You are on page 1of 24

Rationale Paper

02.15.2016

Billy J. Grieco
Product Manager
EdTech 592 - Portfolio
Boise State University

Introduction
The purpose of this Rationale Paper is threefold. First, it is meant to communicate the most
significant work I have produced as I have worked towards my Master of Educational
Technology degree at Boise State University. Second, to document how that work
correlates to and demonstrates mastery of the AECT standards, which are the curriculum
and candidate competencies created by the Association of Educational Communications
and Technology. And, finally, I will use this paper to prove how this work demonstrates my
proficiency in the core course material and learning outcomes. I am currently a product
manager at a large educational publishing company, where I lead the creation of content
and digital environments for instructors and students in a specific discipline domain within
higher ed. I enrolled in this program in the summer of 2013 after deciding that I wanted to
improve my understanding of the research base supporting the integration of technology
into the learning process, and how to most appropriately apply those technologies
depending on the learner and learning context. Boise States EdTech degree appealed to
me because of its blended focus on instructional design, learning theory, and hands-on
technology skills, all of which I felt could contribute to my goal of infusing the products I
help create with well-researched learning design methodologies.
This paper is organized in five subsections as outlined by the AECTs approach to the field,
including Content Knowledge, Content Pedagogy, Learning Environments, Professional
Knowledge and Skills, and Research. Within each of those subsections, I have matched a set
of artifacts to the standards indicators, provided a brief description of the artifact, and
linked this document to the location of the artifact. Ive then explained why each artifact
was selected and how it demonstrates the mastery of the standard. Further, I make the
connection between the artifact and research that supports its execution, and how my
professional life has been impacted by the knowledge gained in its creation. As a whole,
this collection of artifacts will serve as a record of my understanding, application, and
reflection on the knowledge Ive gained throughout the life of the M.E.T. program.

STANDARD 1: CONTENT KNOWLEDGE


Candidates demonstrate the knowledge necessary to create, use, assess, and manage
theoretical and practical applications of educational technologies and processes.

Indicators
I. Creating. Candidates demonstrate the ability to
create instructional materials and learning
environments using a variety of systems approaches
(p. 81).
522: Adult Learners. Moodle Course - Learning the Basics of HTML5.*
*Click here for a video walkthrough of the Moodle course for those without access. If you
would like access, please email me at william.grieco@u.boisestate.edu.
This artifact is a Moodle course shell designed for adult learners and covers the creation of
a basic webpage using the text editing software, Sublime Text 2. The learning goals of the
lesson are to have students with no previous experience programming in HTML to
successfully download and install a piece of software (Sublime Text 2), identify errors in
pre-written code, write their own HTML according to guidelines, validate that code using
the W3C HTML validator, and finally open and view that HTML page in an internet browser.
This artifact demonstrates my mastery of the Content Knowledge Creating substandard
through the application of the principles of andragogy to instructional materials within a
learning environment. This was achieved by designing the exercise to stimulate the unique
needs and characteristics of adult learners as posited by educator and researcher Malcolm
Knowles. Specifically, characteristics taken into account are self-concept, readiness to learn,
orientation to learn, and the need to know (Taylor & Kroth, 2009). By doing so, this
Moodle course will not only help learners achieve the task in a structured environment, but
also give them opportunities to be creative and take their learning beyond the lesson.

3
In my professional life, better understanding the characteristics of adult learners and the
principles supporting how they can be best engaged in the learning process has led me to
make different decisions about the products I help produce. Many of our digital
environments have not taken into account the unique needs of these learners, who now
represent a substantial segment of our customer population. I seek to better address those
needs by offering more diverse instructional opportunities and more options for learner
autonomy.

II. Using - Candidates demonstrate the ability to


select and use technological resources and processes
to support student learning and to enhance their
pedagogy (p. 141).
501: Introduction to Educational Technology: RSS in Education Screencast.
This artifact is a screencast demonstrating the concept and application of RSS (Real Simple
Syndication) services in an educational setting. It was created for instructors in higher
education seeking to better understand the supporting technology behind RSS, and how
they might implement it in their classroom. The learning goal of the artifact is for learners
to conceptually understand how the backend of the technology works, and through
modeling provide them with a foundation on which to build their own lesson material. It
was chosen because it demonstrates an instructors ability to appropriately select,
understand, and apply a technology in the classroom to support student learning. I used
Google Slides to create the introductory slide deck, and Jing to record myself
demonstrating use of the technology on my own screen.
As for how it has impacted my professional practice, using RSS has become one of the
most enduring takeaways Ive had from the M.E.T. program. Since being introduced to RSS
in my very first class, Ive set up and read from my own RSS feed (using Feedly) every day
for almost three years. Its proven to be an incredible time saver and has helped me both
find and track feeds on business and technology news, art, design, and education. This has
allowed me to stay very current on issues that impact my daily life, all without needing to
frequently visit independent sites to check for updates.

III. Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates


demonstrate the ability to assess and evaluate the

effective integration of appropriate technologies and


instructional materials.
501: Introduction to Educational Technology. School Evaluation.
This artifact is a School Evaluation that examines the demographic makeup, administrative
policies, curriculum, support, and connectivity of a K-8 school in suburban New Jersey. It
demonstrates my ability to assess and evaluate appropriate technology usage in a real
setting, produced through student / instructor surveys, demographic research, and
instructor interviews. Insights gained through this project focus primarily on the disconnect
between the purchase and availability of technologies in a well-funded school with the
training and implementation of those technologies. Without proper and stakeholder
involvement of all parties including administration, teachers, students, and parents
technology devices and applications can be under-utilized. Ive taken these learnings to my
own life when considering the training and support opportunities for my own digital
products. As we produce more and more sophisticated tools for instructors and students,
its imperative that we offer users adequate documentation of their uses, ways to connect
with support staff, and opportunities to learn how to creatively and consistently apply
those technologies in their classrooms.

IV. Managing - Candidates demonstrate the ability


to effectively manage people, processes, physical
infrastructures, and financial resources to achieve
predetermined goals (p. 178).
505: Evaluation for Educational Technologists: RFP Proposal.
This RFP Proposal is an artifact that mimics the response to an RFP produced by a
consulting company. Specifically, Ive put myself in the shoes of a consulting group thats
outlining a plan to evaluate the market viability of a set of instructional materials created
by an outside company. This involves proposing how to evaluate the addressable market
size and competitors, and how the consulting group would conduct stakeholder interviews
to determine purchasing behaviors. It reflects my ability to manage the internal people and
resources of the consulting group, create a schedule, and produce accurate and
reasonable financial estimates for the work involved. I based many of the groups on the
customer development philosophies of Giff Constables Talking to Humans and Robert
Fitzpatricks The Mom Test, which place a heavier emphasis on ethnographic research. That

5
is, watching how people behave and how to understand that behavior, rather than asking
them how they behave or how they might behave in the future, which most people are
notoriously bad at accurately predicting (Gilbert, 2006).
While difficult, this was one of the assignments I felt most comfortable producing during
the M.E.T. program. Naturally, most of the assignments involved producing teaching
materials or how to apply learning theory to a classroom. As someone with no prior
classroom teaching experience, I consistently felt challenged to step outside of my comfort
zone to produce material with which I had no expertise. Producing a response to an RFP,
however, is something Ive done before. I believe its helped me improve on these skills for
the future through meeting the rigorous requirements outlined by the assignment.

V. Ethics - Candidates demonstrate the


contemporary professional ethics of the field as
defined and developed by the Association for
Educational Communications and Technology (p.
284).
505: Evaluation for Educational Technologists: RFP Proposal.
In the contexts of the Ethics substandard, the RFP Proposal artifact (defined above) reflects
several dimensions of professional ethics. It was chosen because it provides a clear
description of the deliverables, who will be producing them and what their qualifications
are for doing so, transparency on costs associated with the work including appropriate
hourly rates, and a promised schedule. In my professional life, all of these items are
requirements for a trustworthy business relationship. With clear expectations outlined and
set, work that goes out of scope or is not delivered is easier to renegotiate without either
party feeling that the other isnt living up to their promises.

STANDARD 2: CONTENT PEDAGOGY


Indicators
I. Creating - Candidates apply content pedagogy
to create appropriate applications of processes and

technologies to improve learning and performance


outcomes (p. 1).
542 - Technology Supported Project-Based Learning. A History of State and National Parks
Project
This artifact is a Project-Based Learning exercise created for 6th graders that asks learners
to explore, document, and reflect on an experience visiting a local state or national park.
Covered content areas help students practice 21st Century skills and multiple specific
Common Core standards, such as writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic
and convey ideas, concepts, and information (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.2), conduct a short
research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the
inquiry when appropriate (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.7), and integrate visual information (e.g.,
in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital
texts (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7). All of these objectives support some of the central
learning theories on the benefit of PBL instruction, notably that students are better able to
build understanding of skills and concepts when they are "connected to meaningful
problem-solving activities, and when student are helped to understand why, when, and
how those facts and skills are relevant" (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000). I believe this
artifact appropriately applies those learning theories in a technology context both in the
tools that learners are asked to use to complete the project, such as Google Docs and
Sheets, but also in the creation of the instruction.
For my professional life, the Project-Based Learning course exposed me to a new and
robust teaching methodology to which I had no previous experience. While many of the
actual student interactions would happen outside the scope of the products I produce,
there are nevertheless opportunities to support instructors who would like to integrate this
approach into their classrooms. This exercise has served as an example in numerous
instances where Ive sought to use existing platforms to create PBL support resources in
my products. That work is still ongoing, but the outcome looks positive.
534: Mobile App Development: Focused.
This artifact is a mobile application created using MITs App Inventor 2. Its intended for
students, professionals, and parents who are trying to stay focused when completing a
task, such as a reading or playing with their children, but find themselves distracted by the
desire to constantly be on their smartphones. The app therefore contains a timer which
you can start and stop when you put down your phone and then pick it up, or select a

