Rationale Paper

Word Document: C Edwards Fall 2014 Rationale Paper

Rationale Paper for Master of Educational Technology

Cheronne Edwards

Middle School Computer Applications & Math Intervention Teacher

Fall 2014


This paper highlights my voyage through the M.E.T. program. At the beginning of this program, I was both the reading facilitator and testing coordinator for our school, and as such, responsible for related professional development. I created the majority of the artifacts for either staff development or other teachers during that time. I returned to the classroom last year and am using the skills I have acquired to create lessons for my students. The selection of each artifact demonstrates mastery of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) standards. The paper’s arrangement is by standard, broken down into subsets, followed by the artifacts and a description of how the project addresses the standard and shows mastery. This collection of artifacts also shows my growth in the use and understanding of educational technology.


1.1 Instructional System Design

“Instructional systems design is an organized procedure that includes the steps of analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating instruction.”

EdTech 503 Reading Quiz
EdTech 503 Instructional Design Project – My Teacher Site, Creating a Web Presence

The Reading Quiz was a reflection piece created in Google Slides presentation that walks the viewer through the systematic process of instructional design by explaining the different models a designer can utilize. This presentation also reviews the various learning theories involved in design. The applications of theory and design principles are evident in the culminating design project for this course. The instructional design project was created as a professional development activity for the district’s certified personnel, with a focus on the middle school faculty. Its goal was to assist teachers in the creation of a classroom website using a subscription-based hosting service intended to keep families and students informed. In addition to site creation, teachers were to develop a plan for site maintenance and create calendar reminders. This project represents the culmination of the semester long project and adheres to the three requisite elements described by Smith and Ragan (2005): Analysis, strategy development, and evaluation. The protocol utilized was the ADDIE (analyzing, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating) design system. Close attention was paid to each of the identified components, which mirror the requirements of this standard.

 1.2 Message Design

“Message design involves planning for the manipulation of the physical form of the message.”

EdTech 513 May the Wonder Pup
EdTech 541 Culture Class Meets Web 2.0
EdTech 541 Multimedia in the Classroom

Each of these artifacts exemplifies the 1.2 standard. The planning for the form of the message is clear in all three artifacts. Each artifact addresses the standard from a different perspective. May the Wonder Pup was a digital story that blended images with narration. The images conveyed the spoken message using the personalization principle in the design (Clark & Mayer, 2011). The most difficult part of the project was not the alignment of the images with the narration, but the script writing aspect. I think this was mainly because this project was personal. For the culture project, I interviewed the culture teacher to see what sort of activities would complement her course, capture the students’ interest in using computers, and most importantly, enhance student learning and engagement. The Culture Class Meets Web 2.0 was the result. This project is about taking family history and cultural stories that have their roots in oral traditions and digitizing them for posterity. Multimedia in the Classroom’s focus was on using multimedia to increase retained learning and used the redundancy principle by not filling the slide with text repeated in the narration, which can lead to cognitive overload (Clark & Mayer, 2011). Antonenko stressed structural knowledge acquisition utilizing multimedia that includes text, audio, and visuals thereby spreading the brain’s workload (2010).

The technology used for May the Wonder Pup was VoiceThread for the ease of narration and use, and then I uploaded the project to YouTube to create a video. If I were to do this type of project again, I would use a different tool, such as Vuvox or Captivate, because having a constant icon in the video is not very esthetically pleasing. I used Dreamweaver to create the Culture Class Meets Web 2.0 lesson. This artifact also depends on the use of other web tools such as Weebly (or other wysiwyg online web design tool or blogging application), Evernote, Voicethread, and Scratch. The video for Multimedia in the classroom used Debut Video Capture with the images created primarily in Prezi. This was my first exposure to video capture and this application proved to be a valuable tool.

1.3 Instructional Strategies

“Instructional strategies are specifications for selecting and sequencing events and activities within a lesson.”

