Aurora University

OEDS 6525

Fermilab ACT I: Analyze, Create and Transform Online Projects

1 semester hour graduate credit

Catalog Description

This course facilitates teachers through the process of integrating engaged learning and technology in their classrooms to support student investigations on real-world issues. Educators will field-test a technology-supported engaged learning curriculum unit with students while developing and sharing implementation strategies with colleagues and facilitators.

Course Overview

This course is intended for educators who are already connected to the Internet and want ideas and support as they implement a project with students that effectively integrates technology into their existing curriculum. The participants must already have a technology-supported engaged learning curriculum project ready to field test with students. During the course time frame, participants will further develop and refine their Implementation Plan and project and implement the project with their students. During and after implementation, participants will reflect on the process, share feedback with colleagues and facilitators, and incorporate these ideas into an Future Action Plan for next year.

<>We believe that the skills and strategies students need to be successful today and in the future are effectively taught through engaged learning projects. These projects are structured in such a way that students are responsible for their own learning. The projects are collaborative, student-driven, and are technology-dependent. When skillfully applied, technology can enhance learning in new and powerful ways such as allowing students to reach beyond the classroom walls to collaborate with experts and students in distant locations, and to publish original work to a worldwide audience.

Course topics include: Setting Up an Authentic Task and Getting the Students Hooked, Creating a Student-Directed Learning Environment, Implementing the Role of Teacher as Facilitator, Implementing Engaged Learning Project Assessment and Evaluation in the Classroom, Using Rubrics, Implementing Effective Technology Integration and Skills with Students, Field-Testing a Project with Students, and Writing a Future Action Plan.

Student Learning Objectives

The purpose of the course is to develop participants' ability to:

Participants will be able to apply engaged learning indicators* in project implementation by:

Participants will be able to share and improve their use of technology-supported engaged learning strategies by:

Participants will be able to use technology to support implementation of engaged learning projects by:

*There are additional indicators found in Plugging In: Choosing and Using Educational Technology, 1995 that are not listed. The listed items are key components used in assessment of projects. It is assumed that the other indicators will be included.

Teaching Methods/Class Format

This course will be offered in a face-to-face or partial-online format. In either format, participants will attend face-to-face meetings, real-time electronic chat class meetings, use e-mail, mailing lists and discussion forum software. Participants will be required to be available for face-to-face and electronic meetings at designated class times established by course facilitators. In the partial-online format, there will be substantial interaction online. Participants will use online course materials and online discussions to communicate and collaborate with other participants and course facilitators.

The program incorporates engaged learning, effective technology integration, use of a participant project, and electronic document authoring. Participants will experience a variety of learning techniques including: facilitated and independent computer use, project field-testing, discussions, and individual and group work.

Texts and Required Reading

Engaged learning implementation materials (http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/act/el/) are published on the Fermilab Education Office Web server. Supplemental readings may be assigned by URL or handed out as hard copy. For example, students will be required to read:

Some flexibility is required due to the constant flux of current, relevant information. Other resources will be used as needed such as Fermilab Education Office Web pages on:

Units of Work

Topics of study fall into two basic areas: Engaged Learning Implementation and Effective Implementation of Technology Integration. The units will be woven together as participants field-test their project with students and create a Future Action Plan for next year's project implementation. The Engaged Learning component will provide the backbone structure for the class. Technical topics may be instructor-facilitated or self-guided.

The following engaged learning and technology integration implementation units of work are included:

The following engaged learning issues and technical skills will be discussed as needed/requested by participants as they implement and refine their projects:

The following other activities will also be included:

Class Assignments

There will be assignments on the topics discussed above. Participants will be expected to complete assignments by the due date established by their course facilitators. Assignments may be adjusted to the needs and abilities of the participants of the course.

For more information, see the assignments page for your course. Examples of typical assignments are:

Evaluation and Grading Procedures

Participants will be graded based on the quality of their work with components weighted as follows: participation (30%), project reflections (30%), and Future Action Plan (40%). Grades are differentiated on the basis of quality. Quantity alone is not a significant factor for grade differentiation.

