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Learning Design and Leadership Course Framework

Learning Module Appendix for all LDL Courses

Learning Module


This Learning Module

This learning module is a universal learning module relevant to all LDL Courses at the University of Illinois in the College of Education within the department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership.  It is meant to accompany the course-specific learning module, which will include all course materials (i.e. videos, readings, update prompts, etc.).

Entries within this module will be posted to course-specific communities at relevant times during the course term.

Click here to view a list of LDL Course-Specific Learning Modules



1. Key Resources

For the LDL Course Participant

There are several resources and links that you may want to bookmark.

Within the Google Drive you will find several folders with a variety of information.  A few links you may find especially helpful include:

Other Resources and Communities

  • New Learning Web Site: Dr. Bill Cope and Dr. Mary Kalantzis’ site that addresses "transformational designs for pedagogy and assessment.
  • New Learning: Dr. Bill Cope and Dr. Mary Kalantzis’ occasional blog.
  • Join the EdD LDL Student Support community: A peer-run community to ask questions and share upcoming events.
  • The learning module, Innovative Ideas, Transformational Practices, contains the content for the six examination-dissertation courses.
  • Looking Ahead: Join the Online LDL Exam-Dissertation Sequence Community when you are ready to start considering the topic for your dissertation
  • Weekly Dissertation Group Advising Sessions (typically Mondays at 7:30 pm CT): Join these either as an observer or once you arrive at this point, attend as an active participant enrolled in one of the courses. Active participants are required to have completed all essential and research courses before registering. Observers are welcome to join to listen to questions being asked by peers who are further along in the process.
  • Mendeley Reference Library Demo Recording  

Disability Resources

To obtain disability-related academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the course instructor and the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES). To contact DRES you may call 217-333-4603 (V/TDD) or e-mail a message to To ensure that disability-related concerns are properly addressed from the beginning, students with disabilities who require assistance to participate in this class are asked to see the instructor as soon as possible.

For the Admin

2. LDL Course Format

For the LDL Course Participant

All LDL courses follow a similar format.  Each course is 8 weeks during the Fall or Spring and 6 weeks during the Summer. 

The learning philosophy of the LDL program is “collaborative knowledge production.” Instead of lectures, you review weekly “admin updates”, which include videos and links to key readings, including synopses of Dr. Cope and Dr. Kalantzis' thinking in their recent books. In the spirit of the “flipped classroom,” they can then devote all of their interaction time to dialogue based on work students have undertaken in their own professional practice or research they have done about other educational practices.

Typically, two courses are available each term and the classes meet at the same time on the same conference line, but the course materials and discussions are available in separate communities.  And Doctoral students are separated from non-Doctoral students.

If you are not working full-time, it is feasible to take two courses at once (either two LDL courses or electives from other programs).

Note: This format, Learning Module content, Update Requests, and the Peer-Reviewed Works are subject to change as we strive to regularly innovate and consider student feedback.  Be sure to review a current course's syllabus for the specific course requirements.

  1. Course Communities: All course material and learner interactions occur within the specific course community within CGScholar for a particular term and degree group
  2. Course Learning Modules: You can view the course materials at any time outside of the specific course communities.  Links to all LDL course Learning Modules
  3. Shares and Resources: Links to key information relevant for the LDL courses, such as the syllabus and links to the synchronous sessions or sign up for your oral presentation
  4. Admin Updates and Comments: Admin updates are weekly posts within the course community that include instructor videos and links to course material along with a comment request and instructions for your individual update
  5. Individual Updates and Comments: You are required to create 5 of your own updates that address the weekly topic within the course community.  Each update should be supported by a scholarly article.  You re expected to comment on at least 15 peers' updates throughout the course spread out across the weekly topics.
  6. Peer-Reviewed Work 1 and corresponding peer reviews: Create an Annotated Bibliography and then review about three peers' works and receive about three reviews of your work, then revise your work for final submission. (note that this project type is in the process of being revised)
  7. Peer-Reviewed Works 2 and corresponding peer reviews: Create a Literature Review and then review about three peers' works and receive about three reviews of your work, then revise your work for final submission.
  8. Synchronous Sessions: Attend the weekly synchronous sessions or listen to the recordings.  The focus of these sessions is for students to present a 2 to 4-minute presentation of their work
  9. Oral Presentation: Share a 2 to 4-minute presentation of your work at least during the course.  If you are unable to attend the live sessions, you are allowed to record a video of your presentation and attach it to your written update for that particular week.
  10. Analytics: The analytics of the course show you exactly how you are doing in the course at any point in time based on the requirements.  Note that analytics update once a day. (see below).

