." approach than "You have to read six journal articles on best practices in technology integration..." approach.

Course participants have responded enthusiastically to this approach. Witness the comment below.

"This course has been helpful in the usefulness of the Internet in my daily activities with the students. Before taking this class I never really thought about the fact that the students are already so connected with the use of the Internet that using it as a basis for learning is a wonderful and new idea that is relevant for the students.

In taking this course, I have a better understanding of how to use the world wide web more proficiently too. This course has given me new ideas of how to incorporate activities online for my students. I am now able to get around on the web more easily. I can identify resources better as well.

As I looked back on the email and Internet checklist, I was able to check off almost every skill. I would now say that I fit more in the proficient category. I am excited to take what I have learned and use it with my students."

Kara W. - January 8, 2011 email message

Here are some specific examples of these online explorations from course...

Assignment 5: - Educational Resource Sites:


Assignment 5 - Lesson Plans Sites:


Assignment 6 - Kid-Safe Websites:


Assignment 7 - Homework Helper Websites:


Assignment 8 - Web Reference Sites:


Assignment 9 - Online Library Sites:


Assignment 10 - Museum and Archive Sites:


Assignment 11 - Online News Sites:


Upon completion of each of the assigned online explorations, course participants are directed to review three or more sites from each category and to reflect on how those sites will be of use in their classroom instructional program. These reviews and reflections are recorded in the course logbook and summarized in email messages to the course instructor.

Example of Review and Reflection Prompts:

"Select three of the web reference websites. In your course logbook, record the web address and list two reference questions that could be answered by your students using the resources on the website.

After you have done that, send me an email message describing what you have found most useful in the past four assignments (Educational Resources, Kid-Safe Websites, Homework Helpers and Web Reference Sites).

Reflect on how integrating these online resources into your classroom would enrich your classroom learning environment. Include the words "web B" in the subject of the message.

In your course logbook, record the web address and a brief description of a minimum of three of the educational resource or lesson plans sites that you will be able to use in your classroom."


Course participants are also given the opportunity to share additional age-appropriate and educationally relevant online teaching/learning resource sites on the course web discussion board.

Web Resource Sharing Prompt Examples:

"If you have discovered other educational resource or lesson plans sites that were not included on the Exploration pages, you can share them with the TEC 908 online community by clicking on the Web Discussion Board link in the navigation bar near the top of the page. Navigate to the Activity 5: Educational Resources section on the web board and Add a New Message."


"Take a few minutes to share a minimum of three of the web resources you discovered when using the online search tools.

Click on the link to the Web Discussion Board above and navigate to the Activity 20: Check These Out... section on the discussion board. Add your three recommended sites using the Add a Message section down at the bottom of the screen. As you scroll down that long page, be sure to check out the sites that have been recommended by your colleagues in this course.


Note: The sharing section(s) on the course web discussion board have, over the years that this course has been running, become one of the most valuable resources on the course website. Literally hundreds of teacher-recommended sites are accessible to course participants.

Access the TEC 908 Web Discussion Board by clicking on the link below. Click on the TEC 908 link and then on Activity 20 to view recent course participant recommendations.



Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Relevant Content

Content reflects current classroom practices and directs students to review timely professional articles, journals, research, etc. in the content area focus of the course. Assignments ask students to make connections of the course content to current events.

Course materials, e.g. text, supplemental materials, videos, audio presentations, etc., which are provided by the course instructor are kept current and reviewed every two years and are updated if needed.

Course Evidence:

This component is addressed at multiple points throughout the course.

In Assignment 3 of the World Wide Web Module, course participants are required to read several online articles about the history and development of the internet and world wide web.


These articles/sites have been developed and are maintained by experts in the field (Sir Tim Berners-Lee, National Science Foundation, Computer History Museum, etc.)

In Assignment 4 of the World Wide Web Module, course participants are required to read several online articles which discuss the social, cultural and educational impact of the world wide web.


Again, these articles were written by widely recognized experts (Kevin Kelly, Dr. Michael Wesch, The Pew Internet and American Life Project, etc.)

After reading the articles, course participants are directed to record their observations and reflections in the course logbook and to share those comments with me via an email message. I respond with additional comments addressing relevant points which they might have missed.

In Assignment 12 of the World Wide Web Module, course participants are directed to read a minimum of two articles about the Role of the Web in Education. These articles are self-selected from the archived writings of Marc Prensky (widely recognized as an expert in the field of technology integration in education) and from the George Lucas Foundation's Edutopia website (again, widely recognized as a leader in identifying the value and impact of technology enhanced learning). The Edutopia site is updated on a monthly basis and is often the source of the most current discussions on this topic.


