Within 522‘s networked, participatory scholarship model the following four assignments are designed to provide challenging yet relevant, fair, and valuable demonstrations of your mastery of course concepts. 522 is also based on an open learning model, meaning that all of your work is intended to be published online as professional-quality Open Educational Resources (OERs) designed for the benefit of current and future students of this course, and also for an open global audience of learning technologies professionals like yourself. Your primary objective at all times will be to generate significantly original learning value and insight for this global audience. Please appreciate the sincerity of this entrusted role: we are confident you can step up to the challenge. The quality of your learning here will create value for learners everywhere.
More specifically, you will be asked to publish three (3) OERs, two of which will be analytic and one persuasive. Assignment 1 will be an individual analysis of a specific existing product, service, venture or market. Assignment 2 will be a group analysis of an emerging learning technologies market segment. And Assignment 3 will be an individual proposal for a new venture related to learning technologies, or else a new direction for an existing venture. The first three 522 assignments represent publications that should be worthy of placement in your CV – so be sure that your authorship is apparent.
Finally, Assignment 4 will summarize your participation, reflecting on the value you have added to the flow and content of the course through original posts, comments, reviews, ratings and recommendations.
In all cases we be expecting critical and creative thought, design, and presentation (structure, composition, and use of media) of a high professional standard. Quality will be far more important than quantity (being clear, compelling and surgically concise is a ‘businesslike’ virtue!). Remember that all contributions must observe copyright laws and will be assumed to be published within a creative commons attribution sharealike license unless explicitly identified otherwise.
Please consult your instructor if any part of the following instructions are unclear, or if some modified or alternate means of measuring and motivating your success should be considered.
A1. Analyst Report
Assignment #1 will be worth 25% of your final grade. It is due at the end of Week 6.
Author and publish an original competitive analysis of an existing real-world learning technologies product, service, venture or market of special interest to you. For example, your subject could be a new gadget or application you’re considering for use in your own work, or a company (large or small) you’ve heard about, or possibly a set of products competing in an area of learning you’re involved with. It could also be a pioneering non-profit learning program within a school district, campus, city, country, etc. It can be any relevant (to you) component or cross-section of the global learning technologies marketplace.
Think of your work as an ‘opportunity audit’: a critical review of your chosen topic designed to support an investment decision (not a buying decision) by a prospective investor (not a customer). For example, an investor might be a venture capital firm doing due diligence on a new company, a ministry about to fund a new project, a superintendent trying to decide about a new district initiative, or a foundation considering support of a new non-profit program. They want your expert Educational Venture Analyst (EVA) recommendation about whether this is a wise use of their money.
This is not an academic paper. Design a presentation format consistent with prospective investors making a sound decision based on your recommendation. Enhance your analysis with real-world data and original consultations if such are feasible. Employ a medium or media of your choice. If your OER is hosted in an external platform or application please ensure it can live there reliably for at least a few years, and that it is self-contained there (this is the OER that global users will find, and link to), and please be sure to create an informative, inviting launchpad post (this is what will be curated by your peers) when you add it to our blog. Be credible, thorough and insightful, but as concise as possible (2,000 words or 8 minutes maximum). Consult your instructor if in doubt.
To publish your Assignment #1, post it into this blog using the Category “Analyst Reports (A1)”. Once posted, notify your instructor via email that you are ‘live’ and include any links and self-reflection. If your analysis needs to remain private for any reason, consult your instructor for an alternate submission path. Grades will be returned within one week of publication if at all possible.
- Rationale for Analysis (8/25): A compelling rationale for the choice of subject matter that clearly conveys its resonant value within the learning technologies marketplace and to the author’s professional stance as analyst.
- Critical EVA (8/25): An engagingly credible analysis that uses criteria and/or methods that are relevant, comprehensive, and incisive to the substance and conclusions.
- Resource Value (4/25): Creative and effective design together with excellent presentation for engaging and serving the target audience (primarily professional educators everywhere).
