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USF EDH 7225 - Research Paper

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M A R I E A . T A P A N E SC o u r s e d e v e l o p m ent p roject:I N T R O D U C T I O N TO T H E L O G I C O F P R O G R A M M I N GE D H 7 2 2 5 - C u r r i c u l u m D e v e l o p m e n t i n H i g h e r E d u c a t i o nP r o f e s s o r : D . D e l l o w, P h . D .C o l l e g e o f E d u c a t i o nU n i v e r s i t y o f S o u t h F l o r i d a Ta m p a , F l o r i d a1. Rationale Introduction to the logic of programming is the second course of the sequence ofcomputer courses for the associate and baccalaureate degrees of Information Systems. It is arequired course which should be completed preferably during the students’ first year ofstudies, before enrolling in major courses like Introduction to programming and Datastructures, among other specialization courses. Sections of the course are currently offered inday and night sections. A redesign of the course is necessary to offer the course online since many students havedifficulty taking on-campus classes due to their work and/or family commitments. Offeringan online course certainly does not mean uploading files from previous offerings. Instead, itis needed a new instructional design to help guide and retain the online students, reducefeelings of isolation and increase motivation to participate and submit course requirements,offer assistance when needed, in addition to providing the student with a vast diversity ofonline resources to help complete the course successfully. The redesign will be based in parton Dr. Fink’s Significant Learning design principles. 2. Needs assessmentInstitutions need to update their offerings to keep up with the requirements of society,academy and its students. Technology is offering the means to reach more students and amore diverse population. Now, students with full work and family commitments, as well asfull time students, can enjoy the opportunity to complete a course online. Many institutionsare offering that choice. Our students, from which a big percentage is comprised by an adultpopulation enrolled in the AHORA program, will benefit of this new offering. In the future,2other courses will need to be offered online also as an alternate medium to reach our studentsand give them the tools they need to complete their educational goals and programs of study. 3. Situational factors3.1. Specific context of the teaching/learning situationThe course is a lower division course which is expected to be completed by thestudents during their second semester of studies in the Information Systems program.Currently, the average class size is 25 students per session. Because it is a requiredfoundational course, around 3-4 sections are offered each semester, afternoon andevening. Each class meets twice a week for 2 hours. 3.2. General context of the learning situation- Description of the rationale forinstructional deliveryThe course needs to be offered online, which will probably reduce the traditionalsessions to one in the afternoon and one in the evening for students who prefer traditionaleducation. Offering the course online will respond to a need students have to continuetheir studies while having time for their other important responsibilities. It also respondsto a need to actualize the offerings and stay competitive with other higher educationinstitutions. Thus, an online course will offer more options to the students on how toproceed with their coursework. This is part of the institution’s effort to attract morestudents to the program, offering the flexibility of online courses with the convenientanytime-anywhere philosophy.3However, as said by Ehrmann (2005), “If you’re headed in the wrong direction,technology won’t help you get to the right place” (p.439). Therefore, carefully plannedinstructional strategies and goals are necessary to create a learning environment wherethe students can learn online while giving them the tools they need to succeed in thecourse while keeping a sense of belonging to a community of practice.3.3. Teaching and learning strategiesThe acquisition and the participation metaphors will be applied to theinstructional strategies (see Sfard, 2005). Acquisition will be related to the readingassignments and the reading of the materials provided by the instructor to help studentsgain the fundamental knowledge of the course content. The participation metaphor willbe evident in the discussion forums, where the students are expected to search andcontribute with credible sources of information (active-inquiry learning) for their peersand engage in communications regarding the course assignments (active-collaborativelearning). Active learning, as described by Angelo (2005), is “meaningful, long-lastingchanges in knowledge, understanding, behavior, dispositions, appreciations…” (p.454). Itis expected that what the students gain in knowledge and experience in the course willhelp them academically and professionally in the future. This will be achieved by givingthe opportunity to actively search for reliable information relevant to the courseassignments and sharing/discussing those references and ideas with peers.In addition, integrating role playing to activities or assignments can give theopportunity to include knowledge about other cultures and globalization. Professionals in4technology-related careers can work for any company anywhere in the world. Therefore,the students enrolled in this course should be exposed to other cultures and the possibilityof having a “customer” from a different culture and country. The course will integrate aproject, which will substitute a third exam in the current offering, to help studentsbecome sensitive and empathic interpreters, infusing diverse perspectives throughout thecurriculum (Nussbaum, 2005).3.4 Articulation, transfer, approval, or professional licensing concernsThe Information systems program is offered completely in the main campus,eliminating the need to transfer students to other campuses. However, other campuses ofthe institution may transfer students to the main campus program. That will not pose aproblem since the transfer courses are equivalent in course


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