Syllabus for OLT-520



One of the few things that almost all agree on is that technology is changing rapidly. How can teachers and learners keep up? This course takes the prudent track of discussing technology in the broader context of how we make decisions, solve problems, and learn and teach technological skills.


After successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Apply the concepts introduced in the text and readings, agree or disagree with them, and defend that agreement or disagreement.
  2. Identify and defend one's choices and position on how to decide which technology to use and which to not use.
  3. Articulate and apply best practices in the evaluation of technology in meeting the goals of a student, instructor, or institution.
  4. Discuss current teaching practices and describe ways in which those practices need to change in order to deliver an online course successfully.
  5. Articulate and apply best practices in the creation and delivery of online courses.


You will need the following materials to complete the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  • Donald L. Kirkpatrick and James D. Kirkpatrick, Evaluating Training Programs: The Four Levels, 3d ed. (San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler, 2006).

    ISBN-13: 978-1-57675-348-4



Learning Technology as an Issue in Online Learning is a three-credit online course consisting of eleven (11) modules. Each module, in turn, includes a brief overview, list of topics, learning objectives, study materials, discussion forum, and publication activity/forum.

In the discussion forums, you interact with your classmates by discussing assigned questions based on readings from the text and other Web-based material. Through the publication activities, you continue to construct an online course (begun in OLT-510) using your own course shell. Upon finishing each activity, you post a message in the corresponding publication activity forum and then offer constructive suggestions to your classmates on their courses. By the end of the course you will have completed another unit in your online course.  

For the purposes of this course and the Online Learning and Teaching Certificate program, we will use a free installation of Moodle as our learning management system (LMS) for constructing student course shells.

Like word processors, LMSs have many similarities. Thus, by teaching yourself Moodle while mastering the principles of course construction, you should be able to transition easily from one LMS to another—from open source products like Moodle and Sakai to corporate systems like Blackboard and Desire2Learn, to name a few.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate fully in eleven discussion forums and ten publication activities/forums. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

Learning Technology as an Issue in Online Learning requires you to participate in eleven (11) graded discussion forums.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning, and active participation is required to pass this course. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Deadlines for posting discussion topics and comments are given in the course Calendar.

Click the link below for an evaluation rubric that will aid in the grading of online discussion forums.

Publication Activities/Forums

You are required to complete ten (10) publication activities and to participate fully in their associated online discussion forums. Publication activities/forums 1–8 and 10 are worth 10 points each. Publication activity/forum 9, which involves both group and individual work, is worth 20 points.

In the publication activities, you will follow the instructions given and begin to construct your online course using your own Moodle course shell. Each publication activity has an associated online discussion forum in which you discuss the activity and offer constructive suggestions to your classmates on their courses. Our underlying philosophy is that we learn from one another, and we believe you will find that discussing issues with your classmates and looking at their courses will be a big help in the construction of your own course. By the end of this course, you will have completed one unit in your online course.

Click the link below for an evaluation rubric that will aid in the grading of publication activities/forums.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:
























Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.


Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:

Please refer to the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at




Using someone else’s work as your own is plagiarism. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism 

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin


Disciplinary Process

First-time incidents of academic dishonesty concerning plagiarism may reflect ignorance of appropriate citation requirements. Mentors will make a good faith effort to address all first-time offenses that occur in courses. In these cases, the mentor may impose sanctions that serve as a learning exercise for the offender. These may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool including a lower grade when appropriate. The mentor will notify the student by e-mail. Decisions about the sanctions applied for subsequent plagiarism offenses or other violations will be made by the appropriate dean’s office, with the advice of the mentor or staff person who reported the violation. The student will be notified via certified mail of the decision. Options for sanctions include:

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