- Reflections (5/25): The proponent clearly outlines the relevance of their analysis and the EVA role in relation to their emerging thinking about their own upcoming opportunity pitch (Assignment #3).
A2. Group Project: Opportunity Forecast
Assignment #2 will be worth 25% of your final grade.
It is due on a week that will be assigned by the end of Week 1.
The Opportunity Forecasts phase of 522 focuses on specific learning technology markets identified by the cohort in the first week of class. For Assignment 2, small groups of students will work together to: A) produce an Open Educational Resource (OER) that serves to explore and understand the dynamic nature and opportunities of one of these emerging markets; B) deliver an engaging, interactive week-long experience for the whole class featuring their OER; and C) publish a final OER enhanced by cohort response.
If you have a special interest in an emerging market, let your instructor know about this via email in the first week of the course. They will take your interest into consideration when forming the Emerging Market Teams (“EMTs”). You will be notified by the beginning of the second week which emerging market you have been assigned to, and which of your peers will be on your EMT.
The intent of the OER learning experience you create will be to discover and refine opportunities within your emerging market specific to learning and teaching, with a special emphasis on the venture landscape, both existing and prospective.
We encourage EMTs to search out additional channels for their work. We also strongly encourage EMTs to seek out, and potentially involve in an active way, real-world protagonists of their emerging markets: any way that EMTs can ground their work in authentic reality is likely to be worthwhile.
In short, EMTs will create an experiential learning resource, test-drive it with the cohort, then publish it for global use.
Your detailed A2 instructions are:
- Definition: Gather your EMT and collectively establish a compelling opportunity focus related to your emerging market that leverages the strengths and interests of your team and creates unambiguous value (timeliness, insight, importance, etc.) for a global audience of learning technologies professionals. For example, you might strategically select a focus on K-12, or corporate learning. As another example, if your general topic is “mobile learning”, you are welcome to focus more strategically on “mobile ESL” or “mobiles for pro-d”. The objective is not to provide a generalized overview of a big topic, it is to create a concentrated, highly-valuable opportunity forecast for a leading edge of that topic.
- Teamwork: You may use the UBC blogs to host your OER and discussion, but feel free to link to whatever online tools and spaces are most effective for your teamwork. Break out your overall A2 workload evenly across your team, making sure that everyone has a specific, tangible role to play that affords them a real and equal opportunity to shine.
- Design: Design and compose your OER. The basic idea is that you will author a brief launchpad post to the Opportunity Forecasts Forum of this blog that links to an interactive/participatory/immersive learning experience (your OER) that your EMT stages either in the blog or elsewhere on the web, with arising discussion for this cohort hosted in the blog. However, please propose to your instructor any variation on this basic design that achieves the objective in some better fashion. It is expected that all components of the OER will follow a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike License.
- Launchpad: Analogous to an elevator pitch, your launchpad post should be brief, informative and highly engaging – communicating why your audience should be interested in your perspective on this emerging market, and what they should expect in terms of a worthwhile experience. Post your launchpad in the Opportunity Forecasts category of our blog at the beginning of your assigned week.
- Experience: While the entire learning experience may be hosted in the blog, EMTs are encouraged to apply other online learning/interaction/collaboration/discussion tools of their choice to host the most relevant and worthwhile experience. The experience is meant to remain reasonably available (persistent) and appropriate to future self-guided and formally-contexted learners wishing to access your OER. For example, the experience might focus on learning applications, solutions providers, stability, usability, total cost of ownership (TCO), future potential, and/or other issues and opportunities specific to your emerging market. The objective is for the interaction to be engaging and worthwhile to the cohort, and valuable to the final OER whether it is used by other cohorts or self-guided learners. Please respect the cohort’s time and attention: aim for a high quality of engagement rather than a high quantity of material to review or a large number of activities to complete.
