Monday, September 20, 2010

About our electronic text

We do not have a textbook in this class, everything is online. The electronic text has two parts: topic modules and assignments. There are enough topic modules for several overlapping classes, and I am constantly adding new ones and revising old ones.

We will cover about half of the topic modules. As the semester progresses, the lists of assignments and topic modules we have covered will grow as the term progresses.

Each topic module is focused on a small group of related concepts or skills and contains an original, annotated PowerPoint presentation. The modules also contain links to relevant assignments and prerequisite topic modules, and many have interactive narrated videos of the presentation and Word transcripts.

Most presentations have the same format -- a two-slide header followed by the body of the presentation and a three-slide footer. The header slides list the skills and concepts covered in the presentation and show its place in the class outline. The footer slides are a summary of the presentation, self-study questions and links to external resources.

The assignments are the second part of our electronic text. Nearly every topic module has one or more assignments. Each assignment has a link back to the topic module or modules covering the assignment material.


The modular approach allows us to create an entire, custom designed course or to select one or a few related modules to supplement a course with a standard textbook. For example, this collection of topic modules focuses on writing for the Internet.

I have talked about the way the electronic text works, but what about the course content? We will cover the IT skills and concepts you need for success as a student and after graduation as a professional and citizen. This is our class outline:
  • Internet concepts
    • Applications
    • Implications
    • Technology
  • Internet skills
    • Application development
    • Content creation
    • User skills

For more on course and electronic text in context, see this presentation.

In addition to this text material, we begin each week with a presentation which includes current events pertaining to the course.