Upon completion of the assigned readings, course participants are directed to share their reflections on the course web discussion board.

These reflections are reviewed by the instructor and serve as an opportunity for further discussion and reflection via email. The archived reflections are also accessible to all course participants. Many have reported finding the comments of their colleagues to be thought-provoking and inspirational.

Click on the link below to access the discussion board. Click on TEC 908 and then on Activity 12 to view these archive reflections.



Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Rubric to evaluate student mastery of course objectives

A rubric is provided to inform students of expectations of performance on all course assignments. Levels of expectations are described for a grade of A, B, and no credit. A grade for the course will be determined based on the level of achievement of these standards which will indicate the level of mastery of the course objectives.

Course Evidence:

Skills Assessment Checklists

Prior to the Online Communication and World Wide Web Modules, course participants are directed to assess their preliminary skills utilizing a skills assessment checklist based on the EdTechProfile. The EdTech Profile was developed by the California Department of Education State Educational Technology Service. While this Profile was developed for California educators it, obviously, has value for educators in other states as well and provides a benchmark for mastery of important online communication and internet/world wide web skills.

EdTechProfile Email Skills Checklist (Pre/Post)


EdTechProfile Internet Skills Checklist (Pre/Post)


Upon completion of the Online Communication and World Wide Web Modules, course participants are directed to reassess their skills utilizing the checklists. A self-evaluation of growth resulting from coursework is reported to the instructor. While this assessment instrument is not included in grading, the checklists have proved to be a valuable addition to the course. A significant number of course participants have reported that they found the preliminary checklist useful in identifying gaps in their skill set and the post checklist useful in validating their mastery of additional online communication and internet/world wide web skills.

Grading Policy

This component of the course is addressed in the printed course booklet that is mailed to course participants within 24 hours of their registration for the course. It is also included in the Course Support Documents section on the course website and included in the online version of the syllabus.

Course Support Documents:


TEC 908 Syllabus (online version)


TEC 908 Grading Policy

Course assignments will have the following point value:

  • Course Online Communication and web board postings: 25 points
  • Logbook: 50 points
  • Classroom Webpage/Website: 25 points

Assignments will be evaluated by the instructor and the course participant’s final grade will be calculated using the following scale:

  • 90 – 100 points: Letter grade of “A”
  • 75 – 89 points: Letter grade of “B” or grade of “Credit”
  • 74 points or below: Grade of “No Credit”

Note: Students who enroll in the course for a letter grade will only earn credit for the course if they achieve a letter grade of “A” or “B”.



Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Instructor Voice

Instructor will include narration of their personal expertise and experiences in the content area and teaching strategies modeled throughout the course.

Course Evidence:

In this course, I refrain from using a highly academic tone because I want to lower the affective filter of technophobic teachers as well as to develop excitement in teachers that will be carried into the classroom.

My instructors' voice is deliberately conversational - one teacher communicating and collaborating with another teacher. My twenty-five years as an elementary educator and ten years as an elementary technology educator have been useful in establishing credibility in this conversation.

This is not a course where the notion of "theory and research indicate that this might work in the elementary classroom" is invoked as an incentive for course participants to take what is often a "giant leap" in integrating online resources into the classroom. I can (and often do) say "I know this works with fifth graders because I used it with 196 fifth graders last week."


Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Diverse Student Assignments and Assessment Methods

Assignments will include a variety of delivery methods, formats, and focus. E.g. reflective writing based on assigned readings, experiences, etc., design and development of a project or unit, lesson plan design and implementation, collaborative or community of learners based assignments, technology based assignments using PowerPoint, PodCast, WebQuest, Web-based, video, etc.
Opportunities for using technology as a tool to enhance learning are offered through specific assignments.

Course Evidence:

As indicated in the course grading policies (see above), course participants are evaluated on their on-going course email and web discussion board correspondence with the instructor throughout the course and on the logbook and the webpage/website project that are submitted at the end of the course.

Online Communication

Course participants will maintain an on-going dialog with the online instructor at regular intervals throughout the course and will have the opportunity to request personalized assistance from the instructor if necessary.


Course participants will read the course content and explore the recommended web resources for each assignment of the course. They will maintain a logbook documenting their progress and will respond to reflection prompts at regular intervals throughout the course. The course logbook may be kept in a printed hard copy format or kept in a digital (word processor) format.