7
predetermined amount of time that the app will count down and alert the user when time
is up. Record keeping tracks your longest focused session, how many times you
interrupted a predetermined time session (implying you lost focused) and also rewards the
user for staying focused for increasingly long periods of time. I feel it represents my ability
to apply technological processes to a product that can improve a users ability to achieve an
objective through providing them with transparency into their current behaviors.
This artifact is my favorite creation in the M.E.T. program. It was intensely time-consuming
and intellectually challenging to produce. I ran into countless bugs, program limitations,
and mistakes that took concerted effort to unravel, fix, or workaround. Having a final
product that works after overcoming those obstacles is tremendously rewarding. I enjoyed
it so much that Ive started to work towards an Android development certificate from
Udacity, where I hope to create an even more functional version of Focused written
natively in XML and Java.

II. Using - Candidates implement appropriate


educational technologies and processes based on
appropriate content pedagogy (p. 141).
513: Multimedia: Worked Example Screencast. ToDoist.
Created for the 513 Multimedia course, this Worked Example of the productivity tool
ToDoist demonstrates an effective demonstration of a technology tool, including clear
learning objectives and focused instruction on the use and applications of a technology.
Additionally, its one of many artifacts I created in 513 that follow best practices of
multimedia design, including the Coherence Principle, which states that, Students learn
better when extraneous material is excluded rather than included in multimedia
explanations (Moreno & Mayer, 2000). Throughout the course I learned to avoid adding in
supplementary graphics, background music when not appropriate, and to speak only to the
learning goals rather than including additional information. Also represented in this
example is Richard Mayers Redundancy Principle which states that people learn better
from graphics and narration than from graphics, narration and on-screen text; his
Personalization Principle, where people learn better from multimedia lessons when words
are in conversational style rather than formal style; and the Voice Principle, in which people
learn better when the narration in multimedia lessons is spoken in a friendly human voice
rather than a machine voice (Clark & Mayer, 2011). The target audience is anyone looking

8
to learn about how productivity tools can impact their life, be it for home, work, or school,
and the learning goals center on being able to create an account on ToDoist.com, create
projects within that account, and then create tasks within those projects.
ToDoist has had a profound impact on my professional life, which is why I choose to share
it with my classmates in the form of a worked example. Rather than a single long paper todo list with no hierarchy or way to quickly prioritize, ToDoist captures everything you need
to do in a simple interface thats easy to adapt. Moreover, it allows you to enter as many
tasks as youd like, but only show you the ones youve decided you can get done today.
Rather than being overwhelmed by an insurmountable list of things to do, Todoist can help
you stay focused and motivated. Its a fantastic technology tool, and one with many
applications in education.

III. Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates


demonstrate an inquiry process that assesses the
adequacy of learning and evaluates the instruction
and implementation of educational technologies and
processes (p. 116-117) grounded in reflective
practice.
503: Instructional Design Project: Final ID Eval Paper - Creating an HTML webpage.
This artifact is an activity designed for 7th graders and intended to teach them the basics of
creating a webpage in HTML. Fully designed according to best practices in instructional
design, it includes a needs assessment, description of the learners and learning context,
objectives, learning materials and assessments, and a reflection on the process (Ragan &
Smith, 2005). I believe it demonstrates my ability to assess and evaluate instruction and
how to successfully implement educational technologies.
Creating materials for designing a webpage is a theme I returned to several times
throughout the M.E.T. program. After learning that writing code would be a requirement
for myself as part of the degree, I started to prep by using some open educational
resources to get a head start on the skill. Little did I know it would end up being one of the
most enjoyable and impactful parts of the program for me. I learned quite a bit of HTML,
CSS, and Ive recently started learning native Android development after being inspired by
the mobile development course. Im keen to see where this can lead in my career.

