Week 6 Activities

Activities / Checklist

Base Group Check-in

For this week, please answer the following questions:

  1. Only two more weeks to go… Can you believe it? Looking forward, what are you going to do to celebrate finishing your first semester as a doctoral student? (And, no, you can’t say “Sleep”!)
  2. This week focuses, in part, on assessment issues. What do you believe about the uses of educational testing?
Digital Storytelling
Part 2
Digital Storytelling & Making Research Interests Compelling

This is our third (and final!) technology activity.

Your assignment is to make your research interests compelling to others by capitalizing on the affordances of Digital Storytelling – combining the art of storytelling with the power of multimedia technologies.

The timing and deadlines are follows:

  • By Wed night: Complete your first draft of your digital story. Your story should be no more that 3-5 minutes in length.
  • By Saturday night: Finish editing your digital story and post to your website.

For additional details, click here.

Part 2
ISSUE: Do recent discoveries about the brain and its development have implications for classroom practice?

Similar to our face-to-face approach, we are going to to do a constructive controversy. The two key differences are that this one (a) will span two weeks and (b) will be conducted online.

The timing and deadlines are follows.:

  • By Wed night, you must have completed step #4.
  • By Saturday night, you must have completed step #5.

To work on the controversy, and see the numbered steps. Select Controversy Number 4 from the “Controversy” Tab at the top of this page. Click “Work on It”.

Read, Process, Post, & Discuss
Part 1

In an effort to “make space” for article critique #3, two readings have become optional
  • [OPTIONAL BACKGROUND READING. If you have no background in assessment, grading or standardize testing, you probably want to read this.] — Woolfolk, A. (2007). Classroom assessment and grading. In Educational Psychology (10th., pp. 552-585). Columbus, OH: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
  • [OPTIONAL TECH READING. Read if you want to read about clickers, a hot technology and assessment topic] — Beatty, I. D., & Gerace, W. J. (2009). Technology-enhanced formative assessment: A research-based pedagogy for teaching science with classroom response technology. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 18(2), 146-162. doi: 10.1007/s10956-008-9140-4.
  • [REQUIRED] –– Shepard, L. A. (2000). The role of assessment in a learning culture. Educational researcher, 29(7), 4-14.

Click when you’re ready to post and discuss these readings

Read, Process, Post, & Discuss
Part 2
  • [REQUIRED] — Derry, G. N. (2002). Thinking straight: Evidence, reason, and critical evaluation. In What Science is and How it Works (pp. 89-106). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • [REQUIRED] — Derry, G. N. (2002). Questions of authenticity: Science, psuedoscience, and how to tell the difference. In What Science Is and How it Works (pp. 158-173). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • [REQUIRED] — Derry, G. N. (2002). Contentious questions: The shadowy borderlands of science. In What Science Is and How it Works (pp. 174-188). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Click when you’re ready to post and discuss these readings

Optional Readings

Optional topics we wished to cover, but don’t want to overburden you. About the role of science in education, and method wars. Read if you want to know more.
  • [OPTIONAL] — Howe, K. R. (2009). Positivist dogmas, rhetoric, and the education science question. Educational Researcher, 38(6), 428-440. doi: 10.3102/0013189X09342003.
  • [OPTIONAL] — Bredo, E. (2009). Comments on Howe: Getting over the methodology wars. Educational Researcher, 38(6), 441-448. doi: 10.3102/0013189X09343607.
  • [OPTIONAL] — Johnson, B. R. (2009). Comments on howe: Toward a more inclusive “scientific research in education.” Educational Researcher, 38(6), 449-457. doi: 10.3102/0013189X09344429.
  • [OPTIONAL] — Tillman, L. C. (2009). Comments on howe: The never-ending education science debate: I’m ready to move on. Educational Researcher, 38(6), 458-462. doi: 10.3102/0013189X09344346.

Click here if you want to discuss these optional readings


(more information)

By Saturday, base group members comment on members’ RDP drafts posted last week.

Specifically, each member can go to their base group in ning, and start a discussion with their name (e.g., “Feedback on Matt Koehler’s RDP”). In the discussion you open, you should tell people where to find your RDP (a URL, for example).

You should post substantive feedback on each of your other group member’s RDP. In general, address issues of clarity, writing style, and the effectiveness of the message. But also, say something about each of the elements in the RDP draft that was due. Below are a list of those elements, along with some questions to get you thinking about what you might say.

  • initial statement of your research interests – does it make sense? What’s confusing? What’s inspiring? is it of the right size? i.e., not too big or too specific — the goal is to become an expert on something, and you can’t be the expert of a whole field, nor do you want to become the expert on something so specific that nobody else would care.
  • final interest statement with a short commentary on the changes over time – same criteria as above, but what do you notice as having changed? Are there differences between the changes you noted and the changes the author noted? Are the changes for the better?
  • summary of your 3 “experts” with a short rationale for why they were chosen – Are the experts a good fit for the interests? Are they experts?
  • annotated bibliography of relevant research – What parts of the interest statement seemed to be covered? Where might there be holes?
  • agenda of further steps – Does the agenda make sense? Any suggested other steps?

As always, also continue to identify articles, book chapters, and books in their area of interest, find them, and read them.

Article Critique

(more information)

Our third Article Critique is due on Saturday, 11:59 PM.

  • This is an individual assignment, and an important one for your 1st year prelim.
  • Use these questions to review this article.
  • Post your critique on your own web presence, as this is one of the required turn-ins for your first year prelim
  • Make sure the “website” field of your profile on this site has the correct URL for your web presence.
  • If your website is not ready yet, email your critique to both faculty instructors
Annotation of Articles

(more information)

To be coordinated and completed by Wednesday at 11:59 PM by Base Groups #3 and #4. Base Group #3 will annotate the Woolfolk, Beatty, and Sheppard articles (even though some of them are optional). Base Group #4 will annotate the three required Derry readings. Post your annotations as the first entry in the discussion. Your entry can be the annotation itself, or a link to a annotation hosted somewhere else.
Base Group Checkout

Please checkout with your Base Group by answering the following questions:

  1. As you think about this week’s readings on the role of educational assessment, what were two things that you found surprising, interesting, or particularly influential in shaping your thinking about the issue?
  2. By now you’ve completed four constructive controversies. The first two (i.e., embracing technology, constructivist approach) occurred during the face-to-face portion of the semester, and the second two (i.e., technology and social connections, implications of brain research) during the online portion. How would you compare your face-to-face and online experiences?


Unless stated otherwise, deadlines for each week are Saturday at 11:59 PM. Base Group Check-ins are due on Wednesday at 11:59 PM. Base Group checkouts are due Saturday at 11:59 PM. All Read, Process, Post, & Discuss activities have two parts: (1) Your own response to the questions associated with the readings are due on Saturday at 11:59 PM; and (2) Your response to at least TWO classmates’ postings are due on the following Wednesday at 11:59 PM. All times are EDT.

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