Work Publications

Your completed works will be published in one or more of the following ways:

  • To your personal community profile page in CGScholar. You have free access to maintain this page forever via the same login. In the settings area, you can set your profile to public at any time, for instance when you are going for a job and would like to show a potential employer your portfolio of published works. You can also make your page private, however we request that you don't make your page any more restricted than “closed” during the course.
  • The course page for our community, where your works will only be visible to other community members.
  • We would like to be able to publish the best works to a CGScholar community, visible to future course participants and other educators. Please tell us if you do not want us to do this, or if you want an already-published work removed from public visibility. These communities include:
  1. Annotated Bibliographies
  2. Literature Reviews
  3. Case Studies
  4. Learning Modules

For the Admin

3. Platforms used in LDL Courses

For the LDL Course Participant

We use two platforms to deliver courses within the LDL program.  Note that courses from the other units use Moodle.

1. CGScholar: This is where you will access all of the materials and complete the written work for each LDL course.  To learn about the CGScholar learning environment:

All course material and interactions are accessed via a research-based platform called CGScholar, developed by a team of researchers in the College of Education in order to explore and advance the affordances of digital spaces for more effective and engaging online learning.

For technical support:

  • Scholar Tutorials (the “Help” link in the top right of the CGScholar screen)
  • Ask your mentor (see other section)
  • Contact the Teaching Assistant for the relevant course via email

Getting Started

If you do not already have a CGScholar account, create one here. (Be sure that you also validate your account by responding to the post-creation email. If you don’t receive a confirmation request by email, check your spam folder.)
Everyone, including people with existing logins, should request to join the course community
You have permanent access to and use of your personal CGScholar account at no charge. You can also use it with your students while enrolled in the LDL program. CGScholar is available for wider use through Common Ground Research Networks, a not-for-profit public benefit corporation in which William Cope and Mary Kalantzis are directors.

2. Zoom: Zoom is an online video conferencing platform where we will have our weekly synchronous session. You will find instructions on how to use Zoom and links to our weekly Live Sessions within each CGScholar course community page, in the Shares area. The day after the live session, a video file with the recording of the live session will be uploaded in the Synchronous Session Videos folder (link can also be found in the Shares area in CGScholar of the relevant course community). If you are unable to attend the live sessions, please watch the recordings.

For our EdD students, we use the same Zoom link for all courses/sessions/terms, so bookmark this link on your computer and phone for easy access:
Zoom Meeting Link
Meeting ID: 943 597 235
Find your local number:

3. Moodle: Courses taught by LDL faculty do not use Moodle.  See separate section for details.

For the Admin

4. Analytics

For the LDL Course Participant

Analytics: Assessment and Grading

We have three major metrics for grading:

  1. Demonstrated knowledge
  2. Focus, or the amount of effort you have put into the course; and
  3. Help, a collaboration metric based on your contributions in the community and the feedback you have offered to others.

Our goal is to enable all students to be able to meet their learning goals. Grades are thus not based on any predetermined curve of success and failure. Published works can be republished after further revision. If you are unhappy with your grade, you are welcome to revise work in order to have it re-graded. You will be able to track your progress towards course objectives in the Analytics area of CGScholar. As a general rule, if you have completed all requirements of the course on-time and have earned a score of 80 or more, you would receive an A.

The Analytics within CGScholar are meant to provide an ongoing communication of what you have completed relative to the course requirements that have been assigned to you in your CGScholar course community.

Technical Note: The data presented in the Analytics area of CGScholar has been preprocessed (otherwise, there would be a long wait when you request data). You can see the time when your data was last processed under your profile picture. This means that you should be patient as you wait for the next data process to see your score in the metrics updated.

The following are a few additional important notes:

  • Throughout the term, focus on each individual petal and not the center metric
  • To learn more about each petal, hover over it and select the Help link to understand how it is calculated
  • Many of the metrics will re-adjust (downward) once we assign your first and second work
  • Near the end of the term, you can begin to consider the center metric, as it will be more accurate as you have completed both of your peer-reviewed projects.
  • Some metrics are manually recorded. Please be sure to read the help text if you have questions about a particular metric.
Sample Analytics


For the Admin

5. Learn about CG Scholar

For the LDL Course Participant

E-Learning Research and Development: Development of CGScholar has been supported by a series of research and development grants from the US Department of Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Your feedback is important to our ongoing research and development. At the beginning of all LDL course we will be asking you to consent to take pre and post course surveys and for us to use your data anonymously for research purposes. This, of course, is entirely optional, though, if you are able, your contribution would be greatly appreciated.