IV. Managing - Candidates manage appropriate


technological processes and resources to provide
supportive learning communities, create flexible and
diverse learning environments, and develop and
demonstrate appropriate content pedagogy (p. 175193).
503: Instructional Design. ID Case Analysis (Abby Carlin)
This artifact is a Voicethread which walks the viewer through the steps needed to design an
instructional solution to a training problem. In the Abby Carlin case, we were asked to
describe how using sound instructional design principles could help a fictional steel
stamping facility train new workers based on the expertise of existing employees. In this
case, I choose to use the problem-model (Ragan & Smith, 2005), which starts with a needsassessment, the design of a solution, and eventually would move on to launch,
implementation, and evaluation, where we would review the efficacy of our solution and
start the process again to further refine it. This example reflects the management of
appropriate technologies (proper video / audio / lighting solutions) and resources, both on
the side of the company tasked with designing a solution and the current employees of the
plant, who we need to help create the materials while also not interrupting their
productivity. It also applies the pedagogy of a problem-based instructional design model in
a clear and concise way.
When translating this work to my professional life, I found the needs and constraints
analysis model to be very helpful. Needs-analysis was a process I was familiar with, but
integrating that work with a constraints analysis added something that was very useful.
Without it, its easy to design solutions that could work, but that might not be realistic to a
student or instructors reality. For example, designing a web-based activity might be fine for
instructors, but a constraints analysis may reveal that a sizable part of the student
population only have access to mobile devices at home. Instead of being limiting,
constraints often help focus you on the most important and viable solutions.

V. Ethics - Candidates design and select media,


technology, and processes that emphasize the
diversity of our society as a multicultural community
(p. 296).

10
501: Introduction to Educational Technology. Digital Inequality: Global Learning and the
Digital Divide.
For the Ethics substandard Ive chosen an artifact that speaks to the challenges of offering
equitable learning opportunities for as many students as possible. This presentation,
created with Voicethread, speaks to some of the biggest issues facing education and my
particular industry educational publishing. In order to truly reach a diverse and global
audience, certain initiatives must be prioritized. Most notably, the development of more
mobile solutions for courseware, offline access to digital learning material to address those
without reliable internet access, and the need for closer partnerships with school to make
better connections with teaching / learning practice and the results they produce. These
are initiatives Ive personally supported in my professional practice, and ones in which
there has been significant progress in recent years.

STANDARD 3: LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS


Indicators
I. Creating - Candidates create instructional
design products based on learning principles and
research-based best practices (pp. 8, 243-245, 246).
522: Adult Learners. Rich Media Tutorial: Your First Webpage.
This artifact is a Rich Media Tutorial that covers the basics of creating a webpage in HTML.
Created for adult learners, it hits on many of the unique characteristics of that group,
including linking the lesson to applications in their lives, and suggestions for pursuing the
topic further should they choose to do so (Taylor & Kroth, 2009). It was created using
Screencast-O-Matic and features a PowerPoint deck with introductory information and
learning objectives, and then transitions to a screencast covering the use of the text editing
software SublimeText 2. The combination of specific instructional design principles for the
target audience and the appropriate balance of applied technologies to produce the
tutorial meet the Creating substandard.
As for application to my professional practice, one of the biggest learning moments I took
away from the creation of this exercise and several others like it was the challenge of

11
working within the time constraint. My first several takes of the recording went far too
long almost double the allotted time. This forced me to cut down to the basics, avoid
tangents, and to explain and emphasize things correctly the first time to avoid feeling the
need to repeat myself. This has translated to many presentations Ive done in my
professional life.

II. Using - Candidates make professionally sound


decisions in selecting appropriate processes and
resources to provide optimal conditions for learning
(pp. 122, 169) based on principles, theories, and
effective practices. (pp. 8-9, 168-169, 246).
522: Adult Learners: Slack in the Classroom.
This artifact is a Voicethread that walks the viewer through the web-based application,
Slack. Slack is an online tool that combines multiple forms of messaging and file sharing
into one platform, allowing users to communicate in open and efficient ways. Originally
conceptualized for business teams to use as they work together, there are clear uses of the
program in education. Specifically, Slack can be used to facilitate communities of inquiry by
allowing learners to create artifacts together, exchange ideas easily regardless of format,
and to help strengthen flexible communication and interaction. As a Web 2.0 tool, Slack
therefore provides the means to support collaborative learning activities that require
shared meaning across participants while working together on common problems or
issues (Hsu, Ching, & Grabowski, 2014). With the specific learning goal of communities of
inquiry in mind, this application of a technology fulfills the usage of a technology to provide
optimal conditions for learning.
Professionally, Ive found Slack to be a very valuable tool. Rather than asynchronous email,
Slack allows for live chat but also allows other group members to review those
conversations and contribute later. By blending multiple platforms into one, it creates an
environment thats very open and accessible, leading to the quick and productive exchange
of information and ideas. All of this could be translated to the classroom as well, so long as
the deployment of the technology has a clear goal and scope.

III. Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates use


multiple assessment strategies (p. 53) to collect data

12

for informing decisions to improve instructional


practice, learner outcomes, and the learning
environment (pp. 5-6).
522: Adult Learners. Online Course Evaluation.
This artifact is a comparison of two MOOCs, otherwise known as Massive Open Online
Courses. To evaluate the two courses I rated them against the Quality Matters rubric, which
includes standards such as, Instructions make clear how to get started and where to find
various course components, The course learning objectives describe outcomes that are
measurable, and The types of assessments selected measure the stated learning
objectives and are consistent with course activities and resources (Quality Matters, 2016).
Doing so revealed clear shortcomings in the courses, and discrepancies between the two in
terms of which would be considered higher quality. Should I choose to use one of these
courses myself, or have the opportunity to recommend them to others for usage, having
applied appropriate review rigor will have significantly improved my insights into which
course is worth selecting. This assessment process will have then informed my decisions
for improving learning practice, outcomes, and environment, which satisfies the Assessing /
Evaluating substandard.
501: Introduction to Educational Technology. EdTech Challenges.
This artifact is a YouTube video created using PowToons, which is animation software used
for providing visuals for voiceover. The video covers one of the biggest challenges facing
higher education today, namely that educations own processes and practices limit
broader uptake of new technologies (Horizon Report, 2013). In this context, higher
educations slow response to changes in the environment they serve are compared to
challenges outlined in Clayton Christensens The Innovators Dilemma. Specifically, that its
difficult for a business to reinvent itself when its value structure is still dependent on its
current customers (Christensen, 1997). Underserved customers and new market segments
then tend to emerge and if they achieve mainstream acceptance can disrupt and
overthrow the status quo. Comparisons can be drawn to the increasing cost and what is
seen by some as the decreasing value of a college education, compared to new models of
learning, such as micro-credentials or educational boot camps.

IV. Managing - Candidates establish mechanisms


(p. 190) for maintaining the technology infrastructure

13

(p. 234) to improve learning and performance (p.


238).
501: Introduction to Educational Technology. School Evaluation.
As described previously, this artifact is a School Evaluation that examines the demographic
makeup, administrative policies, curriculum, support, and connectivity of a K-8 school in
suburban New Jersey. Rating mechanisms are established to provide an ongoing means of
evaluation for the level of technology integration in the schools curriculum. Additionally,
demographic information is provided as a means to compare change over time of the
learner population. Together, these mechanisms supply a methodology in which future
evaluations can be conducted. Insights gained through this project focus primarily on the
disconnect between the purchase and availability of technologies in a well-funded school
with the training and implementation of those technologies. In this context, it
demonstrates an appropriate assessment of the management of technology infrastructure.

V. Ethics - Candidates foster a learning


environment in which ethics guide practice that
promotes health, safety, best practice (p. 246), and
respect for copyright, Fair Use, and appropriate open
access to resources (p. 3).
522: Adult Learners. Moodle Course - Learning the Basics of HTML5.
*Click here for a video walkthrough of the Moodle course for those without access. If you
would like access, please email me at william.grieco@u.boisestate.edu.
As described previously, this artifact is a Moodle course shell designed for adult learners
and covers the creation of a basic webpage using the text editing software, Sublime Text 2.
In the context of this Ethics substandard, I feel the resources and directions used within the
course shell model and guide students towards the best practice and respect for copyright,
Fair Use, and appropriate access to resources. Care was taken in the selection of resources,
including YouTube videos and tutorial websites, that are open-access and intended to be
accessed by all learners. Additionally, the creation of materials in the course draws
attention to the appropriate usage of Creative Commons material during the construction
of a students own work. In my professional life, insights Ive gained from several of the
M.E.T. courses focus on the proper use of Creative Commons material has drawn my

14
attention not only to the ethics of not following those guidelines, but the benefits of
contributing to that community.

VI. Diversity of Learners - Candidates foster a


learning community that empowers learners with
diverse backgrounds, characteristics, and abilities (p.
10).
522: Rich Media Tutorial: Your First Webpage.
In this context, my Rich Media Tutorial pays particular attention to issue of fostering a
learning community that empowers and embraces learners of different abilities. The
tutorial is specifically designed for those that have no former experience with writing in
HTML, covering all of the basics and context for how that technology works. However, it
also takes into account those with prior knowledge, offering resources and suggestions for
how to take their skills further.

