The ITCP Independent Study course--ITCP 89010 (3 credits)--is the final requirement of the nine-credit ITP certificate. The Independent Study course allows students to apply the theoretical and practical/ pedagogical lessons learned in the two core courses and the skills workshops to concrete IT projects of their own design that they implement and evaluate.
Procedure for Approval of an Independent Study Project:
ITP students will undertake their independent study courses at the point in their graduate study that:
1) They have completed a sufficient number of ITP skills workshops to allow them to fully develop the technological aspects of their IT independent study projects; and
2) Their I.S. projects, whatever form they take, are well enough conceived and developed to be ready for active implementation and testing in a classroom teaching or other educationally appropriate situation or circumstance.
The meeting of these two benchmarks allows ITP students and their designated faculty mentors (and the overall program) to be confident that the proposed independent study course will lead to a solid and comprehensive evaluation of the approved I.S. project.
Students will first need to identify and meet with the Certificate Coordinator and an appropriate ITP faculty member, ideally someone in their own academic discipline, who will agree jointly to review and supervise the student’s Independent Study project. In cases where it is not possible to identify a single ITP faculty member to serve in these two capacities (disciplinary mentor and certificate faculty member), it will be possible for the student to have the Certificate Coordinator approve a non-ITP faculty member (either a GC- or CUNY campus-based faculty member) to help supervise the independent study project.
Once students have conceived a project, identified an appropriate faculty advisor, and spoken with that advisor and the Certificate Coordinator, they will need to submit a short written proposal (no more than five to ten typed pages) describing their proposed independent study course and its goals and intentions. That document must be reviewed and formally approved by the Certificate Coordinator and the faculty mentor (or designee) for the Independent Study course. Those two formal approvals will constitute permission for the student to enroll in the Independent Study and to begin his/her final semester of work to complete the certificate.
Students enrolled in the I.S. course will be expected to meet with the Certificate Coordinator and their faculty I.S. supervisor on a monthly basis at a minimum over the course of the semester that the I.S. course is taken, offering verbal reports on the progress of the independent study and securing necessary faculty feedback on the work.
ITP students enrolled in the I.S. will be expected to do self-evaluations of their own I.T. practice and pedagogy as part of a final report/paper that they will write upon completion of the I.S. ITP students should assume that they will offer a draft of this final report/paper for comment and criticism and be prepared to make necessary modifications and changes to respond to faculty concerns and suggestions. The final written report should be of appropriate length and intellectual rigor, paralleling doctoral student work in GC doctoral seminar courses. ITP students will be expected to reference theoretical and conceptual reading and other intellectual work from the first two ITP core courses in their self-evaluation. It is important that the student use the final report not only to indicate pedagogical and interdisciplinary successes and disappointments, but also to reflect critically on the ways in which the I.S. project helped the student to teach or convey the disciplinary focus of their doctoral study. In this respect, the ITP student must also be sure to include some kind of written evaluation instrument that the students or faculty participating in their chosen I.S. project are expected to complete.
Independent Study Options
The Independent Study can be pursued in five different ways, all of which privilege questions of pedagogy and IT practice:
The first option for the independent study course allows students to implement in the classroom the IT tools they conceived and began to design in ITCP 70020 (the second core course) and the skills workshop electives. ITP students who have CUNY teaching assignments in their doctoral disciplines (these teaching assignments are often part of CUNY’s GTF, Writing Fellow and Tech Fellow teaching programs) will then be able to conceive and develop IT tools particular to the given course they will be teaching. These tools can include an appropriate Blackboard site, but should also include course websites that supplement course information included on a Blackboard site. ITP students taking the I.S. course will be expected to draw from experience and a given set of readings, drawn at least in part from the syllabus for the Core 1 course the student completed, to reflect critically on the role of IT in their teaching and research.
In the near future, certificate program students will have developed a number of viable IT tools that can be used for instructional purposes. These tools will eventually become dated and need refurbishing and updating. A second independent study option allows students interested in extending and enhancing the design and development work completed by a previous student to update, under the guidance of the Certificate Program Coordinator and/or ITP faculty supervisor or designee, a previously developed IT tool. The student will bring problems and successes to the attention of the Certificate Program Coordinator and the faculty supervisor; together they will develop and work through a list of readings, focused on pedagogy and design that will inform their revision of an existing IT tool.
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 Independent Studies requirement, under the guidance of the Coordinator or a designee, the student would develop and deliver a half-day workshop on IT and pedagogy designed for local educators. These workshops would be part of a larger GC outreach effort by its research centers and institutes to work with local educators to introduce IT solutions into primary and secondary classrooms around the city.
A fourth independent study option casts students in the role of technology ethnographers. IT in the classroom is still in its earliest stages. To gauge the effectiveness of IT tools, the certificate program has a cadre of potential evaluators in its own students. Students who choose this option would attend classroom IT presentations in CUNY colleges or in the public schools, talk to professors and teachers, follow students into the computer lab and interview them to gauge how well a particular instructor’s hopes in using IT are translated into practice. Course requirements include periodic meetings with the Certificate Program Coordinator and ITP faculty supervisor or designee.
A fifth option for the independent study involves the creation and evaluation of a unique IT tool or an existing piece of software that can be used for pedagogical purposes. The idea here is for the ITP student to think critically about the ways in which existing software can be used to encourage active learning for students and teachers.
As noted above, all ITP students enrolled in the Independent Study will be expected to complete a written evaluation that assesses the implementation of their IT project in the classroom or assesses their successes and failures in running IT workshops. Students who pursue the role of technology ethnographers must produce a final research paper based on their classroom evaluations. Students who create and evaluate existing software tools must also produce a final paper that describes the full project. We also expect to allow ITP students to work in teams of two at various stages of the ITP certificate program, including the Independent Study. The program, the University, and doctoral students will benefit from such cooperative efforts and approaches.
Rationale: All program students will complete the independent study in close consultation with a program faculty member or designee and the Certificate Coordinator in order to fully demonstrate that the theoretical and technical lessons they’ve learned in the program have demonstrable application in an educational environment, either through the student’s own work as a classroom instructor or as an outside evaluator of someone else’s IT practice or software program(s). Written 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 tools.
Download the Independent Study Document