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Twin Cities Campus

Learning Technologies Minor

Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development
  • Program Type: Undergraduate free-standing minor
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2019
  • Required credits in this minor: 15
  • No.
Learning technologies is a multidisciplinary field of study that fosters knowledge about the development, adoption, and diffusion of emerging online technologies to support education and learning in daily life and in diverse contexts and professions. Connected technologies and mobile devices are transforming the way we communicate with others, access information, curate and create media for generative, educational purposes. Active engagement in today's world and workplaces requires fluency and skill in interacting with and through these tools and a critical understanding of their social, cultural, and educational impacts. Students in the learning technologies minor program will develop expertise in using digital media and online technologies for productivity and connected learning in their field and daily life. They will gain an understanding of connected learning and participatory culture, including the sociocultural implications of technological affordances and challenges, in order to be critical consumers and ethical producers of new media in its many forms and creative capacities. Core courses introduce a variety of technology appropriation theories and online community integration models that help explain how technology influences social outcomes as well as the relationship humans have with technology and with each other through technology. These theoretical frameworks also serve as a lens through which to closely examine technology use in unique contexts. To this end, a variety of social media platforms are introduced in the core courses to effectively communicate ideas through the use of mobile devices, instant messaging apps, web conferencing, and other online collaboration tools in ways that are applicable to a wide variety of disciplines and fields of study. Both conceptual knowledge and practical competence are gained in the minor as students develop skills in digital writing as well as video and audio content creation to support collaborative multimedia work and authoring on the web for educational purposes. They will also learn to leverage web technologies to construct and maintain an online presence and professional identity; to facilitate and sustain engagement of an online community of users around shared interests and goals; to design creative and responsive websites and online networks; and to address ethical issues associated with web-based technologies such as digital equity. Learning in this minor program goes beyond mere technical application in order to engage students in sociocultural analysis of how connected technologies shape our experience in the world, relationships among people, and the way businesses and organizations function. This minor program will add value to a wide range of academic majors, positioning students to become technically, ethically, and socially skilled, media-savvy leaders in their professions.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • primarily online (at least 80% of the instruction for the program is online with short, intensive periods of face-to-face coursework)
Minor Requirements
Required courses:
CI 3342 - Social Media & Connected Learning (3.0 cr)
CI 4311W - Technology and Ethics in Society [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
CI 4312 - Sex, Drugs, and the Internet: Educational Perspectives (3.0 cr)
Elective courses:
A minimum of 6 credits is required. Request approval from minor advisor for courses not included below. Note CSCI 5000 level electives have prerequisites. These would be appropriate elective options for students with an extensive computer science background who would like to broaden their studies into learning technologies.
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· CSCI 1001 - Overview of Computer Science [MATH, TS] (4.0 cr)
· CSCI 1103 - Introduction to Computer Programming in Java (4.0 cr)
· CSCI 3921W - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing [CIV, WI] (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 4921 - History of Computing [TS, HIS] (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation (3.0 cr)
· CSCI 5125 - Collaborative and Social Computing (3.0 cr)
· DES 1101W - Introduction to Design Thinking [AH, WI] (4.0 cr)
· DES 1111 - Creative Problem Solving (3.0 cr)
· DES 3131 - User Experience in Design (4.0 cr)
· DES 3141 - Technology, Design, and Society [TS] (3.0 cr)
· EPSY 1261 - Understanding Data Stories through Visualization & Computing [MATH] (3.0 cr)
· FSOS 3105 - Technology in Parenting and Family Relationships [TS] (3.0 cr)
· HIST 1015W - Globalization: Issues and Challenges [GP, WI] (4.0 cr)
· JOUR 1501 - Digital Games and Society [AH, TS] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3006 - Visual Communication (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3552 - Internet and Global Society [GP] (3.0 cr)
· JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture [AH, TS] (3.0 cr)
· OLPD 2811 - Societies of the Future: Changing Work Contexts [TS] (3.0 cr)
· OLPD 2811H - Societies of the Future: Changing Work Contexts, Honors [TS] (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 3602 - Science, Technology, and Society (3.0 cr)
· PHIL 4615 - Minds, Bodies, and Machines (3.0 cr)
 
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CI 3342 - Social Media & Connected Learning
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
This course investigates current and potential future impacts of social media using connected learning (Ito) and participatory culture (Jenkins) as a theoretical lens to understand the ways in which it can be used for education. Connected learning focuses on learning "pathways" that move across formal and informal settings to transform the very nature of learning - what it means, how it occurs, and where it takes place. In addition to gaining a philosophical understanding of participatory practices in spaces of connected learning, students will develop conceptual and practical expertise in using social media applications and social networking platforms for learning, creative expression, forming connections, and interacting as global citizens. The overarching aim of this course is to help students become critical consumers and ethical producers of new media in various forms for learning purposes. A balanced analysis and critique of both the affordances and the challenges associated with social media use as a tool for learning will be an essential component of the course and will frame each social media application and network that is explored and authentically integrated into the course. An examination of social media practices and influences will include their use in both formal education as well as informal learning contexts.
