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Brian Murfin's Class Materials- SPRING 2011 - SEYS 767.3

SEYS 767.3 Home

Section:  1480

Queens College/CUNY
Education Unit
Spring 2011


SEYS 767.3 - Workshop:  Advanced Methods of Teaching Middle and High School Science in Virtual Learning Environments


 Thursday 7:10 pm to 9:40 pm

 Kiely Hall Room 115
(Click here for a brief overview of the course schedule)

Week 1  Kiely 115
2 Online
3  Kiely 115
4 Online
5 Kiely 115
6 Online
7 Kiely 115
8 Online
Week 9 Kiely 115
Week 10 Online
Week 11 Kiely 115
Week 12 Online
Week 13 Kiely 115
Week 14 Online
Week 15 Kiely 115
Week 17 Kiely 115


Brian Murfin, Ph.D.,
Office:  Powdermaker Hall Room 135C

Office Hours

Wednesday 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thursday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
And by appointment

On Thursdays when we have online classes I will be available in BigBlueButton.  Email brian.murfin@qc.cuny.edu to make an appointment. 

Please send me email to brian.murfin@qc.cuny.edu to arrange an online appointment using either:

Phone:  631 223-8311

Email:  brian.murfin@qc.cuny.ed


 SEYS 767.3.  Workshop:  Advanced Methods of Teaching Middle and High School Science in Virtual Learning Environments

3 hr.; This is a graduate science methods course for in-service science teachers.  Students will successfully design, implement and teach an online science course.  Students will also understand the differences between face to face and online teaching of science. 

Education Unit Conceptual Framework:

This course is being offered by the Secondary Education department which is part of the Education Unit at Queens College. The Education Unit seeks to promote equity, excellence, and ethics in urban education and is committed to preparing teachers and other education professionals who will:

This course is aligned with the Education Unit’s commitment to preparing educational professionals to work in diverse urban and suburban communities. Specifically, the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that candidates will development/demonstrate at the successful completion of this course are directly linked to the Education Unit’s seven principles: 1) discipline specific competencies, 2) learning and development, 3) families and urban communities, 4) diversity, inclusion, democracy and social justice, 5) language and literacy, 6) curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and 7) technology.



Textbook (required):  You do not have to purchase a textbook.  All course readings will be available online and in the Course Documents in BlackBoard

Textbook (recommended): You do not have to purchase a textbook.  All course readings will be available online and in the Course Documents in BlackBoard.  This book does have some interesting and useful information: 

Kennepohl, D., & Shaw, L. (2010). Accessible Elements: Teaching Science Online and at a Distance. Au Pr. 

Supplies and/or tools, hardware: You will need access to a computer with an Internet connection to do the online assignments.  You should have ear phones that you can connect to your computer in order to listen to webcasts and podcasts.

Computer labs available on campus:  Every other week we will meet in a computer lab in Kiely 115.  If you need to use a computer on campus, here are links to information on the computer labs on campus with the days and hours they are available. 

Software needed:  All you need for this course is access to a web browser.  I highly recommend that you use Firefox and Google Chrome.  Any other software needed will be available for free, either as open source software that you can download and install, or free Web 2.0 applications. 

Accounts needed:  You must have the following accounts:  Your Queens College CAMS account, a CUNY Portal account, a CUNYFirst account, a Google account, and a Science Moodle account. 

Optional supplies - digital microphone, digital video camera, smartphone, webcam.  These will all be available for use during face to face class meetings.  I recommend that you have a USB drive to store backups of your work. 

How to get help:  I will try to answer all email requests for help sent to brian.murfin@qc.cuny.edu within 24 hours.  If you don't hear from me by then, please resend your request.  It is helpful if you put a short description of the question in the subject header of the email message.  Another way to get help is from your peers by posting a message to our Google group.  If you have problems with your Queens College, CUNY Portal, or CUNY First accounts you should contact the OCT Help desk.  Here are some places you can get help:

What to do if BlackBoard and the QC website are down:  If BlackBoard is down, please check our QC course website at http://tinyurl.com/qc7673 and also check your QC email  If all of these are down, go to our Google group http://groups.google.com/group/seys7673-spring2011 and check your gmail email for announcements about alternative arrangements. 

Tips and Advice for Students Taking an Online or Hybrid Course

D.  WEEKLY TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (Click here for a brief overview of the course outline)

Week 1 – 2/3/2011 – FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Getting ready to launch into cyberspace!

Welcome, introductions and overview

Instructional objectives:


Week 2 2/10/2011 – ONLINE - How do people teach and learn science online?  What on Earth is Moodle?  Getting started