Webpage/Website Development Project

In the Webpage Design Module of the course, course participants are required to create a classroom webpage/website using one of eight available options. In addition to personalized content, this webpage/website must include hyperlinks to standards-based, age-appropriate and educationally relevant web content that the course participant identified throughout the course. Since the resulting website is instantly accessible online, course participants submit the URL (web address) for the site to the instructor for review upon completion of the project.

Not only does this project fulfill key elements of the internet/world wide web skill set, it also provides incentive to immediately begin using online resources in the classroom as well as to share those skills and resources with colleagues. Many course participants report that the website project was one of the most beneficial components of the course.

All online correspondence (email, web discussion board) and assignments are monitored and evaluated on a daily basis by the online instructor. Logbooks and projects are evaluated on the day that they arrive and the grade is submitted to the University before the next business day.


Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Ongoing Student/Instructor Interaction

Course will include requirements for several specific assignments for student/instructor communication. This communication will include dialog between student and instructor, and not just a “received your assignment” type response.

Course Evidence:

The TEC 908 online course offers multiple venues of online communication between the instructor and course participant as well as opportunities for course participants to communicate with other course participants via the course web discussion board.

My "instructor voice" is evident in every email message that I exchange with course participants beginning with the instructor's introduction and course welcome message that I send when the student begins the course. Course participants are asked to respond with a similar introduction and the "conversation" begins.

I deliberately leave relevant portions of the course participants message in my replies since that facilitates a more conversational tone. Course participants often begin to mimic that pattern as the course progresses. Over the course of the conversation, I typically interact with course participants fifteen to twenty (or more) times. Many course participants have reported that they feel they have had more one-on-one communication with me than they typically find in the traditional on-campus class or traditional distance learning course.

I make it a practice to respond to all course email correspondence within 24 hours (typically under 8 hours).

I have been teaching online courses for Fresno Pacific University for fourteen years now and have archived most of my incoming and outgoing course-related email correspondence for the past decade. My email client's statistic feature informs me that since August of 2002, I have have spent over 3,333 hours hours reading and responding to over 40,000 course-related email messages. Those archived messages are available for review if the Program Council needs additional documentation.


Reviewer Recommendations:









Component: Pedagogical connections

An opportunity for the student to explore the rationale and justification for why the content addressed in the course is important to study. This should be a mixture of the instructor’s opinion and experiences and the review of what other experts in the field have written.

Course Evidence:

I have deliberately decided to use a "one classroom educator talking to another classroom educator" approach in this course rather than the more traditional "professorial sage on the stage" approach.

In my experience, rank and file educators often respond quite negatively to formal presentations of educational theory and pedagogy but enthusiastically embrace (and are much more likely to integrate) technology enhanced online curriculum resources that support the traditional curriculum. The "Let me show you something that you can use to teach that concept with your second graders tomorrow morning..." approach is often much more effective than the "This journal article indicates that interactive, standards-based online instruction in the gaming mode is a viable alternative to traditional textbook based instruction..."

Articles on theory and pedagogy are included in Marc Prensky and Edutopia readings for Assignment 12 in the World Wide Web Module of the course.


More importantly, examples of relevant theory and pedagogy are embedded and implemented time and again in the examples of online teaching/learning resources that are included in the online explorations of Assignments 5-11 of that module.


The online research skills introduced and reinforced in Assignments 13-17 of the World Wide Web Module empower course participants to quickly and efficiently find age-appropriate and educationally relevant online content that has been developed by the world-wide community of educators and experts now working in this online environment.

This component is embedded throughout the course rather than as a separate module and is regularly included in my email responses to course participants.

Let me share several examples that I have saved as "stationery" and use at appropriate points when communicating with online course participants.

"Our "digital native" students are so eager to work in a technology enriched learning environment. We have a golden opportunity to capture that enthusiasm and to channel it in the direction of educationally relevant web resources. I find that the students will often spend hours and hours of their own time exploring those sites once they know where to find them."

"Together we educators know so much more than we do as individuals. Fortunately, the world wide web has created so many opportunities for educators to share their combined knowledge and experience."

"In introducing technology into the classroom, we educators have a wonderful opportunity to model life-long learning for our students. So often we educators are reluctant to use technology until we feel comfortable with it. I've found that stepping aside and letting the students take the lead in teaching each other is often one of the most effective ways to introduce new technology into the classroom.

In an interesting book titled "What Video Games Can Teach Us About Learning and Literacy", Dr. James Gee calls this "viral learning" and says it is a powerful model for learning with which today's students are very familiar. They are often as receptive to learning from their peers as from their teachers."


Reviewer Recommendations:









Additional Comments of Reviewer:











Last updated and submited by Bob Jost - April 10, 2011

Fresno Pacific University Continuing Education