A total of 100 points are possible in the course. Final grades will be:

Participants' work will be assessed based on their incorporation of engaged learning and effective integration of technology. Please see the online rubric for a detailed description of the criterion. The rubric is included in this document in Appendix A. Participation is assessed based on participation in all modes of communication that are used such as face-to-face class meetings, electronic class meetings, bulletin board, listservs, e-mail and course evaluation forms.

Course Task
Percentage of Grade
Class Participation
Project Reflections
Future Action Plan

A (4 quality points per course unit) - Excellent. Denotes work that is consistently at the highest level of achievement in a graduate college or university course.

B (3 quality points per course unit) - Good. Denotes work that consistently meets the high level of college or university standards for academic performance in a graduate college or university course.

C (2 quality points per course unit) - The lowest passing grade. Denotes work that does not meet in all respects college or university standards for academic performance in a graduate college or university course.

F (0 quality points per course unit) - Denotes work that fails to meet graduate college or university standards for academic performance in a graduate college or university course.


Bibliographic references are incorporated into the online materials which are on the Fermilab Education Office Web server:

Course materials are continually being revised based on participant feedback and new technology developments.

Attendance Policy

Participants are required to attend all class meetings; to give a presentation of their Future Action Plan; and to participate in all discussions and activities.

Academic Honesty and Integrity

Participants are expected to maintain academic honesty and integrity as students at Aurora University by doing their own work to the best of their ability. Academic dishonesty (cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, etc.) will result in the participant receiving a zero for that test, assignment or paper.

Final Examination Policy

Participants will present Future Action Plan and their revised project materials for students at the end of the course.

American Disabilities Act

In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, which might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. Adaptations of teaching methods, class materials, including text and reading materials or testing may be made as needed to provide for equitable participation.

Appendix A

LInC ACT Future Action Plan Rubric

LInC ACT Future Action Plan Rubric

Project Name:

Project Authors:


Author/Reviser E-mail Addresses (one per line):

Evaluator E-mail Addresses (one per line):


Detailed explanation and example(s) of what was successful and why as well as supporting evidence
Detailed explanation and example(s) of change(s) that will be made and reasons/goals for the change(s)

Description and example(s) of what was successful (without evidence or reasons)
Description and example(s) of change(s) (without explanation of reasons/goals)
The described change(s) addresse/improve the specified engaged learning or technology integration aspect of the project.
Not Present

Not addressed, examples are not present, examples are unclear, or change(s) do not address/improve the specified engaged learning or technology integration aspect of the project.
Authentic Task
Student Direction
Assessment and Evaluation
Teacher Role:
What will you change to assume the following roles and how will the change(s) support student direction, engagement and learning?
  • Facilitator
  • Guide
  • Co-Learner
Classroom Management:
What will you change to create a more supportive climate for student-directed and engaged learning? Consider:
  • Climate
  • Resources and technology
  • Scaffolding for student independence
Effective Technology Integration:
What will you change to increase collaboration with students and/or experts in other places?
Effective Technology Integration:
What will you change to allow students to share their work with a broader audience?
Effective Technology Integration:
What will you change to provide students access to more research resources that would not be feasible to access without the Internet? (Examples: new information, frequently changing information, or information that would be hard/expensive/slow to obtain without the Internet)
Project Materials:
What changes are needed in the web pages or Word documents you created for your students to use in working on this project? Changes needed should be described in the future action plan and changed in the project materials.


Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Fermilab Friends for Science Education, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Authors: LInC ACT 2004 Class
Created: October 4, 2004 - Updated: July, 2006
URL: http://ed.fnal.gov/lincon/act/rubrics/futureplan.shtml

Authors: Sharon Gatz, Stephen Meehan, and Laura Mengel
Created: July 2003 - Updated: July 24, 2006
URL: http://ed.fnal.gov/lincon/act/syllabus1.shtml