Course Overview

In this course you will be introduced to contemporary theories of learning and their implications for the design of educational technology across a variety of settings (e.g., schools, museums, computational environments, online). You will also explore equitable and expansive learning design practices through a project that leverages new/emerging digital mapping technology to support learning. In class discussion, assignments, and interactive lectures form the basis of this course.

Learning goals

In this course, you will:

1.  Become conversant with the basic assumptions, concepts, and principles of different theories of learning

2.  Determine the implications of each theory for the design of educational technology

3.  Critically assess and design education technology in order to compare and contrast theories and their usefulness across different settings


All texts and readings will be made available on electronic reserve and online


You will develop and present a prototype of an educational technology that leverages digital mapping technology to support learning within a particular context. You will also critically assess your design through a final paper. Due to the short timeframe of the late summer session, projects must focus on one of the following contexts: 

1) A context that aligns with your existing research and/or professional work

2) An exciting new initiative known as Lab Atlanta (Founder/executive director Laura Diesley will introduce this context during the 1st week of class)

3) The Georgia Tech campus

Assignments & grading

* All assignments/papers/written critiques are described and will be submitted on Canvas

Class Attendance & Participation - 20%

Written Critiques (I and II) - 10%

Assignments (4 total) - 30%

  • Assignment 1: Analysis of educational technology (5%)
  • Assignment 2: Personal mobility learning reflection (10%)
  • Assignment 3: Project design approach/needs analysis (10%)
  • Project presentation (5%)

Project Prototype - 20%

Project paper - 20%

Class Attendance. Class attendance is required. If you need to miss class for a legitimate reason, please speak with the instructor and TA, preferably before class.

Class Participation.  This is about more than attendance but about contributing to learning in class through asking questions, giving suggestions to your classmates or generally being part of the discussion. Participation involves both your careful preparation for class of readings and tasks, and your genuine support of peers in the learning process.  Design projects involve collaboration with your peers in and outside of class as well as with community partners. This is a reading-intensive course particularly in the first few weeks. You are not asked to memorize what you read. Rather, you should come to class prepared to discuss and raise questions about the readings on the day they are listed in the weekly schedule (below).

Reference Format. Unless otherwise specified in the assignment, written work must follow APA format described here.  Basic guidelines include that all written work should be double-spaced in Times New Roman, and have 12-point font. Citations should be used for ideas, statements, comments, etc. that are not common knowledge or your own original thought.

Late Policy. Students need to submit all of their materials on or before the deadline to qualify for 100% credit. 24 hours delay will result in 25% penalty; 48 hours late submissions will incur 50% penalty. Materials submitted past 48 hours will not be accepted, and will entered a zero grade.

Honor Code. This class abides by the Georgia Tech Honor Code. All assigned work is expected to be individual, except where explicitly written otherwise. You are encouraged to discuss the assignments with your classmates; however, what you hand in should be your own work.





Assignments Due


Introductions & course overview


Learning & teaching, Lab Atlanta (visit by executive director Laura Deisley)

  • How people learn chapter 1
  • (Through pg. 119) Teaching and its predicaments chapter 5 (D. Cohen, on e-reserve)
  • (Introduction) Teaching, as Learning, in Practice (J. Lave, e-reserve)
  • Review LabAtlanta


Educational design approaches


Diversity, community & context, Project discussion

Written critique I


Evidence & assessment


Digital mapping, Re-Shape Activity


Assignment 1


Holiday/No Class


Constructivism, constructionism, Writing workshop


Maker based learning, Project workshop

Assignment 2


Situated learning, "Mine" ICLS 2018 proceedings

  • Situated learning Chapters 1 & 3


Interest driven & connected learning


Debrief: Assignment 3, Education data science

Assignment 3


Game-based learning (guest speaker Betsy DiSalvo), Project prototyping


CS Ed (Mark Guzdial)

Written critique II


Online learning, Peer review of paper drafts

  • Bring 2 articles/news stories to class that present opposing sides to the use of online learning within a specific context

* bring draft of paper to class


Project Prototype & Presentations


Project Paper

Topics and readings are subject to change. Please always check the online schedule.

Acknowledgments: Class materials extend offerings by Professor Betsy DiSalvo, Mark Guzdial, Kayla DesPortes, Amy Bruckman, David Owens, Andy Hostetler and Rogers Hall

Additional Resources:

Georgia Tech OMS CS6460 by David Joyner