- Moderation: Actively encourage and moderate the participation of the entire cohort in the experience and the questions/discussions arising from it.
- Assessment: Observe how your peers interact with your OER – what works, what doesn’t, and how could it be improved? Employ these observations for any revisions that might be necessary (below) and to compile a peer participation report (create a list of all peers who successfully completed all of the activities you set out, along with a separate list of those specific peers who, in your team’s estimation, contributed an exceptional level of thought leadership within those activities) for submission to your instructor.
- Revision: Use the cohort experience to refine and finalize your OER for use by open audiences. Unless communicated otherwise to your instructor, it will be assumed that the final edition of your OER will be ready for evaluation one (1) week following completion of your cohort experience.
- Emerging Markets Poll RePost: Now that you are the local experts on this topic, please compose and publish a new post into the Emerging Markets category that better ‘pitches’ this emerging market for future 522 cohorts. Use the same format as existing emerging markets posts, including an opportunity statement and essential resources (including your OER!).
- Completion: Signify your A2 completion by emailing your peer participation report to your instructor.
Grading of Assignment #2 will be finalized once a majority of EMT groups have presented, and will be returned at the end of the last week of the course.
- OER Design (6/25): Compelling, coherent, grounded research and analysis with highly effective pathways for active learning, understanding, and further development. Teamwork is clearly evident.
- Experience Design (7/25): Professionally organized material and activities designed for an engaging and effective learning experience. Teamwork is clearly evident with individual efforts defined and noted.
- Engagement Hosting (6/25): Graciously and expertly hosted materials and activities for effective cohort exploration and examination of the topic and OER. Teamwork is clearly evident.
- Published OER (6/25): Professional-quality OER enhanced via cohort interactions, published and ready to serve the target audience. Teamwork is clearly evident.
A3. Venture Pitch
Assignment #3 will be worth 25% of your final grade.
It is due at the end of Week 12.
Employing your start-up skills and research savvy, create a compelling pitch that champions the future of an original real-world venture. Your venture can be a dramatically new direction for an existing enterprise where you role-play what you would do differently if you were in charge, or it can be an imagined initiative or possibly a start-up or true-life enterprise that you’d like to launch. Your venture can be for-profit, non-profit, entrepreneurial, intrapreneurial, etc, in scope of our definition of “venture”. Remember those prospective investors in Assignment #1? Your sole purpose is still to help them make a smart decision, except now that smart decision is to invest in you. Your role is the leader of this venture.
Create a short, media-rich “elevator pitch” (1 minute maximum, using any medium or tools that most persuasively conveys the essence of your venture) together with a longer “venture pitch” (2,000 words or 8 minutes maximum, in any medium that most persuasively conveys the substance of your venture). Your objective is to be credible, well researched, and very convincing to your instructor and peers.
The intention is that your venture concept will be reviewed by the entire class within the Venture Forum (the “Launch” phase of ETEC522) – who can be imagined as a great test market or a group of sophisticated investors. Such sharing fits with the “open innovation” context of ETEC522, but if you would like to keep your venture private for any reason, it can alternatively be reviewed confidentially by your instructor.
Another variation for your Assignment #3, if you are serious about a specific venture, is to prepare your pitch(es) for actual posting in a crowdfunding site such as Kickstarter. In this case you may submit the final draft of what you’d like to post, or a link to the actual posting.
Please remember that we’re looking for a pitch that focuses on persuading investors to invest in your venture, not a pitch that convinces customers to buy your product or service.
When complete, and before the deadline, post Assignment #3 in this blog with the Category “Venture Forum”. Send a copy to your instructor via email. They will acknowledge receipt, and will aim to return grades within one week of the end of class. The Reflection component of A3 may optionally be submitted to your instructor at the end of the Venture Forum, as no doubt you will have further thoughts arising from cohort feedback.
- Elevator Pitch (5/25): Highly engaging elevator pitch would capture attention of potential investors or decision makers. The student’s passion and ability to carry out the venture are easily evident.
