Course Descriptions

GECI 501: Principles of Instructional Design and Curriculum Planning

This online course introduces students to the foundational principles of curriculum and instructional design as they relate to student achievement. This course promotes acquisition of the knowledge and skills for elementary, middle and secondary schools in curriculum leadership and development. It asks the student to examine curriculum areas focusing on the logical structure of the content, and use the results of this analysis suggest logical sequences of the content. Individual assignments and requirements will be made specific to the educational level and content specialization of the student. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GECI 502: Cognition And Instruction: Research Based Instructional Strategies

This online course focuses on the development of memory, knowledge and expertise in school learning from the cognitive psychology perspective. Instructional strategies developed from within this framework are explored. Students are required to select, design, implement and assess the effectiveness of one or more of these strategies in their respective classrooms. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GECI 503: Differentiating Instruction for Diverse Learners

This online course explores various instructional models and methods and requires the student to select, design, present and evaluate those approaches in order to teach more effectively. Individual assignments and requirements will be made specific to the educational level and content specialization of the student. Considering individual differences, students will formulate appropriate expectations, educational goals/objectives, learning experiences, and assessment and evaluation tools and techniques. Individual assignments and requirements will be made specific to the educational level and content specialization of the student. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GECI 504: Professional Development and Instructional Leadership

This online course gives the experienced educator the skills to adopt a leadership role in his/her school. The course focuses on social processes within the school community with an emphasis on leadership and collaboration skills. The literature on teacher development is reviewed and characteristics of effective schools and their practices are presented. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GECI 505: Collaborating with Home, School and Community Partners

This online course prepares students to become effective leaders and collaborators with a variety of constituents and stakeholders. Students will examine models of leadership, collaboration and consultation, and will understand how these models can be used to create and maintain positive and mutually supportive relationships with families, communities and within the school to promote student growth, development and learning. As a part of this course, students will develop a targeted intervention within their school. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510 and GECI 504

GECI 506: Psychology of the Gifted

Examines the development and learning characteristics specific to talented and gifted students. Examines models of data gathering methods using both formal and informal assessment instruments and analysis for identifying talented students. Includes topics concerning definitions of giftedness and research in teaching strategies.

GECI 507: Gifted Education Programming

Examines teaching methods, models, and materials used for teaching talented and gifted students. This course studies the factors involved in designing and implementing effective instructional environments and examines classroom learning opportunities, program objectives, program types, and strategies and tools appropriate for this population. Examines models of data gathering methods using both formal and informal assessment instruments, analysis and report preparation for educational programming of gifted students.

GECI 508: Action Research and Practicum in Gifted Education

A field-based experience related to the student’s professional goals. This practicum experience is a supervised on-the-job experience in the special area of talented and gifted education. The student will perform those tasks appropriate for the teacher of Talented and Gifted programs under the supervision of an experienced and competent professional in the field.

GECI 509: Administration and Supervision in Gifted Education

Develops the knowledge, skills, and techniques for managing the talented and gifted instructional programs; explores theory, strategies, and systems for supervising programs and evaluating personnel in special school programs. This course places emphasis on various aspects of educational leadership and management regarding talented and gifted programs.

GECI 510: Differentiating Instruction for Gifted Learners

This course provides an overview of instructional strategies, both general and content-specific, used in meeting individual learner needs. Assessment of learner styles, strengths, and preferences will also be addressed as participants learn to differentiate curriculum.

GECI 511: Contemporary Issues and Trends in Gifted Education

A critical examination of current trends and controversies in the field of gifted education. Recent studies and journal articles will be examined as participants engage in lively discourse on current topics affecting gifted learners.

GECI 512: Creativity

An examination of the 21st century skill of creativity as it applies to the gifted learner. Participants will examine major definitions and theories of creativity and how it is developed and nurtured in students. Specific topics include creativity assessment, creative problem solving, and curricular modifications and programs to enhance creativity in students.

GECI 513: Thinking Skills for Gifted Learners

An examination of thinking skills theory and curriculum models. Research on thinking skills, questioning, problem solving, and other related areas will be examined as participants develop an understanding of the importance of critical and creative thinking in 21st century learners.

