Instructional Technology Comprehensive Examination, or Thesis, or Project?

Yellow Icon Comprehensive Examination, or Thesis, or Project?

Comprehensive Examination, or Thesis, or Project?

The culminating experience in the M.A. in Educational Technology and Leadership or New Media Design and Production options is one of the following: the comprehensive examination, a thesis, or a project.

The comprehensive examination consists of a portfolio presentation (the 3rd week of the quarter) of 2 products that you created in your M.A. program and a 3 hour written examination covering the entire M.A. program (the 7th week of the quarter). The comprehensive exam is done after all course work is completed or along with your last course (all core courses should be completed ahead of time). Students must complete a form (obtained at the Division of Educational Foundations office or at the Student Services office) by the fourth week prior to the quarter in which they take the exam indicating their intention to take it. The following quarter, they must sign up for EDFN 596 (0 units). Note, if this is your only course, the fee is only $20.00.

A thesis usually involves a research project. For example, you might design a research project to compare two different ways of using computers to teach writing to students. The first step in doing a thesis is to take EDFN 599A. This course helps you prepare a thesis proposal. During this time, you also select a thesis committee of 3 professors--your thesis committee chair and two other faculty members. Your thesis committee should consist of a subject matter specialist (e.g., if your research project involves computers and the writing process, one of your committee members should be an expert in research about writing), and one or two instructional technology faculty members. Once your proposal is approved, you actually carry out the project. You sign up for EDFN 599B and 599C during this time. Note: those who do a thesis must take EDFN 452 (Statistics in Education) as a part of their program.

A project is conducted similarly to a thesis, except the goal is to produce an educational product, e.g., a piece of educational software, website, CD-ROM, videotape, or curriculum materials. Along with the project, you will write a paper describing the purpose of the project, reviewing the literature related to it, describing the procedures you will follow when developing it, and describing the finished product and the evaluation process and results. You will select a committee and sign up for EDFN 599A as described above for the thesis. In EDFN 599A you will, together with your committee, develop a project proposal (this will be the first 3 chapters of the paper that goes with your project). After your proposal is approved by your committee, you can sign up for EDFN 599B and beginning working on your product. The next quarter you will sign up for EDFN 599C and (hopefully) complete the project. You should work closely with your committee chair and other members of your committee while you work on your project. Once your project is completed, you will present it formally to your committee. You must turn in your completed project on or prior to the seventh week of the quarter in which you hope to graduate. Note that if you don't finish your project after completing EDFN 599C, you can maintain your graduate status at CSULA and continue to work on your project by signing up for EDFN 900 until your project is complete.