CI 4311W - Technology and Ethics in Society (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01754
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Critique of values and ethical issues related to technology use in education, the workplace, and family and community life.
CI 4312 - Sex, Drugs, and the Internet: Educational Perspectives
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01750
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Immersive exploration/critique of advantages/risks associated with society's pervasive use of the Internet. Dangers and strategies to combat them. The Internet's potential for teaching/learning.
CSCI 1001 - Overview of Computer Science (MATH, TS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
Foundations/limits of today's computing/information technology. How to reason about applications/technological advances. Policy issues. Algorithms for automating solutions. Abstraction in design/problem solving. Concepts of computer databases, networks, expert systems human-computer interaction, Internet, Web, desktop software, personal computers. prereq: Non-CSci major, non-CompE major, non-EE major
CSCI 1103 - Introduction to Computer Programming in Java
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Fundamental programming concepts/software development using Java language. Problem solving skills. Algorithm development techniques. Use of abstractions/modularity. Data structures/abstract data types. Substantial programming projects. Weekly lab.
CSCI 3921W - Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing (CIV, WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Impact of computers on society. Computer science perspective of ethical, legal, social, philosophical, political, and economic aspects of computing. prereq: At least soph or instr consent
CSCI 4921 - History of Computing (TS, HIS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00497 - CSci 4921/HSci 4321
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Developments in last 150 years; evolution of hardware and software; growth of computer and semiconductor industries and their relation to other businesses; changing relationships resulting from new data-gathering and analysis techniques; automation; social and ethical issues.
CSCI 5115 - User Interface Design, Implementation and Evaluation
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theory, design, programming, and evaluation of interactive application interfaces. Human capabilities and limitations, interface design and engineering, prototyping and interface construction, interface evaluation, and topics such as data visualization and World Wide Web. Course is built around a group project. prereq: 4041 or instr consent
CSCI 5125 - Collaborative and Social Computing
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Introduction to computer-supported cooperative work, social computing. Technology, research methods, theory, case studies of group computing systems. Readings, hands-on experience. prereq: 5115 or instr consent
DES 1101W - Introduction to Design Thinking (AH, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02626 - Des 1101W/Des 1101V
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Theories/processes that underpin design thinking. Interactions between humans and their natural, social, and designed environments where purposeful design helps determine quality of interaction. Design professions.
DES 1111 - Creative Problem Solving
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02790
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Development of creative capability applicable to all fields of study. Problem solving techniques. Theory of creativity/innovation.
DES 3131 - User Experience in Design
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Introduction to theories/principles of human interaction with designed objects. Focuses on affect/emotional quality of designs. Objects, interfaces, environments. Digitally mediated experiences.
DES 3141 - Technology, Design, and Society (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Explore/evaluate impact of technology/design on humans, societies. How design innovation shapes cultures. How people use technology to shape design, adoption, use of designed products/environments through consumerism/ethical values.