GECI 541: Second Language Acquisition for Classroom Teachers

This online course gives an overview of second language learning and teaching in the K-12 setting in the U.S. Linguistic, cognitive, affective, cultural, social and instructional factors as well as the basic principles of second language learning research are addressed. The course introduces participants to foundational theory in both first and second language acquisition and instruction. It explores how students acquire language, what influences the learning process, and how instruction best aids that process.

GECI 542: Applied Linguistics

This online course is designed to introduce participants with little or no recent acquaintance with linguistics to the concepts and issues relevant to the field of applied linguistics and second language acquisition. It will survey phonetics, phonology, morphology, semantics and syntax. The course will also include an examination of the role of the brain in language learning, the nature of both first and second language acquisition and its application when working with English language learners.

GECI 543: Methods and Curriculum Development in Teaching English as a Second Language

This online course provides an overview of the theoretical foundations and applications of language instruction approaches, methods, and techniques that are effective in the second language classroom. The course emphasizes the role of ESL teachers as course developers and action researchers. It focuses on effective lesson planning, task design, materials development, assessment and evaluation, and the use of technology in instruction.

GECI 544: Assessment Issues in Second Language Learning

This online course provides a general background in language assessment issues, opportunities to examine language assessment instruments, and practical experience developing and using formal and informal assessment measures. The students will be able to critically analyze and select evaluation techniques for measuring English language learners' performance in academic settings.

GECI 558: Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language (K-6)


GECI 559: Practicum in Teaching English as a Second Language (7-12)

GECI 558: Students will engage in a 30-hour approved supervised teaching experience with English language learners in an elementary school setting. This course is designed for teachers who are currently licensed at the secondary level, but who need an elementary practicum experience to satisfy Iowa endorsement requirements. May be taken concurrently with GEDU 592.

GECI 559: Students will engage in a 30-hour approved supervised teaching experience with English language learners in a secondary school setting. This online course is designed for teachers who are currently licensed at the elementary level, but who need a secondary practicum experience to satisfy Iowa endorsement requirements. May be taken concurrently with GEDU 592.

GEDU 510: Introduction to Graduate Study and Research

This online course prepares the student for graduate study in general and with the specific skills required for competent performance in the Master's program. The course is designed to orient the new student to the logical sequence of the online program and to the use of the internet and electronic library databases available for research. The course prepares students to become competent consumers of educational research as well as providing them with the necessary skills for producing applied research in their professional setting. This is a required prerequisite course for continued study within the graduate program.

GEDU 512: Learning, Development and Motivation

This online course will explore the psychological foundations for school learning. A brief survey of historical learning theories as they apply to education will precede the examination of the psychological principles which related specifically to classroom learning, human development and motivation. The primary focus will be on the recent and current research from the cognitive viewpoint. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GEDU 517: Social and Cultural Foundations of Education

Surveys diversity across cultural and ethnic dimensions and the impact this has on school learning. In this online course, students will explore the intersection of education and culture, and the historical and philosophical foundations of each. The course will also explore the implications of legislation, values, assessment and policies in a cultural context, designed to heighten student awareness, knowledge and skills necessary for successful teaching with an increasingly diverse student population. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GEDU 518: Assessment and Evaluation of Classroom Learning

This online course will cover the skills and strategies necessary for effectively assessing classroom learning. Basic measurement concepts such as reliability and validity, as well as basic statistics will be presented for both norm-reference and criterion-reference assessment. More recent developments in alternative assessment procedures are examined. Assessment is presented as the basis on which to make valid reports to appropriate parties and to plan and modify instruction aimed at increasing student academic achievement. Pre-requisite: GEDU 510

GEDU 591: Capstone Portfolio: Effective Teaching and Instructional Leadership


GEDU 592: Capstone Portfolio: Teaching English as a Second Language

The Capstone portfolio is designed to promote student synthesis of learning across the program, within the National Standards framework. Using an appropriate set of standards identified by the student, students will assemble learning artifacts which demonstrate their competency in the Standards and their growth within the program. This course will be completed during your final term.