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Athabasca University

Master of Education in Distance Education
Course Regulations and Procedures

These course regulations and procedures are for all MDDE courses, which are in these programs:

  • Master of Education in Distance Education
  • Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Distance Education Technology
  • Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Instructional Design
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Technology-Based Learning

MDDE Courses

Courses are designed to encourage self-study either at home or in the workplace. Students will be supplied with basic course materials, if required, and access to a course website for each course. Students are also 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).

Advance Standing or Transfer Credit

Students may have completed graduate-level course work at other post-secondary institutions that may be applicable to their program. After admission, students may request a review of such course work. A faculty committee will review the work to determine whether the student should be awarded Transfer Credit or Advance Standing toward the program.

Students will not be awarded credit for courses previously used towards another credential.

Students wishing to request transfer credit or advance standing must submit the following information to the Program Director:

  • a written request outlining how the course(s) fulfill a program requirement;
  • detailed course outline(s)/syllabi;
  • Official Transcripts; and,
  • Transfer Credit Evaluation Fee.

Letter of Permission

Students enrolled in a CDE program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfillment of their program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to their program.

Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must submit the following information to the Program Director for review:

  • a Letter of Permission Request Form and applicable fee;
  • a written request outlining how the course fulfills a program requirement, and;
  • detailed course outline(s)/syllabi.

If approved, the Centre for Distance Education will issue a Letter of Permission. To allow for processing 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 Student Course Registration

Once enrolled, students will be permitted to register in MDDE courses on a first-come, first-served basis, space permitting. Program students are encouraged to register for their courses online.

Course Extensions

In exceptional circumstances, and where the course instructor concurs, students may be granted a short course extension. Students taking courses in a CDE program (i.e. courses beginning with the prefix MDDE or EDDE) may submit assignments up to 30 days after the last day of the course upon approval of the instructor. A Course Extension is required to submit assignments after that date. Course Extensions for a period of up to 50 days may be granted upon approval of the instructor or Program Director and payment of the Course Extension Fee. Courses not completed within 90 days of the final day of the course may receive a grade of "F".


Students may not re-register in a course for which they have received a passing grade.

Students may re-register in a course only if they have:

  • received more than one final grade of B- or lower in a core course;
  • received more than one final grade of C+ or lower in an elective course; or
  • withdrawn from the course in good standing.

In re-registering, students must complete all course requirements and pay the full course fee.

Students are permitted only one re-registration in each course. Both the initial registration and the re-registration will appear on the student's academic record.

Course Withdrawal

Early Withdrawal
(Within 30 days of Course Start Date)

Students may withdraw within 30 days from their course start date for a refund of the full course fee less the withdrawal processing fee. The registration will not appear on the transcript and will be deleted from the official record. Please refer to Course Refunds below for further details. Learning resources should not be returned to Athabasca University.

(After 30 Days of Course Start Date)

Students may withdraw from a course before the course end date without academic penalty. A "W" (Withdrawal) will appear on the transcript, which means the student has withdrawn without credit and without penalty. There is no refund, and learning resources should not be returned to Athabasca University.

Late Course Withdrawal

If a student does not formally withdraw by the course end date, and does not complete the course, the official record will reflect an "F" (Failure). There is no refund, and learning resources should not be returned to Athabasca University.

Course Refunds

Students will receive a refund of the full course tuition fee minus the course withdrawal processing fee if they withdraw from the course within the first month. Students should not return their course materials. Students wishing to withdraw from a course(s) before the first day of class will receive a partial refund (full tuition fee minus the withdrawal processing fee).

Grading System

With the exception of MDDE 694, 695, 701, 702, 703, and 704, which will be graded on a pass/fail basis, all courses will be graded using the Alpha/4.0 grading scale. Please review the Graduate Grading Policy and Academic Records FAQ for more information on grading scales.

Information effective September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019.

Updated June 18 2018 by laurab

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