EdTech 502 Jigsaw
EdTech 504 Social Learning and Reading
EdTech 541 Social Networking for the Classroom – Taking Reading from 0 to 8

Social Learning and Reading was the synthesis paper written for EdTech 504. This paper focuses on social learning and how it is applied to the reading program that is the focus of the project. The paper highlights how utilizing social learning theory positively affects students’ learning and engagement. The paper details how students are strategically grouped to enhance the cooperative learning environment. Throughout the reading class, students have an opportunity to contribute through think-pair-share, partner reading, during team talk when each student has a revolving role to fulfill, as well as in the reflection segment of the class. Created as a professional development activity, the Jigsaw project utilizes cooperative learning, spreading the learning out over several different learners. No one person is responsible for doing all of the work. In this case, using a jigsaw task required each group of learners to use the Internet to review different applications increasing student engagement and writing. It also included sections on portfolios that use cooperative learning while reinforcing the students’ effort. These two projects incorporate multiple instructional strategies suited to each step of the lesson and the activities throughout.

The Social Networking for the Classroom project was created with middle school students in mind but is also suitable to intermediate and high school students. From the beginning to the end of the project, the students utilize a variety of collaborative instructional strategies starting with think-pair-share to get the students thinking about the project prompts. In the next step, students summarize and clarify questions as they build from various writing prompts. After that, students begin the collaboration process of peer review and editing, culminating with presentations to the class of each group’s work. These activities are collaborative and utilize Marzano’s high yield strategies. The Social Networking project uses cooperative learning, summarizing, graphic organizers, and note taking strategies (Marzano, 2001). Additional strategies such as finding the similarities and differences may also be present, depending on the writing prompt used for the project. Social Networking for the Classroom requires the use of collaborative applications such as Wallwisher, MixedInk, or VoiceThread.

1.4 Learner Characteristics

“Learner characteristics are those facets of the learner’s experiential background that impact the effectiveness of a learning process.”

EdTech 541 Instructional Software

Instructional Software artifact was selected because it represents the different aspects of meeting learners’ needs. The page was produced with middle school students in mind but is well suited to other grade levels. This project takes into account the learners’ background and finding the most effective way to guide them through the learning process. Every student is different and “cookie cutter” lessons do not work for every student. Some students need more frontloading and remediation, while others need enrichment, and still others need an alternative path to meet the learning goals. This assignment considers such needs. The document contains two tables. The first table explains the various purposes of instructional software and the educational advantages. The second contains hyperlinks to the different applications for each category of learning need. The majority of these applications are available to users at no-cost.


2.1 Print Technologies

“Print technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials, such as books and static visual materials, primarily through mechanical or photographic printing processes.”

EdTech 541 EBooks for 7th & 8th Grade

The intent of Universal Design for learning is to give all students an equal opportunity to learn. This culminating activity was created for 7th and 8th grade Language Arts students, using an eBook format with ease of access to learning in mind. The objective for the lesson was for students to write a very short narrative story based on Munch’s Scream pastel that included an engaging plot, developed characters, a descriptive setting, dialog, and figurative language. For the final product, students were to create an eBook using CAST UDL for their story. The directions for the assignment are in an eBook to provide students with an illustration of how the application looks and feels when viewing the finished product. It has narration throughout for the students who need extra support. The eBook also has a print option for those who would benefit from a hard copy.

2.2 Audiovisual Technologies

“Audiovisual technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials by using mechanical devices or electronic machines to present auditory and visual messages.”

EdTech 513 Worked Example Screencast
EdTech 541 Multimedia in the Classroom

The Worked Example Screencast was created for a professional development activity for a K-12 school district. It demonstrates how the multimedia principle blended a combination of images and audio with a conversational approach to create a presentation. This project also used several other principles including the modality principle to narrate the graphics, the redundancy principle to eliminate the duplication of narration and text, and the coherence principle to keep the presentation streamlined. The last principle used in this presentation was the segmenting principle (Clark & Mayer, 2011). The presentation has specific stopping points throughout to foster collaboration and reflection in addition to formative assessments by the presenter. The focus of Multimedia in the Classroom was on using the redundancy principle by not reading slides to the audience but using narration to compliment the information provided in the images.

The embedded YouTube video was the result of an exported Adobe Captivate document created from a PowerPoint presentation. Captivate allows for ease in narration and conversion to video. The video for Multimedia in the Classroom used Debut Video Capture and was my first exposure to video capture. This application proved to be a valuable tool, especially since several other options I tried had many glitches and kept crashing. The two artifacts both exemplify this standard and utilize a combination of applications.