- Venture Pitch (10/25): High-impact, comprehensive and compelling proposition that would engage investment interest and cogently demonstrates the student’s ability to lead the venture.
- Critical EVA (5/25): The pitches use arguments that are relevant, comprehensive, and incisive to the substance and the proposition.
- Reflection (5/25): The proponent clearly and accurately outlines the strengths and weaknesses of their pitch and their entrepreneurship inclinations.
A4. Participation Portfolio
Assignment #4 will be worth 25% of your final grade. It is due at the end of Week 13.
Interaction with your fellow students & instructor is essential to the 522 experience. This final part of your grade for the course will be based on a self-assessed portfolio that demonstrates the consistency and quality of your participation in the course weblog. There are four parts to your Participation Portfolio submission:
- Keep track of the most important postings and reviews you contribute during the course so that you can submit a list of between 5 (min) and 10 (max). It will be prudent for your list to evidence insightful participation during every stage of the course.
- On or before the last day of the course, send your instructor an email entitled “A4 Submission” with an attached MS Word document with a 500 word (max) statement describing your active involvement in the course, cogently linked to the identified postings. Use your statement to objectively rate your overall contribution relative to the cohort (e.g. “top 25%”). The format for the submission should include an introduction, examples of posts with explanatory narrative, a summary statement of your involvement with peers, along with a final statement of your overall experience and/or contribution to 522 through your participation in the course.
- (Optional) If you have specific constructive suggestions for what might be changed in future iterations of the course to improve everyone’s participation, including your own, please include these here.
Your instructor will acknowledge receipt, and will endeavour to return grades within one week of submission.
- Presence (7/25): Establishes and maintains a consistent and valuable presence in the conversational flow of the materials covered in the course.
- Original Voice (6/25): Consistently raises the discussion to new levels with creative and original interventions, and starts new discussions that carry the discourse.
- Constructive Response (6/25): Actively follows discussion threads to provide constructive responses that celebrate, elaborate, and encourage the contributions of peers.
- Demonstrated Knowledge (6/25): Always on topic, well-researched & well-reflected concerning immediate questions under consideration and the broader objectives of the course.
The assignments above will be governed by the following academic standards and expectations.
Students in the MET program are marked in accordance with the following grading standards:
Fail: Students are given a failing grade if they do not participate attentively and/or do not complete one or more major assignments.
75 – 79%: A mark in this range would be issued to a student who completed all assignments, but at a level considered inadequate for graduate level work.
80 – 84%: Adequate work for a graduate student, meets requirements.
85 – 89%: Good work, what we expect of our best graduate students.
90 – 95%: Excellent work, better than average and better than expected, what we hope for.
A mark over 95% would be given in rare circumstances where a student produced work of such outstanding quality that it merits special recognition. This work would be well outside the range of what was reasonably expected.
Students are expected to submit work on time. No assignment will be accepted late without prior consent, and normally 10%/day will be deducted even when such consent is given.
Students are expected to know what constitutes plagiarism, and that plagiarism is a form of academic misconduct. As such, plagiarism is subject to penalty. Please review the Plagiarism and Student Discipline sections of the UBC Calendar, available at: http://vpacademic.ubc.ca/academic-integrity/ and: http://www.students.ubc.ca/calendar/index.cfm?tree=3,54,0,0.
Instructors are required to report all instances of academic misconduct to the Department, who will in turn notify the Dean’s Office. The penalty for plagiarism or for cheating is serious, and normally entails suspension from the University and a notation on the student’s transcript.
- The University Calendar contains the full text of the Academic Misconduct Principles and Procedures: http://students.ubc.ca/calendar
- Academic Integrity Resource Centre: http://learningcommons.ubc.ca/get-study-help/academic-integrity/
- UBC Policy #85: Scholarly Integrity: http://www.universitycounsel.ubc.ca/policies/policy85.pdf