Common Ground (CG) Scholar, which we just call "Scholar" is an innovative online community and learning management system. You will use this throughout your program and beyond.

Here are two important links to help you get a jump start, if you haven't used Scholar before.

Here are two videos that demonstrate how Scholar is used within our courses.

Community Updates

Media embedded September 28, 2017

Create a Work and Peer Review

Media embedded September 28, 2017

Have a question about Scholar? Ask your peers and graduate assistant first - that way we can help each other learn. Invariably, someone else will have the same question. If we don't already know the answer, we will reach out to CG Scholar Tech support. And fellow students, please help answer one another's questions. Your experience matters.

Here are the key tasks that you will perform as a part of your courses with very brief instructions.  All of the detailed steps can be found in the tutorials and job aid referenced above.

  1. Update your Profile: Add a picture and other details to your Scholar profile
  2. View "Shares": Your instructors and peers can upload files or share links, which will show up under the Shares section. (note that the Shares section on the right-hand side of the community only lists a few, be sure to select View all Shares to see all of them). This is where you can find the class participation link (where you let the instructor know that you want to speak during a given class period to report on a weekly update or one of your Works)
  3. Post a comment: Simply type in the Comment field and then select Add Comment (note: You can not edit your comment once posted, but you can delete it)
  4. Create a new update: At the top left of the community, select the drop down and choose Updates. This will display all updates, but at the top you will see a single bar where you can begin typing your title. The main area will appear where you can input your update. Then select Add Update. (note: You can edit your update until someone has commented. Once a comment has been added, you can only delete the update (along with all comments)) Be sure that you are inside of the community so that the update appears within the community and not your profile.
  5. Create a "Work": During a course, you will receive a notification to start your Work, but you can also manually when necessary (outside of your course requirements) create one by selecting Creator and then under the Works section, choose New. The About This Work menu allows you to update your title, add an icon, and define a structure with automatic headings.
  6. Peer Review someone else's "Work": You will review three to six Works, so understanding this feature will help out a lot, including how to add annotations and rate someone's work. Additionally, you'll want to understand how to see the feedback others have given to you.

For the Admin

6. Creating Works in Scholar

For the LDL Course Participant

Here are some general instructions for creating your peer-reviewed works in CGScholar:

  • Help: How-to instructions for the Creator area in CGScholar are to be found in section 3 of the Help area in the top right of the screen.
  • Getting Started: You can start each of your works as soon as you receive a notification via email or in the CGScholar notifications. Take the link provided in these notifications to a new, “untitled” work—this work is connected to other works for peer review. (Do not create a new work.)
  • Title: Change the title of your work from “untitled” as soon as you can, going to Creator => About this Work => Info => Title. (click on the word "title" to access the Edit icon)
  • Subtitle: Add the Work Type (i.e. Annotated Bibliography) as your Subtitle
  • Work Icon: Insert a work Icon that aligns with your work topic
  • Headings: Be sure to use the structure tool (Creator => About this Work => Structure) to create sections, subsections and headings. Use the print icon in the dark blue bar to check how your work is looking.
  • Sourcing: When you add media in the text (infographics, videos etc.), be sure to reference their source immediately below it and explain or discuss them in the text of your work. Use APA style for the references in the References element.
  • Drafts: Draft works are considered the first complete version of your work. They need to be as complete and thorough as possible, so your peers can give you meaningful feedback.
  • Deadlines: Submission and feedback deadlines in CGScholar are advisory—you can still submit even when you are late. However, we strongly recommend that you stay as up-to-date with deadlines as you possibly can, as on-time submissions increase the likelihood that you will receive timely peer review feedback. We ask people to complete reviews on works submitted late as soon as they possibly can.
  • Reviews: You may receive 2-4 review requests per Work project. If you have received fewer than 2 reviews for your work, please ask the teaching assistant to find additional reviewers for you. Reviews should be 200 words or more per work. Vary the scores across different works in order to contrast their differences.
  • Time Priorities: If you happen to be running late, submit your work as soon as you can and please prioritize review requests for other people’s work by the peer review deadline, which is when it will be released to the author. Peer feedback involves mutual dependencies and obligations—if you miss a review deadline, that’s feedback the other participant misses before their revision submission date.
  • Coded Annotations: Read your peers' entire work and annotate it prior to completing the review comments and rating process. In addition to non-coded annotations (for typos etc.), make at least 15 coded annotations per work that you review using annotation codes. The rubric has three letter annotation codes for a number of evaluative criteria. Add to the three letters a “+” (if this is a strong point, a good example etc.) or a “-“ (if this is a weaker point, a missed opportunity, or a point that could be improved). Always include an explanation for the annotation. For example, “NAM- I don't think you have defined this term as clearly as you could have. My suggested definition is…” Do annotations before reviews—in other words, your detailed analysis before your summary. Be sure there is a good balance of annotations, positive “+” and critical “-“.
  • Feedback: Be kind to peers in your reviews! Be as helpful as you can, offering them constructive suggestions. Feedback should be unique (not copy/pasted) and be directly relevant to the work under review section. A peer review will typically involve 2-3 hours work.
  • Review Submission: Wait until you have completed all pending reviews before submitting. More ideas might come to you while you review another work.
  • Red Flags: 1) Do not self-plagiarize, or copy work from updates or other courses. This must be new work. 2) Do not copy/paste generic review text or annotations. Comments must be tailored to a specific work. If you notice any problems with a work or the reviews you receive (plagiarism, offensive reviews), please inform the teaching assistant or instructor.
  • Review the Reviewer: Go to your Work in Creator => Feedback=> Reviews => Results => Overall Feedback on Feedback. 200 words or more. Please maintain a constructive tone in your feedback-on-feedback.
  • Self-Review: Write your self-review before you submit your revised work. Review yourself similar to reviewing your peers. Also, reflect on how you applied your peers' feedback. Which peer feedback did you apply and why? How did your thinking evolve from version to version? Write this review for the version of your work that you are about to submit at Creator => Feedback => Reviews => Review Work.


