Assignment Three:
Design of a CSCL System

CS 4670/7467: CSCL
Professor Amy Bruckman
Format:Double spaced, 12 pt. font
Approximate Length:20 pages
Percentage of Grade:30% + 5% for presentation
Team size:One to three people

Design a CSCL system.

First, explain your learning goals. Next, explain the pedagogy you've chosen. Third, explain the technology you've chosen to fit with your pedagogy and learning goals. Present a detailed design plan for the system. Include sketches of possible interfaces. These may be hand drawn.

Throughout your paper, explain your design decisions. What other options did you consider, and why did you make the final choice you did? In your analysis, cite the readings to justify your choices.

You may chose to design a site to promote learning of a chosen domain, OR you may chose to design a site to promote our understanding of a CSCL research issue. Doing both is possible to some extent, but one of these goals must be primary and the other secondary. Explain your choice in your paper.

How will people use your system? Outline a typical learner's experience from start to finish. Also, outline the teacher's role, if appropriate.

Discuss assessment of student learning. Is it appropriate for your system? Why or why not? If assessment is necessary, how will it be done?

Finally, discuss evaluation of your system. How will you determine if you have met your goals?

Preliminary Design

In class on 3/20, hand in a preliminary design. This can be of any length and format, but 3 to 5 pages with a few rough sketches is suggested. This is for your benefit--to help you to get feedback from the instructor and your peers. Come to class prepared to discuss your ideas. Your preliminary design will be graded on a simple single minus/check/plus scale.


In class the week of 4/15, give a 10-minute presentation of your design, using Powerpoint, overheads, or equivalent. A talk on how to give a talk will be presented in class.


In your papers, make sure that you show me that you understand the papers you have read. You will be graded on these criteria:

For each of these criteria, you will receive either a plus, check, or minus. A check means "good job--you have met the expectations of the assignment." A plus means "you impressed me." A minus means you did not fully satisfy the assignment in this respect. Roughly speaking, each plus moves you up one step from the starting grade of half way between an A- and a B+, and each minus moves you down. All assignments in this class will be graded with this method.

If English is not your first language, you may request an exemption from being graded on your writing. Note this on your paper when you hand it in. This means that you both can not be penalized for bad writing nor get extra credit for good writing.

The suggested length is approximate. Don't worry if it ends up a bit short or long, and please don't play with formatting to try to make it look longer or shorter. Just please don't make your paper more than double the suggested length.

Late papers will be penalized on a sliding scale depending on how late it is.