2.3 Computer-Based Technologies

“Computer-based technologies are ways to produce or deliver materials using microprocessor-based resources.”

EdTech 502 WebQuest
EdTech 543 Module 2 CoP, Connectivism, and PLN

The WebQuest activity is the result of needing to inform teachers what the Common Core meant to education in Arizona. Many of the middle school teachers were unsure of what the Common Core was about and how it would affect them in a classroom. This is a self-directed activity for teachers or anyone looking to deepen their understanding of Common Core standards. A WebQuest is an inquiry lesson that uses computer-based technologies that access web-based resources. It starts as a document that contains hyperlinks used to complete a task that requires high-level thinking skills utilizing web resources (Dodge, 2007). This type of activity not only helps learners build an understanding of how to use the Internet as a tool to complete a task, it also takes learning to a deeper level moving up the learning continuum. To add a thematic element to the WebQuest, apple core bullets were created using Fireworks. Module 2 Communities of Practice, Connectivisim, and Personal Learning Networks was an activity that combined a blog post explaining the learner’s understanding of each of these theories and their relationship to each other, along with a non-linguistic representation of the concepts. Neither of these projects would be possible without using computer-based technologies with web-based applications.

2.4 Integrated Technologies

“Integrated technologies are ways to produce and deliver materials, which encompass several forms of media under the control of a computer.”

EdTech 502 Virtual Field Trip

This Virtual Field Trip was a whimsical approach to a multi-faceted activity that used a variety of resources. This project included an embedded Google map, YouTube videos, images, and web pages. It demonstrated the versatility of a web document. The content of this project was not intended to meet a specific academic standard or audience; it was designed to show an audience the possibilities that exist. The field trip demonstrates how to produce and deliver content that encompasses several forms of media into one activity. This project shows that students can demonstrate standards mastery using less conventional means to meet the objective and enjoy learning in the process. Virtual field trips are a creative way to frontload learning or enhance students’ understanding of different cultures, geographic regions, or any variety of concepts.


3.1 Media Utilization

“Media utilization is the systematic use of resources for learning.” 

EdTech 501 Tech Trend Lesson Plan

This project is intended for 7th graders, but could be used with other middle and high school grades. The focus of the lesson is to provide students with hands-on experience using tablets (or smartphones) as learning tools. Using their experience, they create a student-friendly “how to” manual/brochure to share with other grades and sites. The main thrust of this project is to provide an environment conducive to systematically explore the tablet’s capabilities without restricting the learning. This activity is still a viable activity, as the district is currently in the rollout phase of distributing tablets to students. The students have no experience with Windows 8 or touch screen computers. While many are familiar with smartphones and iPods, there are still significant differences to learn.

3.2 Diffusion of Innovations

“Diffusion of innovations is the process of communicating through planned strategies for the purpose of gaining adoption.”

EdTech 541 Adaptive Technology for the Classroom
EdTech 541 Building an Effective Presentation

The purpose of the Adaptive Technology for the Classroom project was twofold. The first reason was to utilize Prezi as a different medium for a presentation. The second purpose for the project was to offer teachers a glimpse into the variety of learning options available to assist students with learning impediments to overcome obstacles. The focus of the adaptive technology is mainly on communication applications. The presentation was used as a springboard for a teachers’ workshop on designing lessons that include accommodations for students on an IEP or 504 plan. The intent was that teachers would utilize available options on an ongoing basis to improve the learning environment for all students.

Building an Effective Presentation also had two purposes. The first was to provide teachers with an overview of how to design an effective presentation as part of their instruction. The majority of the information for the presentation is in the note section, not on the slides for the audience to read. The second part of the presentation was a demonstration of how the design principles applied to an actual reading lesson.

The Adaptive Technology presentation did not adhere to multimedia design principles. If it were used again, the information would need to be broken up so as not to overload the cognitive processes of the audience. In its current state, it lends itself to having the presenter read from the screen to the audience, which goes against the redundancy principle (Clark & Mayer, 2011).