STANDARD 4: PROFESSIONAL KNOWLEDGE


AND SKILLS
Indicators
I. Collaborative Practice - Candidates
collaborate with their peers and subject matter
experts to analyze learners, develop and design
instruction, and evaluate its impact on learners.
505: Evaluation for Educational Technologists. Slack Workflow Impact Paper.
This artifact documents the implementation impact of the Slack.com communication
platform on a professional product development team. As described in my Slack
Voicethread artifact, the program combines multiple forms of messaging and file sharing
into one application, with the goal of streamlining communication and collaboration across
team members. Using pre and post implementation surveys, deployment training, and
qualitative interviews, I introduced the platform to the team and examined its impact over
a trial period. Across almost all measures, collaboration and communication within the

15
team was able to improve or become more efficient. Additionally, the work it took to
organize and get the group to agree to try this experiment on their own volition (Im not in
a leadership position over them) was an act of collaborative practice in itself.
Professionally, the Slack implementation had mixed results in the long run. Its been several
months since I took the 505 class and many of the team members who originally
participated in the experiment slowly reverted back to their old communication habits. This
was disappointing, but also a learning moment. At least part of the issue is that many of
the members of my team have to communicate with other parts of the company outside of
Slack. This mix of platforms would be difficult for anyone to manage. Additionally, with no
top-down encouragement or acceptance of the platform, it begins to feel superfluous
even if it is more effective and enjoyable. A broader company-wide adoption could solve
that issue, but in a company of my size thats a difficult initiative to drive.

II. Leadership - Candidates lead their peers in


designing and implementing technology-supported
learning.
505: Evaluation for Educational Technologists. Slack Workflow Impact Paper.
As described above, in this context the Slack Workflow Impact Paper also demonstrates the
leadership substandard through the implementation of a new technology in a group
setting. As I mentioned in the artifact, I am not in a position of authority within this group.
Many of my team members are in the same position as me within the companys hierarchy,
and therefore none had any obligation to participate. Convincing them to do so meant
understanding their needs and motivations in order to show them how the experiment
could benefit them a key leadership skill.

III. Reflection on Practice - Candidates analyze


and interpret data and artifacts and reflect on the
effectiveness of the design, development and
implementation of technology-supported instruction
and learning to enhance their professional growth.
513: Multimedia. Challenges in Higher Ed. Podcast.
This artifact is a podcast I recorded reflecting on the current state and challenges facing
higher education today. I speak about the rising cost of tuition, threats faced by traditional

16
institutions in higher ed in terms of new competition, and my thoughts on what the future
may look like in this area. These issues are ones I face daily in my professional life, and it
was a good exercise to document my thoughts. I look forward to returning to this podcast
in the future to see what may or may not have come to fruition.

501 / 502 / 513 / 542 / 522: Learning Log.


Cumulatively, these artifacts make up the Learning Log for courses 501, 502, 513, 542, and
522. Reflecting on it now, I feel they demonstrate the breadth of knowledge Ive attained
throughout the program. I now better understanding my own motivations as an adult
learner, Ive been humbled by the challenges teachers face on a daily basis, and Ive
explored a wide range of research in the fields in which I work. All of this has been
tremendously helpful in terms of exposing me to existing best practices. Specifically, the
role of constructivist learning models, the foundations of a well-designed activity from an
instructional design point of view, and a better understanding of the technical backend of
the web and mobile devices. In short, its been an incredible journey.

IV. Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates design and


implement assessment and evaluation plans that
align with learning goals and instructional activities.
522: Adult Learners. Moodle Course - Learning the Basics of HTML5.
*Click here for a video walkthrough of the Moodle course for those without access. If you
would like access, please email me at william.grieco@u.boisestate.edu.
In the context of the Assessing / Evaluating substandard, this Moodle course covering the
creation of a webpage written in HTML demonstrates the implementation of assessment
and evaluation plans that align with learning goals. Each module of the activity has a clear
learning goal, materials to complete that goal / objective, and assessment measures to
gauge the level of completion by the instructor. Further, the activity is designed around the
unique needs of adult learners, hitting on their motivation to learn, orientation to learn,
and the need to know (Taylor & Kroth, 2009).

V. Ethics - Candidates demonstrate ethical


behavior within the applicable cultural context during

17

all aspects of their work and with respect for the


diversity of learners in each setting.
522: Adult Learners. Moodle Course - Learning the Basics of HTML5.
*Click here for a video walkthrough of the Moodle course for those without access. If you
would like access, please email me at william.grieco@u.boisestate.edu.
As described previously, this artifact is a Moodle Course for adult learners that instructs
and assesses their ability to build a simple webpage in HTML5. As related to the Ethics
substandard, I feel that the instruction presented meets all standards of ethical behavior in
the cultural context in which it is presented, and respects a diversity of learners. The course
is written in respectful academic prose while at the same time being approachable and
engaging. Assessments and their measures are clearly labeled and are rigorous yet
achievable, and a wide variety of learner abilities is addressed. Both learners with no
previous experience and those with experience are given opportunities to grow.