EPSY 1261 - Understanding Data Stories through Visualization & Computing (MATH)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02460
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Academics and researchers have long used data & visualization to support and illuminate particular narratives in their scholarship. Today, data visualizations are found not only in the pages of academic journals; many non-academics, including journalists and activists, use increasingly complex data visualizations and statistical summaries to convey salient information and storylines. This course will help students build on their statistical thinking and understanding learned in high school to think critically about the use of summaries and visualization and their role in the data narrative. It will also cover the use of computational tools and methods for creating data summaries and visualization that facilitate seeing patterns and relationships in data, and producing better narrative through communicating with data. Students will learn course material through in-class activities and projects conducted in cooperative learning groups and through assignments requiring the application of concepts and technology presented in class to additional real-world examples of data visualization.
FSOS 3105 - Technology in Parenting and Family Relationships (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
The role of information and communications technologies in contemporary family life is explored through examination of theory, and research on technology use and family and family member outcomes. Applications of technology in family practice and issues regarding professional preparation will identify avenues for support and development.
HIST 1015W - Globalization: Issues and Challenges (GP, WI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00412 - GloS 1015W,V/Hist 1015W,V,1019
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Increased global interconnections over past 50 years. Impact of information revolution on human rights, economic inequality, ecological challenges, and decolonization. Cases in Asia, Africa, Latin America, or Middle East. prereq: Fr or soph or non-hist major
JOUR 1501 - Digital Games and Society (AH, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Digital games have a wide-ranging impact on our culture and society and are one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entertainment media industry, generating enormous profits for the game companies. In this course, you will: (1) be introduced to the academic study of video games; (2) examine digital games as forms of communication and interactive storytelling, as well as games of entertainment, commerce, social activism, professional training, and education; (3) consider the impact of mobile media, particularly for games and gameplay; (4) discuss next-generation virtual reality technology that may change the way we think about immersive media experiences; and (5) study the history, ethics, and socio-cultural impact of digital games and related technologies.
JOUR 3006 - Visual Communication
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
From Instagram to YouTube to memes-we live in a visual culture. How can we interpret this flood of images? Learn how to analyze advertisements, photographs, television, and social media from multiple perspectives. Historical, cultural, and ethical approaches unearth the changing role of visual media in society. You'll actively interpret current images to learn how to effectively communicate with visuals.
JOUR 3552 - Internet and Global Society (GP)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Structure/processes of Internet/global society in comparative context. Internet, via World Wide Web, as ideal site to explore how/why societies come to see world/issues.
JOUR 3751 - Digital Media and Culture (AH, TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
How have digital media innovations like social media, mobile phones, artificial intelligence, drones and games shaped and been shaped by a culture and society globally? Learn to critically examine the function of digital media in your life. Take away a socio-historical understanding of digital media innovation, and the social, political, and economical impact of new media in creativity, industry, and culture from a cross-disciplinary perspective. Topics range from the concept of branding in an online context, to the varied uses of digital media in the context of journalism, social mobilization, law and privacy, business, globalization, content creation, and beyond. You will read, discuss, and debate cutting edge material from documentaries, podcasts, popular press, and academic literature. This course balances local contexts with global perspectives, and provides details into the practicalities of working and living in a new media environment.
OLPD 2811 - Societies of the Future: Changing Work Contexts (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Ongoing evolution of social contexts and work through the interdisciplinary lens of future studies.
OLPD 2811H - Societies of the Future: Changing Work Contexts, Honors (TS)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Ongoing evolution of social contexts and work through the interdisciplinary lens of future studies. prereq: Honors student
PHIL 3602 - Science, Technology, and Society
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Philosophical issues that arise out of interaction between science, technology, society (e.g., religion and science, genetics and society, science and the environment).
PHIL 4615 - Minds, Bodies, and Machines
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall & Spring
Mind-body problem. Philosophical relevance of cybernetics, artificial intelligence, computer simulation. prereq: one course in philosophy or instr consent