Assignments Three and Four:
Software Design

CS 4660: Intro to Educational Technology
Professor Amy Bruckman
Design I Due:Thursday, 10/30
Design II Due:Thursday, 11/13
Format:Double spaced, 12 pt. font
Approximate Length:10 pages each
In-class presentations:November 18-20
Percentage of Grade:30% total

In this assignment, you will design software to teach some aspect of computer science. You could design for a specific class (for example intro to programming in Java, compilers, algorithms, etc.), or you could design for a more focused concept/set of concepts (for example, conditionals, sorting, memory management in C, designing websites that are accessible to the blind, etc).

In part one (due 10/30), you'll design a way to teach a CS subject/topic using a cognitive tutor or problem-based learning.

In part two (due 11/13), you'll design a way to teach a CS topic using an approach inspired by constructionism, project-based learning, and/or CSCL.

The two topics may be the same, or they may be different.

In your talk, you will briefly present both designs. If you used the same topic, you will compare and contrast the two pedagogical approaches and discuss their relative merits. If you used two different topics, you will show how each pedagogy is well suited to that content, and how swapping them would be less effective.

Your talk should follow the guidelines in the 'how to give a talk' lecture. It is not necessary for all three group members to actually speak during the presentation, but all must be present (as you all must be present at every class). If you did not speak during your group's in-class presentation for assignment two, you must do so for this assignment.

Your papers will present the software designs and explain them, grounding your discussion in assigned course readings and the theory we have learned. Try to justify as many decisions as possible with reference to the reading. You should include sketches of what your software might look like. These may be hand drawn. Present a scenario (or a few scenarios) describing a student using the software.

Along with each paper, include a description of who did what. You may either include one description for the team, or three separate ones if you prefer.


You will work in groups of three people. The groups do not have to be the same as those for assignment two, though they may be. However, you will work in one group for this entire assignment (paper one, paper two, and your talk). If you would like help finding a group, contact the TA.


You will be graded on these criteria:

For each of these criteria, you will receive either a plus, check, or minus.

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.

The exemption for non-native speakers of English is *not* offered for this assignment. Non-native speakers should try to team with at least one native speaker who can assist with written and spoken English.

The suggested paper lengths are 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 policy is noted on the syllabus.