Assignment 2 | Synthesis and Annotated Bibliography (Individual)

Individually, you will write a 1,200 synthesis of a topic/issue of historical significance, technology of historical significance, problem of historical significance, or person of historical significance to the field using an annotated summary of 5 scholarly sources (e.g., books, chapters, or other essays). Your deliverable for this assignment will be a (1) an annotated spreadsheet of sources, and (2) a 1,200 synthesis of those sources. This assignment aims to help you develop your research skills including identifying, organizing, analyzing, critiquing, and synthesizing research.

I recommend following the process below to complete the assignment:

  1. Search the literature for areas of interest and skim some of the readings you identified. See below for more guidance on this.
  2. Propose your topic to the instructor, and receive approval for it. You can do that in the relevant Moodle discussion board.
  3. Go back and do a more thorough search and reading of literature.
  4. Identify 5 papers that are the most relevant to your topic
  5. Summarize and critique the 5 papers you identified, and enter the information in a spreadsheet. Use this spreadsheet template to create your annotations.
  6. Pay special attention to the critique column in the spreadsheet. Strive to include a 100-word critique for each annotated entry. The critique will be very helpful when it’s time to create your final synthesis.
  7. Submit your spreadsheet.
  8. Use the spreadsheet to create your synthesis of the topic.
  9. Submit your synthesis.

 

Note that your annotated bibliography should NOT focus on learning theories or learning models. For inspiration and exploration of topics that you might focus on, browse the Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology or any other research handbook that applies to your personal interests (e.g., Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences, Handbook of Distance Education, etc). Some areas for consideration are the following:

  • The history or impact or importance of pre-digital technologies on education (e.g., radio, blackboard, cassette)
  • The “flying classroom” or “schools of the air”
  • The history (or aspects of that history) of the Open University (e.g., in the UK, or elsewhere)
  • The legacy of Seymour Papert or Frieda Hennock (or, a different person of interest)
  • The role of women in educational technology of a particular era (e.g., 1950’s, 1960’s, etc).
  • The story of PLATO
  • The epistemological foundations of the field
  • The pedagogical foundations of the field
  • The history or impact or importance of teaching machines
  • The role of the military in the development of educational technology (e.g., in the US)
  • The use of instructional cartoons (e.g., Private Snafu in the second World War, or civil defence films like Duck and Cover)
  • The history of correspondence schools (or, particular aspects of correspondence shools, such as their use in the trades or K-12)

Another way to explore topics is to browse the “history corner” column in the journal Tech Trends. You can do that by following this search that I did for the keyword history, and browsing through the results.

Value: 35% (10% for spreadsheet, 25% for synthesis)

Submission

  1. On Sep 30, submit your spreadsheet to the Assignment 2: Annotated Bibliography (Individual) dropbox in Moodle, and post it on your blog.
  2. On Oct 13, submit your synthesis to the Assignment 2: Synthesis (Individual) dropbox in Moodle, and post it on your blog.

Rubric

The assignment will be evaluated according to the following two rubrics.

Spreadsheet entry

Criteria Excellent (A+ to A) Proficient (A- to B+) Satisfactory (B to B-) Unsatisfactory (F)
Citation All citations and APA format are correct Most citations and APA formatting are correct Some citations and APA formatting are correct Few citations and APA formatting are correct
Style, Grammar, Spelling All grammar and spelling are correct Most grammar and spelling are correct Some grammar and spelling are correct Significant spelling and grammar errors
Concept of interest The paper’s main idea is described accurately and succinctly The paper’s main idea is mostly described accurately and succinctly The paper’s main idea is described somewhat accurately and succinctly The paper’s main idea is not described
Main thesis, argument The main thesis and arguments are all presented and described accurately The main thesis and arguments are mostly presented and described accurately The main thesis and arguments are presented and described somewhat accurately The main thesis and arguments are not presented or described
Key points All of the key points made in the article are presented accurately The key points made in the article are presented mostly accurately The key points made in the article are presented somewhat accurately Few or none of the key points made in the article are accurately presented
Critique The critique is evaluative, original, and covers all aspects of the article The critique summarizes rather than evaluates the article Critique is surface-level, lacks synthesis, and/or leaves aspects of the article unexamined Critique is not provided

 

1,200 word synthesis

Assessment Criteria Excellent Proficient Satisfactory Unsatisfactory
Citation and APA format All citations and APA format are correct. Most citations and APA formatting are correct. Some citations and APA formatting are correct. Few citations and APA formatting are correct.
Style, Grammar, Spelling All aspects of grammar and spelling are correct. Most aspects of grammar and spelling are correct. Some aspects of grammar and spelling are correct. Significant spelling and grammar errors.
Evaluative orientation Synthesis shows exhaustive, thoughtful, and meaningful connections between sources. Synthesis shows some thoughtful and meaningful connections between sources. Synthesis shows some thoughtful and meaningful connections between sources, but it is mostly descriptive rather than analytical. Synthesis lacks thoughtful and meaningful connections between sources.
Organisation and flow Synthesis flows seamlessly. The document is is clearly structured and is well organized to support understanding and follow main points and sequence of ideas. Synthesis flows seamlessly with minor interruptions. The document is structured and organized to support understanding and follow main points and sequence of ideas. Synthesis flow is somewhat choppy and impedes understanding. Organization is somewhat evident and could use improvement. Occasional missing sections or awkward transitions are present. Synthesis is poorly organized in multiple ways and inhibits reader to such an extent that the structure significantly detracts from the thesis.
Content and Analysis Synthesis is thoughtful and original, and demonstrates excellent development of each idea, focusing on relevant details and connection to pertinent sources. Most statements are backed by evidence and information is discussed, not just stated. Synthesis is thoughtful and original, and demonstrates good development of each idea, focusing on some relevant details and connection to pertinent sources. Many statements are backed by evidence and information is discussed, not just stated. Synthesis is thoughtful, and demonstrates some development of each idea, demonstrating some connection to pertinent sources. Many statements are backed by evidence and information is often stated but not unpacked. discussed, not just stated. Synthesis needs more details on every level, and lacks thoughtfulness and development. Many statements are not supported by evidence.