STANDARD 5: RESEARCH
Indicators
I. Theoretical Foundations - Candidates
demonstrate foundational knowledge of the
contribution of research to the past and current
theory of educational communications and
technology (p. 242).
504: Theoretical Foundations of EdTech Research Paper: Towards a new Liberal Arts
Classroom - Constructivism
Towards a New Liberal Arts Classroom Constructivism is a research paper that reflects my
evaluation of constructivist learning theory and how it can be applied in online liberal arts
classrooms in higher education. First, it differentiates constructivism from more behaviorist
learning theories by claiming knowledge is not based on objective truths which learners are
discovering, but is instead a function of how the individual creates meaning from his or
her own experiences (Ertmer & Newby, 2013). It goes on to examine the current state of
online learning in higher ed., and provides a brief history of constructivist learning theory.

18
It then discusses the application of some of the central tenets of constructivism. Among
these are how constructivism can support communication. Key research in the field has
indicated that distance education is more effective when it is carried out through a 'guided
didactic conversation'" (Holmberg, 1989) and students have an opportunity for social
negotiation (Jonassen, Davidson, Campbell, & Haag, 1995). According to Jonassen,
knowledge construction occurs when students explore issues, take positions, discuss
those positions in an argumentative format, and reflect on and re-evaluate their positions
(Jonassen, Davidson, Campbell, & Haag, 1995). Also, collaboration can be supported by
collaborative artifact creation tools such as Google Docs where users add their comments
about the problem under discussion, producing a logical discourse that usually results in
an effective and acceptable solution (Jonassen, Davidson, Campbell, & Haag, 1995).
To bring balance to the argument, it also examines the challenges and issues facing the
integration of constructivist teaching and learning theory into an online classroom. Most
notably, that scholars have pointed to the lack of empirical evidence supporting the efficacy
of constructivism, and argues that using an unproven method is a moral dilemma
considering it would mean removing other instruction from the classroom that may be
more proven (Matthews, 2003). This paper demonstrates not only my understanding of the
theory, but how some of the most valuable differences in the theory vs. behaviorist theory
can best be applied in real-world classrooms.
This paper has proven to be one of the most valuable artifacts I have produced in terms of
transitioning theory to application. I choose to focus on the liberal arts classroom because
thats the focus of my professional life, and bringing a solid research base to the decisions I
make about those products lends credibility to the product goals and aims to positively
impact the learner.

II. Method - Candidates apply research


methodologies to solve problems and enhance
practice (p. 243).
504: Theoretical Foundations of EdTech. Annotated Bibliography.
This artifact is an annotated bibliography that explores the theory, practice, and the
movement towards application of constructivist learning models in online education. Each
research article focuses on different aspects of the theory, including its historical
foundations in the context of two other major schools of thought, behaviorism and

19
cognitivism (Ertmer & Newby, 2013); a counter-argument against the use of constructivism
given its lack of empirical support (Matthews, 2003); the application of constructivism
through the implementation of open-ended classroom discussion (Sawyer, 2004); and how
constructivism can be appropriately integrated into distance education (Jonassen,
Davidson, Campbell, & Haag, 1995), amongst others. To gather this research, several steps
were taken for each source. First, search was limited to research articles that appeared in
peer-reviewed journals. I then examined abstracts and samples of the articles to find those
that were most relevant to the topic I was researching. Finally, reading, highlighting, and
summarizing each source in full allowed me to construct a variety of sources to pull from
when writing a paper on constructivist learning theory. I believe this process speaks to the
validity of my sources and my ability to apply appropriate research methodologies.
Professionally, Ive been able to use this annotated bibliography several times as evidence
for initiatives around my companys promotion of constructivist learning models. Having a
solid research base to back these directions, rather than opinion, has been a significant
help in driving them further.

III. Assessing/Evaluating - Candidates apply


formal inquiry strategies in assessing and evaluating
processes and resources for learning and
performance (p. 203).
505: Evaluation for Educational Technologists. Slack Workflow Impact Paper.
This artifact documents the implementation impact of the Slack.com communication
platform on a professional product development team. It demonstrates the assessing /
evaluating standard through the implementation of its various surveys and measures, all
aimed at determining the effectiveness of the program on employee productivity and
communication habits. Apart from traditional measures, many of the surveys I developed
using contemporary research and customer development methodologies I researched on
my own, including Giff Constables Talking to Humans, Dan Gilberts Stumbling on Happiness,
and Rob Fitzpatricks The Mom Test all of which advocate for completing needs analysis
through the focus on what people do now in their day-to-day lives.
The types of measures and surveys described above have translated directly to my daily
job. Ive rethought many of the customer conversations I typically have after realizing the

20
feedback Im getting may not always be accurate if focused on future-oriented questions.
This new methodology, on the other hand, feels more authentic and realistic.

