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Independent Study

ITCP 89010 Independent Study
3 credits

The ITCP Independent Study course is the final requirement of the nine-credit ITP certificate. The I.S. course encourages students to apply the theoretical, pedagogical, and practical lessons learned in the two ITP core courses and the skills workshops to conceive and develop a concrete and realizable IT project of their own design that they then implement and evaluate.
 
Procedure for Approval of an Independent Study Project
ITP students will undertake the I.S. at the point in their graduate study that: 1) They have completed a sufficient number of ITP and other IT skills workshops to allow them to fully develop the technological aspects of their IT independent study projects; and 2) Their I.S. project, whichever form it takes, is well enough conceived and developed to be ready for active implementation either as a research project or in a classroom teaching or other educationally-appropriate environment.

ITP students first need to meet with the Certificate Coordinator to discuss their I.S. project plans. Where appropriate, the Certificate Coordinator may recommend the inclusion of other ITP or GC doctoral faculty members in the review and supervision of the student’s I.S. project. ITP students can, if they choose, work in teams of two or more to plan and execute I.S. projects. Jointly developed and executed I.S. projects need the prior approval of the Certificate Coordinator.

Once ITP students have conceived I.S. projects and discussed them with the Certificate Coordinator, they submit a short written proposal (no more than five to ten typed pages) describing their proposed project and its goals and they anticipate evaluating the results of the independent study (e.g., using surveys of participants). That proposal must be reviewed and formally approved by the Certificate Coordinator before students begin work on their Independent Study.
 
Independent Study Options
The Independent Study can be pursued in several different ways, all of which privilege questions of research, pedagogy, and/or IT practice:

·       The first option for the independent study course allows students to implement IT tools and pedagogical approaches they conceived and began to develop in ITCP 70020 (the second core course). ITP students who have CUNY teaching assignments in their academic disciplines (e.g., GTFs, Writing Fellowships, Instructional Technology Fellowships, and adjunct teaching positions) will be able to utilize IT tools particular to the given courses they will be teaching. These tools can include classroom delivery and assessment of content using Blackboard, the Academic Commons, and other online sites and digital pedagogies.

·       A second option for the I.S. involves the adaptation/modification of an existing IT tool or piece of software that can be used for pedagogical and/or research purposes (e.g. adapting a mobile application for use in improving academic or health outcomes). The idea here is for the ITP student to think critically about the ways in which new digital approaches to software and hardware design and development can be used to enhance their academic scholarship and teaching and then adapt and/or deploy a specific tool or tools that make that enhancement operable.

·       A third independent study option has the capacity to offer a vital service to students at The Graduate Center, and to secondary and postsecondary educators across the city. To fulfill this I.S. requirement the ITP student develops and delivers, with active guidance of the Certificate Coordinator or a designee, a full-day workshop or series of workshops on IT and pedagogy designed for local educators. These workshops could be part of larger GC and/or CUNY outreach efforts to expand IT solutions and opportunities in K-12, undergraduate and/or graduate teaching environments. Such pedagogy workshops are particularly amenable to collaborative work by two or more ITP students.

·       A fourth independent study option casts students in the role of technology ethnographers. To gauge the effectiveness of various IT tools, ITP students who choose this option would attend classroom IT presentations in CUNY colleges or K-12 classes, talk to professors and teachers, follow students into computer labs or other digital work spaces and observe them using their digital devices and various digital media and formally interview them to gauge how well a particular instructor’s design for using IT in the classroom is translated into practice or how well a particular IT solution (hardware and/or software) is realizing its educational/academic potential. It should be noted that formal interview and/or survey evaluation methodologies will require appropriate IRB approvals.
 
If the ITP student finds none of the listed options above satisfactory, he or she may propose a unique I.S. project to the Certificate Coordinator for consideration in meeting the requirements for the Independent Study. Students who pursue this option should be prepared to present a fully developed and articulated written proposal for the I.S. project to assure that it is sufficiently rigorous and meets the completion requirements for the ITP certificate.

Independent Study Implementation
Students enrolled in the I.S. course will be expected to meet with the Certificate Coordinator periodically (at minimum no fewer than three times over the course of the semester that the I.S. course is taken), offering verbal reports on the progress of their I.S. projects. ITP students enrolled in the I.S. will be expected to do ongoing self-evaluations of their own research and/or pedagogy projects as part of a final report/paper that they will write upon completion of the Independent Study.

All ITP students enrolled in the Independent Study will be expected to complete a final written report that includes an assessment of the implementation of their research project, their IT classroom project, or their assessment of successes and failures in running and evaluating IT workshops. Students who pursue the role of technology ethnographers will produce a final research paper based on their formal classroom evaluations. Students who adapt and deploy software tools must also produce a final paper that describes the full project, both with respect to the process of development and production and evaluation of its successes/effectiveness. ITP students should assume that they will offer a draft of this final report/paper to the Certificate Coordinator for comment, editing and criticism and are prepared to make necessary modifications and changes in response to those suggestions. The final written report should be of appropriate length and intellectual rigor, paralleling doctoral student work in GC seminar courses, and, ideally, be suitable for possible publication in the ITP program’s online Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy.

Rationale:  The completion of the ITP independent study demonstrates that the theoretical and technical lessons ITP students have learned in the program have clear application in educational and/or research environments, either through the student’s own work as a classroom instructor, as an outside evaluator of someone else’s IT practice or software program(s), or as the developer of a piece of digital technology for use in academic research. Final written I.S. reports or research papers assure that students who successfully complete the certificate program are able to be self-critical and analytical in their uses of IT in addition to being technically proficient in the creation of IT projects and software programs.