For the Admin

Peer-Reviewed Work 1: Educational Theory Analysis

For the LDL Course Participant

Take one of the theories or theoretical concepts introduced in this course. Look ahead into the 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. Convey in your introduction how your topic aligns with the course themes. Outline the theory or define the concept referring to the theoretical and research literature and illustrate the significance of the theory using examples of this concept at work in pedagogical practice.

A theory work should be 2000 words or more in length. Ideally it should include media such as images, diagrams, tables, embedded videos (either uploaded into CGScholar, or embedded from other sites), web links and other digital media. Be sure to source all material that is quoted or otherwise used. Each work must have references “element” or section, including references to at least five scholarly articles or books, plus any other necessary or relevant references, including to websites and other media.

For doctoral students, this must be in the genre of a literature review. The learning module and the updates we will make when we send you a request to begin this project will provide resources on the genre of literature review. (See Peer Reviewed Work 1: Appendix for more details)

If you are new to CGScholar, visit Section 3 in the Getting Started in Scholar learning module to find out how the Creator app works.

Following is the knowledge processes rubric, against which others will review your work, and against which you will do your self-review at the completion of your final version. You can view this rubric while you create your work at Creator => Feedback => Reviews => Rubric. The rubric explores four main knowledge processes, the background and rationale for which is described in the papers at this page.



For the Admin

For new users of CGScholar, we recommend the Learning Module, Getting Started in CGScholar. We specifically recommend at this stage that the admin release the following updates as the project proceeds:

  • 3.1: Starting a Work in Creator
  • 3.2: Using the Creator Workspace
  • 3.3: Using the Structure Tool
  • 3.4: Submitting a Draft/ First complete version of the Work
  • 3.5: Offering Feedback
  • 3.6: Revising a Work for Publication

CGScholar Tutorials

Peer-Reviewed Project: Work 1 Appendix: Literature Review (Doctoral Students)

For The Doctoral Student LDL Course Participant

The following information is an Appendix to the Work 1 Project: Educational Theory for Doctoral Students.

The LDL courses are not intended to teach students how to create an Annotated Bibliography or Literature Review, but rather to provide opportunities to practice research and academic writing skills to help prepare students for the dissertation stage.  In addition to the information on this page, here is a video that provides some guidance on the Literature Review genre.

To see examples of prior students' work, view the following communities:

About the Literature Review Genre

The literature review should not merely be descriptive—it should be analytical and critical. However, at the same time, it should be a fair representation of the perspectives and voices of a range of people across the field. What are the main issues arising for this issue, theme or topic? The main challenges to be addressed? The questions being asked by the intellectual and practical leaders in relation to this issue?


