Virtual Education & Instructional Technology

Course Number: DEL 7110
Course Name: Virtual Educational & Instructional Technology (Online)
Course Description:    This course examines processes and systems for delivering learning instruction in a virtual environment based on scientific research. The course explores theories of how people learn, instructional technology tools, issues in educational and instructional technology, technology literacy, the evaluation of technology resources, and content/learning management systems.
Prerequisites:    None
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Distance Education Leadership

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.


Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Analyze theories of how people learn in a virtual environment.
  • Determine appropriate use of instructional technology tools.
  • Examine current issues in educational and instructional technology.
  • Develop a personal technology literacy improvement plan.
  • Evaluate instructional technology resources and their applications.
  • Propose a learning management system that is appropriate for specific applications

Modality Emphasis
A fundamental understanding of the different learning environment modalities for virtual education is valuable for individuals advancing in the field of Distance Education Leadership. This course has been designed using an accelerated learning model in which special attention is given to the learning activities and assessments for each week. Active participation with course access at minimum 5 days a week is strongly encouraged. This course is comprised of synchronous and asynchronous components. Learners will participate in virtual meetings in which they experience different virtual meeting software applications. 

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: Technology Literacy and Learning Theories
Instructional technology has come a long way over the years and provides a plethora of opportunities for classroom enrichment when applied strategically and for distraction or ineffective disruptions when not applied well. Gaining some knowledge about from where we have come, where we are now, and potentially where we are headed will provide valuable insights for leaders in distance education. In addition to the technological knowledge and skills, knowledge of how people learn is critical to the proper application of this knowledge and skills in the learning environment and to support education.

Through this unit, you will briefly learn about the history of educational and instructional technology and its value to the opportunities in instruction and training. You will be provided with some resources about various learning theories and then using your own research abilities, you will delve into theories of interest to you through the development of an annotated bibliography on two learning theories of your choosing. Technology literacy is not to be forgotten through these discussions, as literacy is an essential skills for yourself as a professional in the field and also important to understand as you plan technology integrations in your teaching and learning environments.

Unit 2: Educational and Instructional Technologies
As you learned from Merrill in lesson 1.2, he is less interested in innovation (instructional technology) than he is in how the innovation is used. Adding instructional technology to courses/trainings just because it exists is not proved to increase learning gains. You need to have an understanding of the goals of the courses/trainings in order to know what instructional technology would be appropriate and would increase learning gains.

In this unit, you will continue to explore instructional methods and how those methods can help you determine the what and how of incorporating instructional technology for the benefit of the learner.

Unit 3: Current Issues and Trends in Educational and Instructional Technology
This course is designed to increase your autonomy as a higher education professional, improve your KSA with instructional technology, and enhance your ability to remain up-to-date in this topic area on a recurring basis. Autonomy, however, does not mean that you will be operating in silos. It is important as educational practitioners and leaders that we continue to expand our knowledge and our 'virtual toolkit.' This often involves collaboration and communications with others. Having a good understanding of the resources available to us is crucial to our success. An evaluation of these resources is also paramount in determining which resources are credible, relevant, and worthwhile to read, revisit, and/or maintain. You are encouraged to take the evaluation of resources into consideration throughout your coursework and professional pursuits.

Unit 3 provides a high level review of resources important to staying current on issues and trends in and directly related to virtual education and instructional technology. In addition, this information will help you form your technology literacy performance improvement plan.

Grading Information

Assignment Possible Points
Weekly Discussion Board Participation (15 @ 25 pts. each) 375 points
Virtual Meetings (3 @ 20 pts. each) 60 points
Activity - Personal Technology Literacy Improvement Plan 20 points
Activity - Learning Theory Annotated Bibliography 75 points
Activity - Technology Tools Exploration 180 points
Activity - LMS Preliminary Evaluation and Proposal 75 points
Activity - Ethics Scenario Response 25 points
Weekly e-Portfolio Journal Reflections (7 @ 20 pts. each) 140 points
ePortfolio - Professional Development Journal Reflection 50 points
Total: 1,000 points


Grading Scale
A 940 - 1,000 points
A- 900 - 939 points
B+ 870 - 899 points
B 840 - 869 points
B- 800 - 839 points
C+ 770 - 799 points
C 740 - 769 points
C- 700 - 739 points
D+ 670 - 699 points
D 640 - 669 points
D- 600 - 639 points
F 0 - 599 points


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