Project: Educational Theory and Practice Analysis

Note for participants in previous LDL courses: THIS PAGE REPLACES PREVIOUS “WORK 1 AND WORK 2 A/B/C” REQUIREMENTS; There is now only one project that encompasses both theory and practice, along with a more explicit analysis section. This also reflects changes to the “Individual Community Update” requirements.

Image: Middlescapes

Choosing a Topic and Project Type

Choosing a Topic: Look ahead into the course learning module to get a sense of upcoming ideas—don’t feel constrained to explore concepts introduced early in the course. Or explore a related theory or concept of your own choosing that is relevant to the course themes.

We recommend choosing a cutting edge area of innovation (such as differentiated instruction, flipped classroom, Chat GPT, AI in education, learning analytics, gamification, metacognition, self-efficacy/regulation, socio-emotional learning, collaborative learning, formative assessment etc.) or one of education’s “wicked problems” which has presented a longtime challenge (such as a dimension or dimensions of learner diversity and strategies for inclusion and equity).

Choose something that is of genuine interest and concern to you because you will be working with this topic for whole course, not only in the peer reviewed project but across the community updates as well. Feel free to allow your topic to evolve – it might become more specific or more general as you work through your updates and draft the work itself, or it might change completely. We like the idea that learning is a voyage of discovery, so go with the flow! The best outcome is that you see things differently at the end of the course than you did at the beginning.

Choosing a Project Type: While everyone has the same requirements for Parts 1, 2, 4, and 5, you may choose how you will address the educational practice (part 3), in one of two ways. Please notify us of your choice because there are different rubrics for the two options. We will create to groups, so people are reviewing the same work type:

  • Option A: an Educational Practice Example related to your selected topic.
  • Option B: a Learning Module where you design a teaching and learning resource that exemplifies your selected topic

Project Requirements

The peer-reviewed project will include five major sections, with relevant sub-sections to organize your work using the CGScholar structure tool.

  1. Introduction/Background
  2. Theory/Concepts
  3. Practice/Applications
  4. Analysis/Discussion
  5. References

BUT! Please don’t use these boilerplate headings. Make them specific to your chosen topic, for instance: “Introduction: Addressing the Challenge of Learner Differences”; “The Theory of Differentiated Instruction”; “Lessons from the Research: Differentiated Instruction in Practice”; “Analyzing the Future of Differentiated Instruction in the Era of Artificial Intelligence;” “Conclusions: Challenges and Prospects for Differentiated Instruction.”

Include a publishable title, an Abstract, Keywords, and Work Icon (About this Work => Info => Title/Work Icon/Abstract/Keywords).

Overall Project Wordlength – At least 3500 words (Concentration of words should be on theory/concepts and educational practice)

Part 1: Introduction/Background

Introduce your topic. Why is this topic important? What are the main dimensions of the topic? Where in the research literature and other sources do you need to go to address this topic?

Part 2: Educational Theory/Concepts

What is the educational theory that addresses your topic? Who are the main writers or advocates? Who are their critics, and what do they say?

Your work must be in the form of an exegesis of the relevant scholarly literature that addresses and cites at least 6 scholarly sources (peer-reviewed journal articles or scholarly books).

Media: Include at least 7 media elements, such as images, diagrams, infographics, tables, embedded videos, (either uploaded into CGScholar, or embedded from other sites), web links, PDFs, datasets, or other digital media. Be sure these are well integrated into your work. Explain or discuss each media item in the text of your work. If a video is more than a few minutes long, you should refer to specific points with time codes or the particular aspects of the media object that you want your readers to focus on. Caption each item sourced from the web with a link. You don’t need to include media in the references list – this should be mainly for formal publications such as peer reviewed journal articles and scholarly monographs.

Part 3 Option A – Educational Practice Exegesis

You will present an educational practice example, or an ensemble of practices, as applied in clearly specified learning contexts. This could be a reflection practice in which you have been involved, one you have read about in the scholarly literature, or a new or unfamiliar practice which you would like to explore. While not as detailed as in the Educational Theory section of your work, this section should be supported by scholarly sources. There is not a minimum number of scholarly sources, 6 more scholarly sources in addition to those for section 2 is a reasonable target.

This section should include the following elements:

  • Articulate the purpose of the practice. What problem were they trying to solve, if any? What were the implementers or researchers hoping to achieve and/or learn from implementing this practice?
  • Provide detailed context of the educational practice applications – what, who, when, where, etc.
  • Describe the findings or outcomes of the implementation. What occurred? What were the impacts? What were the conclusions?

Part 3 Option B – Learning Module Creation

Create a learning module in CGScholar which demonstrates how you would translate some of the ideas and principles of this course into practice. A learning module is a hybrid work which crosses the legacy educational practices of lesson plan, syllabus, and textbook. Unlike a lesson plan which is mainly written for a teacher’s design purposes, a learning module has both teacher and learner sides.

On the left side of the screen, you speak to learners in “classroom discourse.” However, in the case of the learning module, you speak to learners in a dialogical mode, rather like social media, always prompting a response or contribution from learners. On the right side of the screen, you speak to other teachers in the professional discourse of the curriculum and pedagogy.

Unlike a syllabus, a learning module contains content as well as an outline of coverage. And unlike a textbook, which typically summarizes and transmits content that learners are to consume and remember, a learning module curates a variety of web content (links, embedded media, etc.) and establishes a dialogue with and between learners which positions them as active seekers and producers of knowledge.