  • Include at least 10 scholarly sources.
  • 5 of these sources must be new to you (not used in previous courses, admin updates, your or your peers' updates, etc.).
  • Cite all media as a caption to the image
  • Use APA to cite your sources.

The three most common APA style requirements students neglect include:

  • Authors should be last name, first initial
  • Article titles should be all lowercased, except for the first letter of the first word
  • Journal titles and volumes should be italicized with the first letter of each word capitalized

​Structure and Process

Use the Scholar Structure feature to organize your work.

One possible structure for the literature review might be as follows:

  1. Introduction: how this literature review ties into your experience and research interests.
  2. The issue, topic or theme: why it is significant and what are the challenges being addressed, as reported by the literature? (You may also wish to structure your literature review around sub-themes, in which case, be sure you cover points 2-6 in each of your subthemes.)
  3. A synthesis of key concepts and theoretical frameworks, as reported by the literature: compare and contrast approaches.
  4. A synthesis of methodologies of research and application employed to address these issues, topics, and themes; their strengths and weaknesses, as reported by the literature. (alternatively, these could be embedded into Section 3)
  5. A synthesis of main empirical findings and practical implications. (alternatively, these could be embedded into Section 3)
  6. Gaps in the literature; open questions and where further work is needed.
  7. Conclusion: where this issue is heading, the tasks ahead for people addressing this issue.
  8. References: list sources cited, Including any media(and also cite all media as captions to the media itself).

The Textual Features of the Genre, Literature Review

The literature review is a delicate play between the voices of the field, and the way you bring them together in a synthesis and interpretation. It will map out an issue, theme or topic, fairly representing varied voices, analyzing their differences, and critically interpreting the nuances.

Some questions to address in the literature review:

​By addressing them, apart from question 1, we mean based on what the literature conveys.

  1. What motivates your concern for this issue?
  2. As a body of work, what practical questions does this literature set out to address?
  3. What is the empirical range addressed in this issue, theme or topic?
  4. Who are the most influential and most cited thinkers?
  5. What are the main theories, interpretative frameworks, or paradigms which order knowledge when addressing this issue, theme or topic?
  6. What kinds of research methodology are used?
  7. What range of practices does this field spawn? What are its most exciting and promising areas of innovation?

But as you answer these questions, you must convey what the literature says and not what you think or know.

  • According to...
  • XYZ claims that....
  • In study A by BCD, they found that...


  • Boote, David N. and Penny Beile. 2005. "Scholars before Researchers: On the Centrality of the Dissertation Literature Review in Research Preparation." Educational Researcher 34(6):3–15.
  • Galvan, Jose L. 2006. Writing a Literature Review: A Guide for Students of the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Glendale CA: Pyrczak Publishing.
  • Machi, Lawrence A. and Brenda T. McEvoy. 2016. The Literature Review. Thousand Oaks CA: Corwin.

Web Tips

Here are some resources addressing the textual dynamics of a literature review:

References: On Academic Writing

You may also wish to take a moment to reflect on academic writing in general. Much academic writing is (frankly!) poor writing. Here are some readings and source books:

  • Strunk, William and E.B. White. 1979. Elements of Style. New York NY: Longman. (A classic!)
  • Sword, Helen. 2012. Stylish Academic Writing. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
  • The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff. 2017. The Chicago Manual of Style. Chicago IL: University of Chicago Press. Online edition.
  • Coursera Academic Writing Course.

You cannot be too obsessive about style and textual consistency! Two requests:

Always proof everything you submit, including first drafts for peer review.
As a reviewer, always note typos and suggest textual revisions to peers using the annotations tool.

Peer Review Rubric and Annotation Codes

The review rubric is made up of two parts. First are the knowledge process domains, the second are specific to the iterature review.


As you create your work, we strongly encourage you to review and align your work with the rubric and checklist.

As a reviewer, it is very important that you assist your authors by providing specific feedback on which work-specific checklist item(s) need attention. We also encourage you to self-reflect on your own work and how you address the rubric items before submitting your final work. Requirements that aren't addressed will cause the work to be returned by the instructor for additional revisions.

As you review the rubric, consider how a particular domain may apply generally, not necessarily throughout the entire work. The following are domains that students generally have questions about.

