IT 635 Research and Theory on Communication and Performance Technology
Course Syllabus
Spring 2016
Professor: Dr. Anthony Betrus
Room: Dunn 210

Office: Dunn Hall 393


Phone: (315) 267-2670

Booth, W. C., Colomb, G. G., & Williams, J. M. (2008).The craft of research (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Fink, A. (2013). How to conduct surveys (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Januszewski, A., & Molenda, M. (2008). Educational Technology: A definition with commentary. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum

Course Description:
This course is designed to provide an introduction to institutional research through a learning-by-doing approach. Learning experiences include discussion of relevant research issues and completion of a research study that 1) addresses an issue in organizational performance or educational technology, 2) is supported by a current literature review, 3) proposes specific and relevant research questions, 4) describes the use of the survey research methods, 5) reports and discusses the findings, 6) points out limitations, and 7) provides recommendations for future investigation.

After selecting a topic, the team will determine the focus of the study, review the relevant literature, specify research questions, design instruments, collect and analyze data, present their conclusions, and prepare a research paper for publication. Both collaboration and individual efforts are necessary and essential in this class. The literature review will be conducted individually at first, and then a combined literature review will be produced. After the literature review, one group member may take the lead role in a given phase of the research project, although In every phase each member is expected to contribute significantly. The ultimate goal is to prepare a paper and presentation of sufficient quality to be accepted for presentation at professional conference.

In addition to the research paper, throughout hte course students will engage in seminar style discussions of theoreotical topics related to organizational performance and educational technology.

Goal and Objectives:
Overall, this course intends to prepare participants for future independent research endeavors. Specifically, the participants are expected to

- Appropriately design a research study to investigate a problem

- Conduct a survey research study

- Analyze and interpret the data

- Write a research report following APA guidelines

- Prepare a presentation and proceedings paper for a a professional conference.

Course Schedule:

Jan 27

Read and Take Notes: Educational Technology: Chapter 1 and prepare a 1-2 page summary paper for class on Feb 3

Play: The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer card game. Play The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer Online Game

Prepare Elevator Pitch for Feb 3

Feb 3

Theory Discussion: Educational Technology Chapter 1

Students Present one minute presentations on potential research topics. Groups of 3 are formed.

Feb 10
Human Subjects Course must be completed by this date. Bring printed copy of completion report to class. (please complete the BASIC course)
Begin IRB Application Process
Feb 17

Individual Literature Reviews completed by this date
Interview Questions completed
Read and Take Notes: Molenda, Cone of Experience
In-Class Discussion - Schramm's Communication Model

Feb 23 (Tuesday, 3-4pm)
Smooth Sailing through the IRB Process.  Crumb 204.  At least one student per group should attend this session.
Feb 24

Research Questions Drafted

Theory Discussion: Dale's Cone of Experience vs. the Bogus Cone of Learning

arXiv vs. snarXiv

Interviews Conducted and Summarized

March 2

Combined Literature Review completed
Interview questions generated and interviews completed
Draft of Survey completed
Draft of IRB application completed

Note that the College Writing Center is available to review your combined literature review. Please set up an appointment for them to work with you by calling or e-mailing.

Review this document before submitting your combined literature review:

March 9

March 16

Survey Distributed (round 1)

Read and Take Notes: Educational Technology, Ch 8. Resources

March 23

Survey Distributed (round 2). Initial Data Colleciton.
Theory Discussion: Educational Technology, Ch 8. Resources

Read and Take Notes: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction

March 30

Data Collection Complete.

In Class Activity: Sorting & Cleaning Data, creating graphs, tables, and charts.

April 6

Data Analysis Complete. Data sorted, cleaned, and stored in a secure spreadsheet.

Theory Discussion: The Case for Fully Guided Instruction

Read and Take Notes: Principles of Playing Games for Learning

April 13
April 20
Theory Discussion: Principles of Playing Games for Learning
Draft of Final Paper Due
May 18

Research Presentations

Final Paper Due

Completion of IRB Completion of Study Form

Regular attendance and participation in all activities are considered essential to this class. The quality of team work relies on the team efforts and contribution of each team member. Meanwhile, a collaborative environment fosters individual's growth in learning. Should situations arise which prevent class attendance, please notify the instructor in advance. Given the format of the class, even excused absences may result in a lower grade for he student (at the discretion of the instructor).

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism:
All participants should aspire to high standards of academic honesty. Any single instance of academic dishonesty will result in failure of the assignment in question, and possibly failure of the class and/or expulsion from the program. Participants in this class are expected to properly reference sources when using information from others.

Accommodative Service:
Participants who have documented learning, emotional, and/or physical disabilities, can get academic accommodations through Accommodative Services (110-112 Sisson Hall, SUNY Potsdam. Telephone: 267-3267). Please also see instructor during office hour to discuss this. General information on accommodations can be found at:

Readings and in-class discussions:
Each participant is expected to complete assigned readings and then actively participate in discussions in the class. Students are expected to be prepared and regularly participate in class, those who do not may have their grade reduce by up to a full grade point, at the discretion of the instructor.

Human Subjects Approval Prepared
Client Interviews Conducted
Survey Pre-tested

Graded Components:
Research study (200 pts.)
Abstract (10 points) (.75 page)
Introduction (10 pts.) (1 page)
Literature review (50 pts.) (3-4 pages)
Purpose and research question(s) (20 pts.) (.5-1 page)
Methodology (20 pts.) (2-4 pages)
Data Analysis (50 pts.) (2-4 pages)
Conclusion (20 pts) ) (1-2 pages)
References (10 pts) (1-2 pages)
Appendices (Survey Instrument, Interview Questions) (10 pts)

180+ --> 4.0
174-179 --> 3.7
166-173 --> 3.3
160-165 --> 3.0
154-159 --> 2.7
146-153 --> 2.3
140-45 --> 2.0

Supplemental Readings and Online Resources:

The Many Hats of an Instructional Designer online game:
Getting started in instructional technology research.Ross, S. M., & Morrison, G. R. (1997).Bloomington, IN: The Association for Educational Communications and Technology. Available online:
APA Formatting and Style Guide.OWL at Purdue, Purdue University.(n.d.).
Tips for conducting a literature review. Center AlphaPlus Center (2003). Retrieved September 1, 2010 from (9 pages)
How to Recognize Plagiarism: Indiana University:
SUNY Potsdam's College Writing Center (CWC): Citing Sources & Self-Editing Guide
SUNY Potsdam Center for Student Research Graduate Travel Grant
2015 Survey of Faculty Attitudes Toward Educational Technology