IV. Ethics - Candidates conduct research and


practice using accepted professional (p. 296) and
institutional (p. 297) guidelines and procedures.
504: Theoretical Foundations of EdTech. Annotated Bibliography.
As described above, this artifact is an annotated bibliography that explores the theory,
practice, and the movement towards application of constructivist learning models in online
education. Each research article focuses on different aspects of the theory, including
history, applications, criticisms, and best-practices of the theory as applied to technologies
used in the classroom. The research was completed using Google Scholar, with all sources
properly cited, following the ethics of research. Away from the M.E.T. program, Google
Scholar has been a great resource for me. The breadth and quality of content to be found
is extremely helpful for quickly identifying and citing sources.

Conclusion
Creating this portfolio of resources has been a very rewarding reflection on what I have
achieved in the M.E.T. program. I unearthed work from several years ago that I had almost
forgotten, revisited research and theory that I want to continue to apply in my day-to-day
life, and also got to present some of the artifacts and accomplishments of which I am most
proud. Ive learned about some of the most important underlying theories supporting
learning in the 21st Century, how technology can support - or sometimes hinder - the
learners trying to use them, and even more about the unique characteristics of learners in
different age ranges and abilities. All of this has broadly expanded my ability to cite
established research in the field, build meaningful learning objects for myself and others,
and assess and evaluate their impact on learning outcomes. Having these artifacts now
aggregated in the same place is an easy way to make sure I remember what Ive learned,
and demonstrate it to others as well.
As for the future, Im excited to take some next steps. One of the most valuable things this
program has done for me is to reinvigorate my work ethic. Ive proved to myself that by
being disciplined, eliminating distractions, and using every hour wisely, I can not only

21
continue to be successful in my demanding full-time job and be an attentive parent, but
also continue to grow as a student. I never thought there would be enough hours in the
day to do that, but the demands of this program have taught me its possible. In the short
term, I plan to use that focus to earn an Android development certificate from Udacity
within the next year. From there, Im excited to see what I can apply that work ethic to in
the future.

22

References
Bransford, J., Brown, A., & Cocking, R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience,
and school. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
Christensen, C. M. (1997). The innovator's dilemma: When new technologies cause great
firms to fail. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-learning and the science of instruction: Proven
guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning. John Wiley & Sons.
Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (2013). Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing
Critical Features From an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement
Quarterly, 26(2), 43-71. doi: 10.1002/piq.21143
Gilbert, D. T. (2006). Stumbling on happiness. New York: A.A. Knopf.
Harasim, L. 1989. On-line education: A new domain. In Mindweave: Communication,
Computers and Distance Education, eds. R. Mason and A. Kaye, 50-62. New York: Pergamon
Press.
Holmberg, B. (1989).Theory and practice of distance education. London: Routledge.
Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition. (2013, March 1). Retrieved January 31,
2016, from www.nmc.org
Hsu, Y. C., Ching, Y. H., & Grabowski, B. L. (2014). Web 2.0 applications and practices for
learning through collaboration. In Handbook of research on educational communications
and technology (pp. 747-758). Springer New York.
Matthews, W. J. (2003). Constructivism in the classroom: Epistemology, history, and
empirical evidence. Teacher Education Quarterly,(Summer), 51-64.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A learner-centered approach to multimedia explanations:
Deriving instructional design principles from cognitive theory. Interactive Multimedia
Electronic Journal of Computer-Enhanced Learning, 2(2), 2004-07. Retrieved January 22,
2016 from http://imej.wfu.edu/articles/2000/2/05/index.asp.

23
Jonassen, D., Davidson, M., Collins, M., Campbell, J., & Haag, B. B. (1995). Constructivism
and computermediated communication in distance education.American journal of
distance education, 9(2), 7-26.
Quality Matters |. (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from https://www.qualitymatters.org/
Ragan, T.J., & Smith, P. L. (2005). Instructional Design: 3rd edition. Hoboken: Wiley.
Sawyer, R. K. (2004). Improvised lessons: Collaborative discussion in the constructivist
classroom. Teaching Education, 15(2), 189-201.
Taylor, B., & Kroth, M. (2009). Andragogy's Transition into the Future: Meta-Analysis of
Andragogy and Its Search for a Measurable Instrument. Journal of Adult Education, 38(1), 111.