Your work should demonstrate pedagogical coherence and completeness. Optionally, learning module creators could use the Learning by Design pedagogy. See the overview here,

Core Learning Module Content: Learning Objectives, at least 4 Learner Updates, 1 Peer-Reviewed Project, 1 Knowledge or Information Survey (pre or post survey), and 1 Assessment Plan

Supplementary Work Submission Content: Course Alignment, Experiential Alignment, Overview and Learning Outcomes, Analysis, and References

Learning Module Elements and Formatting: See Learning Module Structure section below for specific requirements

SectionSection TypeNotes
Learning Module HistoryFull WidthYour experience with the content area and whether this material is newly designed by you or material previously taught that is now being transformed into the learning module format, with a summary of what has been done to transform it.
Overview and Learning OutcomesTwo-Sided section

with Left and Right subsections
(On the left, articulated for the student, on the right, speaking to other educators):

1. Your target learners, including assumptions about prior learning.
2. Curriculum standards, if applicable.
3. Clear rationale in terms of intended learning outcomes, expressed both to the learner (member side) and teacher (admin side).
4. Anticipated duration to complete the module
5. Material requirements.
4 Separate Update SectionsTwo-Sided section

with Left and Right subsections
Include at least 4 updates, each of which on the left side includes a combination of text and curated media (video, infographic, image, attached documents etc.).

The main header for each section should not have any content. The content belongs in the two subsections.

Example: Update 1: [Brief, yet Descriptive Title]
-For the Learner/Student/etc.
-For the Instructor/Facilitator/Teacher, etc.

1. End every update with a comment request that will prompt rich dialogue among students.

2. Each update should also prompt students to make an update of their own, recruiting them to contribute content and examples to the course.

3. On the right side of each update speak to other instructors as professional peers about the underlying pedagogical rationale for content introduced and the activities that learners are expected to undertake, possible supplementary resources, teaching suggestions, and (if applicable) standards mapping. Do not repeat any material on the right that you have already placed on the left – viewers of this learning module in two-column format will be able to see both sides.
Peer-Reviewed ProjectTwo-Sided section

with Left and Right subsections
Include at least one peer reviewed project, with peer assessment rubric. While you may have embedded the peer reviewed project within another update, include a stand-alone section with the full details of just the project.

The rubric may be in the form of an attachment link, or screenshot.
Information or Knowledge Survey (pre or post survey)Two-Sided section

with Left and Right subsections
Include at least one information or knowledge survey or assessment. While you may have embedded the survey within another update, include a stand-alone section. Include which software you used to create the survey.

The survey may be in the form of an attachment link, or screenshot.
Assessment and EvaluationTwo-Sided section

with Left and Right subsections
Include an Assessment and Evaluation element, outlining educational measurement strategies, for the student on the left side and the instructor on the right. While you may have embedded the assessment within another update, include a stand-alone section.

Provide a brief description of your assessment plan and strategy. How will you evaluate the success of your intervention?
Learning Module ReferencesFull Width sub-section underneath the main References section used for the rest of your workInclude a summary list of all references (textual and media) used in the Learning Module itself.

Rubric: Refer to the Elements and Formatting checklist below and the Learning Module rubric for a summary of what your learning module should include. The ‘Learning Module Rubric’ is the one against which others will review your work, and against which you will do your self-review at the completion of your final draft. You can also view this rubric while you draft your work at Creator => Feedback => Reviews => Rubric and at the Rubrics for Peer-Reviewed Works page. The rubric explores four main knowledge processes, the background and rationale for which is described in a number of papers listed here. If you want to use the L-by-D icons to mark activity types explicitly, you can copy and paste web icons located at this link.

Sources: You are expected to analyze your learning module against scholarly sources

Connect the practice to the theory. How does the practice that you have analyzed in this section of your work connect with the theory that you analyzed on the previous section? Does the practice fulfill the promise of the theory? What are its limitations? What are its unrealized potentials? What is your overall interpretation of your selected topic? What do the critics say about the concept and its theory, and what are the possible rebuttals of their arguments? Are its ideals and purposes hard, easy, too easy, or too hard to realize? What does the research say? What would you recommend as a way forward? What needs more thinking in theory and research of practice?

References (as a part of and subset of the main References Section at the end of the full work)

  • Include citations for all media and other curated content throughout the work (below each image and video)
  • Include a references section of all sources and media used throughout the work, differentiated between your Learning Module-specific content and your literature review sources.
  • Include a References “element” or section using APA 7th edition with at least 10 scholarly sources and media sources that you have used and referred to in the text.
  • Be sure to follow APA guidelines, including lowercase article titles, uppercase journal titles first letter of each word), and italicized journal titles and volumes.

See General Work Guidelines for more tips! 

Project Examples from Former Students

In Spring 2023 we merged Works 1 and 2 into a single, combined Theory and Practice Analysis project along with some revised requirements. The following are examples of the individual work types. But beginning in Spring 2023, your works should reflect a cohesive, single work aligned with the current requirements.

Prior to Spring 2023, this course included two separate projects. These have now been integrated into a single project. Work 1 was the Educational Theory while Work 2 was the Educational Practice.

  • See a few examples of past submissions in our Scholarly Work 1 Examples community.
  • Note that selected examples may not be perfect, but they should give you a general sense of what we are looking for.

View examples of previous students’ work in the following community: (Please note that we occasionally adjust the requirements, so some prior examples may not reflect the current requirements. Be sure to consult this requirements page when drafting your work.)

View examples of previous students’ work in the following community: (Please note that we occasionally adjust the requirements, so some prior examples may not reflect the current requirements. Be sure to consult this requirements page when drafting your work.)



In addition to the Elements and Structure requirements, align your work with the 2B Learning Module Rubric. This rubric explores four main knowledge processes, the background, and rationale for which is described in a number of papers listed here. If you want to use the L-by-D icons to mark activity types explicitly, you can copy and paste web icons located at this link.

Learning Module Structure Help

For instructions on how to create a Learning Module in CGScholar, watch the video below.

Other Resources