3.3 Implementation and Institutionalization

“Implementation is using instructional materials or strategies in real (not simulated) settings. Institutionalization is the continuing, routine use of the instructional innovation in the structure and culture of an organization.”

EdTech 503 Instructional Design Project – My Teacher Site, Creating a Web Presence

This project was intended for teachers in a district that requires all certified staff to create and maintain a subscription-based website. Prior to this project, no protocols were in place for the teachers to follow. The project’s primary use was a professional development workshop and as a self-paced independent learning activity for new hires. These materials are still in use by the district at this time. The content does includes a proprietary PDF document within the participant’s manual section.

3.4 Policies and Regulations

“Policies and regulations are the rules and actions of society (or its surrogates) that affect the diffusion and use of Instructional Technology.”

EdTech 502 Copyright Scavenger Hunt

The Copyright Scavenger Hunt was a professional development activity created using Dreamweaver. The intent was to raise awareness among the teachers of copyright laws and “Fair Use” as they apply to education. With the increased use of the Internet for coursework, it was imperative to raise teachers’ awareness of the legalities and etiquette involved in the use of various technology resources, The notion was that the teachers would pass the information on to their students. Since the creation of the scavenger hunt, the content has been adapted for student use in the Computer Applications classes.

4.1 Project Management

“Project management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling instructional design and development projects.”

EdTech 501 Response to Request for Proposal
EdTech 537 Blogging Proposal

The Response to a Request for Proposal was an response to a mock “request for proposal” to evaluate an instructional program. The intent of this project was to develop an understanding of the various aspects of project management. This project brought new insight to the process of project management while reinforcing prior knowledge and the gaps left in learning by experiences. While intended to be hypothetical, the Blogging Proposal assignment came at an opportune time and the proposal was submitted and gained administrative approval. This project is currently ongoing.

4.2 Resource Management

“Resource management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling resource support systems and services.”

EdTech 501 Technology Maturity Survey and Evaluation

This artifact represents an evaluation of the technology services and resources within a specific district. The intent of the project was to assess the current state of technology along with the management of available resources, and the impact of pervasive attitudes and behaviors. The systematic evaluation scrutinized the policies, planning, budget, support, infrastructure, and flow of information. The survey and evaluation revealed that while existing technology was closely monitored and controlled, there was no active plan in place to coordinate programs and funding, train faculty on how to utilize technology, or for advancements in technology. This projected highlighted the need for structure in planning, establishing and implementing policies and procedures, communicating between stakeholders, and monitoring progress to successfully pursue a common goal.

4.3 Delivery System Management

“Delivery system management involves planning, monitoring and controlling ‘the method by which distribution of instructional materials is organized’ . . . [It is] a combination of medium and method of usage that is employed to present instructional information to a learner.”

EdTech 537 Get Them Blogging

This artifact represents the proposed plan to implement blogging into the classroom. The activity was designed for 7th grade students but is suitable to other grade levels. The project lays out a plan to use Edublogs to incorporate writing in a digital world. Students access class assignments and writing prompts through a class blog. The plan includes having all students’ posts and comments monitored by a teacher moderator to ensure students practice digital citizenship. This project is ongoing and in the fledgling stage. Students were somewhat intimidated by the prospect of using blogs and are slow to embrace this communication medium. Having everything moderated seems to inhibit interaction.

4.4 Information Management

“Information management involves planning, monitoring, and controlling the storage, transfer, or processing of information in order to provide resources for learning.”

EdTech 537 Blogging Plan

This artifact was created to demonstrate the planning and monitoring of a classroom blog as part of the students’ learning experience. The classroom blogging plan covered the first quarter for the 7th and 8th grade Computer Applications classes. The activities were designed to support the school’s positive behavior support goals of responsibility, cultural awareness, achievement, and responsibility by embedding writing and internet based technologies into class assignments. Having a blogging plan in place is similar to having a lesson plan. It provides structure, pacing, and a point of reference.


5.1 Problem Analysis

“Problem analysis involves determining the nature and parameters of the problem by using information-gathering and decision-making strategies.” 

