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Athabasca University

Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Distance Education Technology
Program Regulations

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.

Program Requirements

Students are required to complete eighteen credits (six courses) in the PBDDET. Students should complete the core courses in the prescribed sequence. Elective courses may be taken on completion of the core courses or concurrently with the core courses offered in any term.

Required Core Courses

Electives (Three required)

MDDE 604 Instructional Design in Distance Education (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 630 Trends and Issues in K-12 Online and Blended Learning (3)
MDDE 650 Tutoring and Student Support in Distance Education and Training (3)
MDDE 665 Collaboration and Mentoring in Educational Environments (3)

Permission of the program director is required before other courses may be taken for PBDDET program credit.

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

PBDDET courses are generally available as follows:

Fall term: MDDE 601, 603 604, 610, 619, 621, 622, 623, 630, 665.
Winter term: MDDE 601, 603, 604, 610, 620.
Spring/Summer term: MDDE 601, 603, 604, 620, 621, 630, 650, 665.

Relationship to MEd Program

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

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

Transfer Credit

Students enrolled in the PBDDET program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfilment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to Athabasca University’s PBDDET 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, through the granting of a course extension (refer to Course Regulations and Procedures).

Completion Time Limits

Students have a maximum of three years from their first registration as a program student to complete the PBDDET program.

Program Withdrawal

Students may withdraw from the program by submitting their request in writing to the program director. Students who withdraw may be re-enrolled in the program by following the application procedures. Students requesting re-admission to the program will be competing against all other applicants and will not receive special consideration.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 31, 2018.

Updated July 10 2017 by laurab

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