  • Personal experience; does the student provide an introduction that explains why they are interested in examining this topic? In the annotated bibliography, does the author convey the significance of the article to their own work? It is not necessary to incorporate personal experience throughout the work; you actually should avoid conveying your voice within the main body of the literature review. A literature review is not about what you know, it is about what you have learned from the literature
  • Critical Analysis: It is not the student's role to critique the topic, but rather to report on what the literature says (or critiques) about the topic. Additionally, this domain also can correspond to the gaps in the literature section; does the student convey where the literature is lacking and where further research may be warranted?
  • Application: Do the studies represented demonstrate the application of the topic?
  • Innovation: Is the topic being examined innovative? Is the significance of the topic or are the gaps in the literature innovative?

For the Admin

Peer Reviewed Work 2A: Case Study

For the LDL Course Participant

Write a case study of an innovative learning practice—a method, a resource or a technology, for instance. This could be a reflection practice you have already used, or a new or unfamiliar practice which you would like to explore. Analyze an educational practice, or an ensemble of practices, as applied in a clearly specified a learning context. Use theory concepts introduced in this course. We encourage you to use theory concepts defined by members of the group in their published Work 1, with references and links to the published works of the other course participants.

Previous Students' Examples

Word limit: at least 2000 words

Media: Include 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 to caption media sources and connect them explicitly with the text, with an introduction before and discussion afterwards.

References: Include a References “element” or section with at least five scholarly articles or books that you have used and referred to in the text, and all the added media, plus any other necessary or relevant references, including websites.

Rubric: The educational practice rubric is the same as for Work 1, against which others will review your work, and against which you will do your self-review at the completion of your final version.

Following is the knowledge processes rubric, against which others will review your work, and against which you will do your self-review at the completion of your final version. You can view this rubric while you create your work at Creator => Feedback => Reviews => Rubric. The rubric explores four main knowledge processes, the background and rationale for which is described in the papers at this page.



For the Admin

Peer Reviewed Work 2B: Design a Learning Module

For the LDL Course Participant

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, in a dialogical mode, rather like social media. 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 transmit 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.

Previous Students' Work Examples

Learning Module Requirements
Your learning module should:
1. Have a Learning Objectives section that addresses the following:

  • How your learning module applies the ideas and principles of this course into practice.
  • Your experience with the content area and whether this is new material or material that is being transformed and a summary of what has been done to transform the material.*
  • Doctoral Students: Include scholarly references to justify the need for the approach you are taking.

2. Have an Intended Learning Outcomes section that addresses the following:

  • Your target learners, including assumptions about prior learning
  • Curriculum standards, if applicable
  • Clear rationale in terms of learning objectives, expressed both to the learner (member side) and teacher (admin side)
  • Anticipated duration to complete the module, and material requirements

3. Include at least 6 updates, each of which on the left side includes at least some curated media and a comment request that will prompt rich dialogue among students, and on the right side speaks to teachers about the underlying pedagogical rationale, possible supplementary resources, teaching suggestions, and standards mapping.

4. Include at least one peer reviewed project, with peer assessment rubric.

5. Include at least one information or knowledge survey or assessment.

6. Demonstrate pedagogical coherence and completeness. Optionally, learning module creators could use the Learning by Design pedagogy, described here.

7. Be well-formatted in terms of the learning module two column format and heading structure.

8. Include citations for all media and other curated content throughout the work (below each image and video).

9. Include a references section of all sources and media used throughout the work.

10. Include a Work Icon (About this Work – Info – Work Icon).


For model K-12 learning modules, visit the Literacies and Learning by Design collections in the Scholar Bookstore. For model college and higher education learning modules, visit the Higher Educationcollection. For a selection of learning modules created by participants in the Learning Design and Leadership program, visit that collection. For instructions on how to create a Learning Module in Scholar, visit section 5 of the Getting Started in CGScholar learning module.

Review Rubric

In addition to the checklist items above, following is the peer review rubric for the learning module, against which others will review your work, and against which you will do your self-review at the completion of your final version. You can view this rubric while you create your work at Creator => Feedback => Reviews => Rubric. The rubric explores four main knowledge processes, the background and rationale for which is described in the papers at this page. 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.



For the Admin

For new CGScholar who have not previously created a learning module we posting the following updates from Getting Started in CGScholar:

  • 5.1: Finding and Using Learning Modules
  • 5.2: Creating a Learning Module
  • 5.3: Designing a Survey
  • 5.4: Adding a Project and a Survey to a Learning Module

Peer Reviewed Work 2C: Evaluate a Learning Module

For the LDL Course Participant

Work 2C: Evaluate Implementation of a Learning Module

Create an evaluation plan and evaluate a learning module as an educational intervention. This might be a learning module you have created in an earlier course in the program. For evaluation suggestions, visit section 6 of the Getting Started in Scholar learning module. Revise the learning module in light of the evaluation results, and discuss these revisions. Be sure to link to the revised learning module in your evaluation study. (Request republication of the revised version before linking.)