EdTech 503 Instructional Design Project – My Teacher Site, Creating a Web Presence

This project was born out of the need for a solution to a district mandate that all teachers have a classroom website. The problem was that the directions to create the site were not available until after a teacher created their account and selected the layout for their site. In addition, there were no naming conventions in place, and thus it was difficult for parents and other faculty members to locate a specific teacher’s website. This project addressed the need for instructions on how to access the subscription portal and create a site with standardized naming conventions that were established by working with the technology department. The manuals created for this project are still in use by the district for annual site-based training and for mid-year hires.

5.2 Criterion-Referenced Measurement

“Criterion-referenced measurement involves techniques for determining learner mastery of pre-specified content.” 

EdTech 542 Case of the Ooze

The Case of the Ooze is a project-based learning activity originally created with a co-teaching format between a 6th grade Language Arts teacher and the Computer Applications teacher in mind but can easily be adapted for 7-12 grade students. This project encompasses best practices by incorporating cooperative learning strategies. In addition to formative assessment strategies, the project embeds collaboration along with social/team roles and accountability. The student activities and various tasks completed are graded using rubrics that include peer and self-assessments. The project contains all eight of the essentials for project-based learning as identified by Buck Institute for Education (Larmer & Mergendoller, 2012).

The Case of the Ooze took into account the technology available to the students. This project, however, is suited to enhancements from a variety of tools such as Prezi, Google Draw, VoiceThread, Captivate, and other such applications.

5.3 Formative and Summative Evaluation

“Formative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information as a basis for further development. Summative evaluation involves gathering information on adequacy and using this information to make decisions about utilization.” 

EdTech 501 Technology Maturity Survey
EdTech 513 Project 1 Multimedia Presentation

The Technology Maturity Survey artifact represents a formative evaluation, a snapshot of where the school was at a given moment in time. A formative evaluation takes place while the activity is in progress so modifications and adjustments can be made to improve the outcome. The multimedia presentation project was created as an overview of both school and class expectations, focusing on an introduction to the PBIS system. Project 1 Multimedia Presentation  contains a summative assessment even though the lesson covered a short time span. A summative assessment takes place at the end of the lesson to evaluate learning. A variety of applications were used to create these two projects.

5.4 Long-Range Planning

“Long-range planning that focuses on the organization as a whole is strategic planning….Long-range is usually defined as a future period of about three to five years or longer. During strategic planning, managers are trying to decide in the present what must be done to ensure organizational success in the future.”

EdTech 503 Instructional Design Project – My Teacher Site, Creating a Web Presence

This project was created for a district to address the need for teachers to have a web presence. The intent was to establish protocols to ensure all teachers had a site that followed specific naming conventions to enable community members to locate different teachers’ sites based on site naming conventions. During the planning stages of this project, it was critical to work closely with the technology department to establish standardized naming conventions. My Teacher Site materials addressed the specific needs of the district and continue to be used for staff development at the various district sites.


The artifacts I selected show both attainment of the standards and growth throughout the program. These past 3 years, I have learned how to apply what I already knew more effectively, and, more importantly, how to use applications and strategies I did not even know existed. I continue to be amazed at just how much technology is available to enhance both teacher and student learning. Now that I am back in the classroom, I am utilizing many of the skills I gained throughout this program. Some of the major impacts on classroom activities are the incorporation of blogging in the classroom and better designed project-based learning activities. The presentation of content has also greatly improved. While I have never been an avid user of PowerPoint, I can see how a quality presentation that follows multimedia principles can be impactful. I still prefer to use other presentation applications I learned in this program. What I can see in retrospect is that the more I continue to grow, the more my students grow.


Antonenko, P. (2010). Using Electroencephalography to Measure Cognitive Load. Educational Psychology Review, 22(4), 425-438.

Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2011). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning (3rd Edition) San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons

Dodge, B. (2007). WebQuest.Org. Retrieved from

Larmer, J., & Mergendoller, J. R. (2012, March). 8 Essentials for Project-Based Learning (by BIE) | Project Based Learning | BIE. Retrieved from

Marzano, R. (2001). Marzano’s (nine) high-yield instructional strategies. Retrieved from

Smith, P., & Ragan, T. (2005). Instructional design (3rd ed., pp. 8-10). Hoboken, N.J.: J. Wiley & Sons.


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