Instructional objectives:
      • Explore examples of online science courses
      • As you explore online science courses, make a list of the different types of learning activities and technology tools used.  Post this list on the discussion board in Blackboard.
        • Listed below  are some technology tools you might see being used to create and teach online science courses:  learning management systems, blogs, vlogs, glogs, social networking tools, websites, wikis, polls, screencasting, webcasting, podcasting, live streaming video, twitter, open source software, web 2.0 apps, Google docs,  and many others
      • In this course, each person will develop a one week or equivalent (five separate lessons) online science course.  I recommend that you pick a topic from a subject you teach, i.e. from the
      • You might also want to design a course on another useful topic such as a science research course, a forensic science course, a course on evolution, global warming, or other specialized science course.
      • Brainstorm ideas for online science courses.  Open a document in your word processor and start listing ideas.  Don't rule anything out, just list as many possible ideas for online science courses as you can.  Once you finish, you can narrow down the list and finally pick one topic.  Post this topic on the Discussion Board in BlackBoard.
      • Go through Moodle tutorials for teachers and students
      • Create Moodle course shell
      • Post the scope and sequence for your course on the discussion board in Blackboard
      • Before putting anything on the web or in Moodle, it is a good idea to write out a lesson plan for each online lesson.  You can type this in a word processor and then copy and paste text from it later to your online course.  For each lesson, include the following:
        • Title of lesson
        • Grade level/s
        • Regents topic
        • Time needed
        • Goals
        • Materials needed
        • Procedure:
        • Questions with links to answers
        • Important vocabulary
        • Summary
        • Assessment - include some way to determine whether students have learning
        • Want to learn more?  Extension activities.
      • Make sure to begin each lesson with something to hook the students and get them motivated and interested.  
      • I recommend that you use Robert Karplus' Learning Cycle to structure your lesson.  The learning cycle consists of three phases:  Phase 1 - Students explore the concept, Phase 2 - Introduce concepts and terms, Phase 3 - Apply the concepts in a new or different situation. 
      • Every time you finish working on your online course, back up your Moodle course, and save the file to your local hard drive or USB drive.

Week 3 2/17/2011 – FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 -  Explore Science Learning activities and set up class website

Instructional objectives:

  1. SWBAT list different types of online science learning activities
  2. SWBAT locate sources of exemplary interactive, online science learning activities
  3. SWBAt to create a simple website using Google sites
  4. Students will become familiar with basic principles of web design and usability


Week 4 2/24/2011 – ONLINE - Are your students ready for 21st centure online science learning? Your first science online science learning activity

Instructional objectives:
Week 53/3/2011 – FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Moodle, Mods and Blocks Oh My!

Instructional objectives:

Activities: Assignment #2 due Week 6 – 3/10/2011 – ONLINE - Be creative and fair with your assessment - Long live alternative Assessment!

SWBAT list different types of alternative assessment
Students will include both formative and summative alternative assessments in their course.


Week 7  – 3/17/2011 - CLASS IS CANCELED THIS WEEK - NO CLASS FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 Traditional assessment in an online science course - Boring but Necessary

Please note:  I will be in my office today from 2 to 5pm.  If you would like ot chat you can use Meebo at the  bottom of this page, or you can go into Science Moodle and chat. 

Instructional objectives:
Activities:  Use Moodle modules, blocks or assignments to create an online science quiz and test for your online Science course

Useful Links: Assignment 3 due Week 8 – 3/24/2011 – ONLINE - How's it going?  Progress reports on online course development, Use a Google spreadsheet and form to create a course evaluation

Instructional objectives:
Assignment #1 due
Week 9 – 3/31/2011 –  FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - What can we learn from research on online teaching and learning?

Discussion of Reviews of the literature on online teaching and learning

Assignment 4

Week 10 – 4/7/2011 – ONLINE - Help!  Where do I get all the stuff that makes my course interesting, eye-catching and engaging for my students?

Instructional objectives:
Week 11 – 4/14/2011 – FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Free images, diagrams, sounds, music and videos for all!  Make them yourself!

Instructional objectives:
Week 12 – 4/21/2011 -  SPRING RECESS - NO CLASS Readings:

 Week 13 – 4/28/2011 – FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Watch out Spielberg!  Science Educators on the Loose with Open Source Software!

Instructional objectives:
Activities: Week 14 – 5/5/2011 - ONLINE - Start your Sciencecasting Career with an Exciting Screencast and Webcast!

Instructional objectives:
Week 15 – 5/12/2011 –  FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Continue working on your masterpieces! Peers provide feedback.


Work on projects and presentations

Week 16 – 5/19/2011 - FACE TO FACE IN KIELY 115 - Lights, Camera, Science Action!  Presentations of Online, Interactive Science Courses


Presentations of group projects

Assignment 5 Due

Please complete the course evaluation before the last week

Week 17– 5/26/2011 – NO CLASS

  Assignment 6 Due

 Week 18 – 6/2/2011 – NO CLASS - COMMENCEMENT


 Procedure for submitting assignments:

 1)  All assignments that include text:

2)  If your assignment is on the web, post the url on the Discussion Board in BlackBoard.  iIf your assignment is in the form of an audio, video or image, attach the file to a posting on the discussion board in BlackBoard.

Assignment Description

Due Date

Possible Points

Assignment 1 –  Review of a journal article on a topic related to online education



Assignment 2 – Online science learning activity



Assignment 3 – Online alternative assessment



Assignment 4 – Online quiz or test



Assignment 5 – Online science course including course evaluation



Assignment 6 – Presentation of online science course



Participation – Active participation in all class activities. 




Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion as provided at: 


 H. ADA Statement
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:  (1) register with and provide documentation to the Special Services Office, Kiely 171; (2) bring a letter to the
instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.  This should be done
during the first week of class.  For more information about services available to Queens students contact:  Dr. Mirian Detres-Hickey, Special Services Office; 171 Kiely Hall; 718 997-5870 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).  E-mail address:  mdetres@yahoo.com or to mirian.detreshicky@qc.cuny.edu

All teacher education programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies and the state education department.  For these purposes, samples of students’ work  are made available to those professionals conducting the review.  Student anonymity is 
assured under these circumstances.  If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.



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