Rubric: The review rubric will be the same as for Work 1.

This plan should address the following elements:

  1. Background and Context, including citing the literature
  2. Problem/Needs Statement
  3. Evaluation Purpose and Audience
  4. Evaluation Goals and Objectives
  5. Evaluation Questions
  6. Evaluation Criteria
  7. Evaluation Design
  8. Data Collection Plan and how the data collection will answer the evaluation questions
  9. Evaluation Personnel and Roles
  10. Timeline
  11. Dissemination Plan
  12. References

Evaluation Findings

Share your evaluation findings while addressing the following:

  1. How do you want them to present their findings?? Do you have a sample of what you are looking for?
  2. Copies of data collection instruments used

For the Admin

12. Academic Integrity Statement

For the LDL Course Participant

The Illinois Student Code should be considered as a part of this syllabus. Students should pay particular attention to Article 1, Part 4: Academic Integrity. Read the Code at the following URL: Academic dishonesty may result in a failing grade. Every student is expected to review and abide by the Academic Integrity Policy:

All the work you do in this course is very visible. Not only is plagiarism a terrible idea; it will be obvious in ways that is not obvious in traditional course formats because your work will be seen by many eyes. Fortunately, for these reasons, we experience very little plagiarism in our courses. However, just in case, here are some rules, additional to the University’s standard rules.

  1. Citing Peers: This is a collaborative knowledge community. We want you to learn from each other’s work, as much as from the resources that we provide and that you identify. When you have learned something from a course participant, please cite the source. This might be an update they have made, or a peer reviewed work. Include author, title, and a weblink as your citation.
  2. Self-Plagiarism: Do not self-plagiarize, or copy work from previous updates or works, or other courses. All work must be new. If you want to refer to earlier work, cite it, including author, title, and a weblink as your reference.
  3. Generic Evaluations: Do not copy/paste generic review text or annotations (an old teacher’s trick, we know, when faced with the chore of grading). Comments and annotations must be tailored to a specific work.
  4. Responsibility to Report: If you notice any problems with a work or the reviews you receive (for instance, plagiarism or reviews which are cut/pasted or offensive), you must inform the teaching assistant or instructor, no matter how uncomfortable you may feel to do this. This is for the sake of the offender as much as anything else—offending in another place may have even more serious consequences.

For the Admin

13. UIUC Libraries

For the LDL Course Participant

Getting to know the Library will make a big difference in your coursework and dissertation stages. We are all used to "Googling" things, but the library grants you access to journals and resources that are only available via a subscription or purchase arrangement. And this isn't only for electronic materials, but also for those times when having a hard copy is more conducive.

For starters, here is the main library link, however, you may find the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) to be a common destination.

And make sure to take advantage of the "Ask a Librarian" feature if you are ever stuck - either technologically or topically. They are SUPER helpful!

SSHEL Home Page


For the Admin

14. Building your Research Library

For the LDL Course Participant

There are many different ways to develop a systematic record of your reading and thinking. We are going to suggest one, involving two primary artifacts, a research diary and a bibliographical database. Of course, there are many ways to be systematic, you just need to establish a way!

Research Diary

  • This is an evolving, private knowledge record.
  • Create a single Word file or Google Doc.
  • Date each day’s work, the latest date at the start of the doc so the entries appear in reverse chronological order.

Research Diary/Journal Example


  • Notes cut/pasted from readings: be careful to include page numbers so you can cite without having to go back to the readings.
  • Diagrams, timelines, and possible graphic elements
  • An index of other topics with page numbers where you might want to go back to an idea you encountered in your readings.
  • Your own thoughts, but, very important (!) be careful to distinguish your own thoughts from notes to avoid accidental plagiarism. For instance, always put your thinking in square brackets, or a different colored text.

