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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Instructional Design Program Structure

Students are required to complete eighteen credits (six courses) in the PBDID.

Program Status

To maintain program status, students must complete six credits of course work during each academic year (September 1 to August 31).

In core courses, the lowest acceptable grade is B-. Students who receive a grade lower than B-, or receive more than one grade of B- or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.

In elective courses, the lowest acceptable grade is C+. Students who receive a grade lower than C+, or receive more than one grade of C+ or lower, may be required to withdraw from the program.


To meet the residency requirements, students must complete a minimum of three courses (nine credits), including the two core courses, through Athabasca University.

Relationship to MEd Program

Students who complete the PBDID program successfully, may apply for admission to the MEd program. If admitted, credits completed by the student towards the PBDID will be accepted for credit towards the MEd degree in accordance with the MEd program regulations.

Students should be aware that admission to the MEd program is highly competitive. PBDID graduates must compete with other qualified applicants for admission to the degree program.


PBDID students take their courses alongside MEd students, and are required to complete the same activities and achieve the same standard. Courses are designed to encourage self-study either at home or in the workplace. Students will be supplied with a basic course package of print and other media, if required, and access to a course website for each course. Students are expected to use computer mediated communications for the following purposes:

  • instructor and student-to-student interactions in computer conferences;
  • email, both within and outside of the course structure;
  • file transfer or file attachment of assignments and feedback between instructor and students and between students on joint projects; and
  • accessing electronic databases (for example, Athabasca University's Library).

Required Core Courses

Electives (Three required)

MDDE 601 Introduction to Distance Education and Training (3)
MDDE 610 Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications (3)
MDDE 618 Instructional Project Management (3)
MDDE 619 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design (3)
MDDE 620 Technology in Education and Training (3)
MDDE 621 Online Teaching in Distance Education and Training (3)
MDDE 622 Openness in Education (3)
MDDE 623 Introduction to Mobile Learning (3)
MDDE 650 Tutoring and Student Support in Distance Education and Training (3)

Permission of the program director is required to take other courses for PBDID program credits.

Note: Generally, core courses should be taken first in the program (particularly if the student has limited distance education background).

PBDID courses are generally available as follows:

Fall term: MDDE 601, 603, 604, 610, 617, 619, 621, 623
Winter term: MDDE 601, 603, 604, 610, 617, 618, 620
Spring/Summer term: MDDE 601, 603, 604, 617, 620, 622, 650

Advanced Standing

Some students may have completed course work at other post-secondary institutions that is applicable to the PBDID program. After admission, a committee will review such work to determine if the student should be awarded advanced standing, and whether "not to take" restrictions for equivalent specific courses in the PBDID program should be imposed. Students seeking advanced standing will be required to submit official transcripts (if these were not submitted in support of their application for admission) and the appropriate evaluation fee to the PBDID program director for review.

Students will also be required to submit detailed course descriptions for such courses. Failure to supply the transcript or detailed course descriptions (if required) shall result in no advanced standing being awarded. Students will not be awarded advanced standing for courses previously used towards the granting of another credential. For more information, email the Centre for Distance Education.

Transfer Credit

Students enrolled in the PBDID program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfilment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to Athabasca University's PBDID program.

Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must submit

  • a Letter of Permission Request Form and applicable fee
  • a written request, and
  • detailed course outlines

to the program director for review. If approved, the Centre for Distance Education will issue a Letter of Permission. To allow for mailing time, requests for a Letter of Permission should be made at least one month before the registration deadline at the institution where the student will be taking the course. Upon completion of the course, the student must submit an official transcript to the Centre for Distance Education in order to obtain credit for the course.

Program Delivery

The program is offered during three semesters each year. The fall semester begins the second Monday in September. The winter semester begins the second Monday in January. The spring/summer session begins the last Monday in April. Each semester is 13 weeks in length. All course work should be completed during the semester periods. Extensions to these timelines may be granted, if circumstances warrant (refer to Course-Related Procedures).


Information effective Sept. 1, 2016 to Aug. 31, 2017.

Updated January 04 2017 by laurab

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