Review of Contemporary Articles in Educational Technology

You will not be writing a formal Book Review for this class. Instead, you will be reviewing several contemporary articles in Educational Technology. The articles to read will be assigned in class and will be from sources such as Learning & Leading with Technology (L&L) and The Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE). All discussion about the articles must be logged appropriately at the class Moodle site, which can be found at

For each assigned article, you will participate in the class discussion in class and on Moodle during the week (or partial week for Summer classes) following the class in which the article is discussed. The Moodle discussion should be a continuation of the in-class discussion and must include a minimum of one response to each article. You must write brief, relevant, insightful, original, timely, and discussion-oriented messages. Your goal is to discuss the articles, argue their points, object to their claims, support their claims, relate them to your own situation, etc. The Moodle site contains a discussion forum for each of the articles. All your discussions about the article must be contained as part of the thread for that article.

Brief - Try to keep your messages to one to three paragraphs. Long, boring summaries of the articles will earn you enemies among your classmates (they will be reading the messages too), annoy your professor, and lower your grade.

Relevant - Only messages that pertain to the articles (or related discussions that stemmed from discussions of the articles) will count for this requirement.

Insightful - Relate the articles to your own situation, tie them to other research you have read, and/or show evidence of applying higher order thinking skills to the articles. Take a stand and try to present evidence supporting your stand.

Original - Don't repeat what others have said. Saying, "I agree" is OK, but add new insights. Simply restating someone else's point is not original, especially since everyone will have read the messages that already have been posted. Hint: to be sure your points are original, read what your classmates have already written.

Timely - Initial discussions of articles should be sent during the time between classes after the class discussion of each article. This does not mean that discussions about an article may not continue throughout the semester, well beyond the assigned date, but your first message about the article must be immediately after the date it is assigned in class. All follow-up responses must be posted by the article review deadline in order to count for the article review. Note that each inital message that is late will incur a penalty of 1 +/- grade (e.g., if your grade was going to be A-, one late message would lead to a grade of B+).

Discussion-oriented - You are required to post one response about each article to Blackboard, but this is meant to be a discussion so follow-up messages are strongly encouraged in order to promote in-depth discussion and thought about the articles. As a rule of thumb, if you generally post a single message per article, the highest grade you will receive on the article review is B; a grade of A requires you generally to post two or more responses to each article, both of which contribute to the discussion. Think of this as a discussion, not a series of individual posts. To facilitate this, it is highly recommended that you post your first message within the first couple of days after the class discussion. This will allow others to respond to you and you to respond others as the discussion progresses throughout the week.

Only comments posted to the class Blackboard site will be counted toward the Article Review.

One-Minute Essays

In addition to the Moodle postings, you may be asked a few times during the semester to write a one-minute essay at the beginning of class about the article for the week. This essay will be written in exactly one minute and will be used to demonstrate that you have read the article. You will not have access to the article or any notes during this brief quiz, but don't worry; if you read the article, you should be able to answer the essay question sufficiently to receive credit. If you didn't read the article, your grade for the Article Review will be reduced up to one full letter grade for each essay in which you fail to demonstrate that you read the article.


Grading Note

Grading for the Article Review is a mixture of subjective and objective measures. You can lose up to two full letter grades for late postings so be sure to post each initial message within one class period of the due date (that's within one week for a normal Fall or Spring semester). You should be able to see your message in the discussion forum immediately after posting to verify that it was posted. When grading the Article Reviews, I will be looking for evidence that you have read the entire articles, evidence that you have thought about what the articles have to say, and evidence that you have applied higher-order thinking skills to your reading of the articles. Late initial postings will lead to one +/- grade reduction. For each article for which you do not post anything at all, you will lose one full letter grade. Finally, one-minute essays will be factored into your grade if you do not demonstrate in your essay that you have read the article. Each time a one-minute essay is given, failure to demonstrate that you have read the article by appropriately answering the question will result in the loss of one complete letter grade for the Article Review.

Locating Articles

Many of the assigned articles will be from recent volumes of Learning & Leading with Technology (L&L) or The Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE). There are several possible ways to access these articles. Some of these articles might be posted to our class Moodle site in strict compliance with the Fair Use guidelines of the United States Copyright Law. Other articles can be found via the Loyola Notre Dame Library databases. These can be accessed on campus with no login required or from off campus using the barcode number on the back of your student ID (this is the longer number that is not your student ID number).

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This page was prepared by Dr. David M. Marcovitz.

Last Updated: January 3, 2014