Additional Suggestions:

  • Copy/paste parts of updates, annotated bibliographies and literature reviews that you think it would be helpful to come back to. Again, be very careful to distinguish text you have written from your notes and selections.
  • Use hashtags so you can find ideas you would like to locate again at some point, for instance #differentiatedinstruction. Create an index of hashtags at the beginning of the document. This of course will evolve and grow as your thinking develops.
  • Include citations in the text, inserted from your bibliography database.
  • Over the 16 courses of the doctoral program, this document may become very large. The advantage of having a single document is that you will able to search quickly for hashtags, authors, and other words. 
  • This "document" could be a combination of a spreadsheet/google doc and a Bibliographical Database that has also been tagged and includes searchable notes.

Bibliographical Database

  • Keep all the references that you read and to which you may wish to refer in a bibliographical database program (e.g. Endnote, Mendeley, RefWorks, Zotero).
  • Make sure you include enough data in each reference to create a well-formed citation
  • Include PDFs if you have them, links to source pages, or notes about where you can locate a book or other item if you need it again.
  • Copy and paste relevant notes from your research diary into the notes field.
  • Put citation makers into your research diary file.

For the Admin

15. Pre-course survey

For the LDL Course Participant

You are about to take a class where you will be working in CGScholar, an e-learning platform developed by Dr. William Cope and a team of researchers at the University of Illinois. We would like to ask you to take part in research into the effectiveness of the CGScholar platform. As a part of the process, we would like your permission to analyze the work you do in CGScholar, and take two short surveys, one at the beginning of the course and one at the end.

This is the Pre-course survey.

For the Admin

16. Post-course survey

For the LDL Course Participant

You are about to take a class where you will be working in CGScholar, an e-learning platform developed by Dr. William Cope and a team of researchers at the University of Illinois. We would like to ask you to take part in research into the effectiveness of the CGScholar platform. As a part of the process, we would like your permission to analyze the work you do in CGScholar, and take two short surveys, one at the beginning of the course and one at the end.

This is the Post-course survey.

For the Admin

Office Hours

For the LDL Course Participant

We are offering office hours for the LDL courses, so we can answer any questions you might have.

Please join the corresponding Zoom line at the time mentioned below.

  • For doctoral students:

Mondays 5.30pm - 6.30pm (CT):

  • For all other students:

Mondays 6.30 pm - 7.30 pm (CT):


For the Admin

LDL Program Leaders and Graduate Assistants



LDL Program Leaders and Graduate Assistants

Bill Cope is a Professor in the Department of Education Policy, Organization & Leadership, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His research interests include theories and practices of pedagogy, cultural and linguistic diversity, and new technologies of representation and communication. His and Mary Kalantzis’ recent research has focused on the development of digital writing and assessment technologies, with the support of a number of major grants from the US Department of Education, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Science Foundation. The result has been the Scholar multimodal writing and assessment environment.

Mary Kalantzis was from 2006 to 2016 Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Before this, she was Dean of the Faculty of Education, Language and Community Services at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, and President of the Australian Council of Deans of Education. With Bill Cope, she has co-authored or co-edited: New Learning: Elements of a Science of Education, Cambridge University Press, 2008 (2nd edition, 2012); Ubiquitous Learning, University of Illinois Press, 2009; Towards a Semantic Web: Connecting Knowledge in Academic Research, Elsevier, 2009; Literacies, Cambridge University Press 2012 (2nd edition, 2016); A Pedagogy of Multiliteracies, Palgrave, 2016; and e-Learning Ecologies, Routledge, 2017.


Olnancy Tzirides - PhD Student and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Educational Policy, Organization and Leadership, Learning Design and Leadership program. Passionate about traveling, learning new languages and exploring new cultures. My research interests include educational technologies, digital learning, online language and culture learning, second/foreign language learning and teaching, multilingual and multicultural education.


Kara - I am a social learning and social collaboration consultant and community manager. I help organizations implement and grow employee, learner, and/or customer communities. I worked at U.S. Bank and UnitedHealth Group for the majority of my career before transitioning into a consulting role. My background was originally in IT before I returned to graduate school in Human Resource Development and Instructional Systems and Technology. I worked as an e-learning developer and LMS admin for several years before transitioning into the social collaboration space. I grew up in Champaign, Illinois, but currently reside in Minnetonka, MN with my husband and recent Chinese-Immersion Kindergarten graduate.


Stuart - After my career in classical ballet, I went back to school for a bachelors in Journalism and a Masters in Business Admin. I have been teaching in some capacity for almost 20 years inlcluding high school and college. Most recently, I worked as an online business and media arts instructor. I am originally from Louisville, Kentucky but currently live in Tucson, Arizona with my awesome wife and son. My research interests center around effective online pedagogy, curriculum design, and the current state of online education.