Master of Education in Distance Education
Regulations effective for students admitted to the MEd program starting September 1, 2015 or later. (Previous regulations can be found here.) Students previously admitted to the program may apply to the Program Director for consideration to use these current regulations for their program.
Completion Time Limits
Students have a maximum of six years from their first registration as a program student to complete the MEd degree program.
The program is offered during three semesters each year. Each semester is 13 weeks in length. The fall semester begins the second Monday in September. The winter semester begins the second Monday in January. The spring/summer semester begins the last Monday in April.
All course work should be completed during the semester periods. Extensions to these timelines may be granted, if circumstances warrant (refer to Course Regulations and Procedures).
To maintain program status, students must complete 6 credits of course or thesis 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.
Students may transfer a maximum of three courses (9 credits) into the Master of Education in Distance Education program.
To meet the residency requirements:
- for the Thesis Route, students must complete a minimum of three courses (nine credits) from the core curriculum and complete the thesis through Athabasca University.
- for the Course-based Route, students must complete a minimum of three courses (nine credits) from the core curriculum, a minimum of four elective courses (12 credits) through Athabasca University, and pass the e-portfolio and oral defense at the conclusion of the course work.
Thirty-three credits are required to complete the MEd program. These credits can be earned in one of two ways.
- Thesis Route: The curriculum requirement for the thesis route consists of five core courses, two elective courses, and 12 credits of thesis work. Normally, students will register in thesis credit after completion of the core courses.
For those individuals pursuing the thesis route, a thesis (12 credits) provides an opportunity for investigating a novel question or synthesizing/applying what has been learned in the course work. Students must register in MDDE 701, MDDE 702, MDDE 703, and MDDE 704, as they proceed to complete the thesis requirements.
- Course-based Route: The curriculum requirement for the course-based route consists of five core courses, five elective courses and MDDE 694 – Capstone e-Portfolio Project.
Students pursuing the course-based route are required to complete a 3-credit capstone e-portfolio project as their final course, providing an opportunity to develop a high quality, comprehensive e-portfolio and to conduct an oral defense of that product. Students must register in MDDE 694 once they have completed all their core and elective courses, or are currently completing their final course.
Students can also choose to pursue focus areas for either the thesis or course-based routes in: Instructional Design, Leadership in Education, Mobile Learning, and K-12 Blended and Online Learning.
The core curriculum is an integrated arrangement of courses covering the field of distance education and training. The five core courses (15 credits) review current knowledge, theory, and practice in distance education and training.
For all MEd program students, MDDE 601 and MDDE 602 must be taken before any other program courses, either concurrently or consecutively.
Students must also take MDDE 603, either MDDE 604 or MDDE 605, and either MDDE 610 or MDDE 620 to complete their core course requirements. The courses not chosen to meet the core course requirements can be used to meet the elective requirements.
The core courses provide students with the skills and knowledge that will facilitate their understanding and ability to analyze, synthesize, evaluate, create, and implement distance education and training courses, programs, and systems. Core courses in the MEd are offered three times a year.
|MDDE 601||Introduction to Distance Education and Training||(3)|
|MDDE 602||Research Methods in Distance Education||(3)|
|MDDE 603||Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory||(3)|
|MDDE 604||Instructional Design in Distance Education||(3)|
|MDDE 605||Planning and Management in Distance Education and Training|
|MDDE 610||Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications||(3)|
|MDDE 620||Technology in Education and Training|
Elective courses are designed to complement the core curriculum and expand basic knowledge, theory, and practice into areas and issues of individual interest or concern. These courses allow students to specialize in particular topics or learn new sets of skills necessary for research and practice in distance education and training. Normally, elective courses may be taken concurrently with core courses.
Some elective courses may not be available every year and a growing list of electives will emerge as student and faculty interests change and develop.
* Elective courses listed above with an asterisk may be used to fulfill the technology core course requirement.
Students who pursue the thesis program route are required to complete all four, 3-credit courses:
|MDDE 701||Quantitative Research Methods||(3)|
|MDDE 702||Qualitative Research Methods||(3)|
|MDDE 703||Research Proposal Writing||(3)|
|MDDE 704||Thesis Completion and Oral Defence||(3)|
Prior to registration in a thesis course, it is important for students to ensure that they have spoken with the thesis advisor about their program and thesis plan. The MDDE 704 thesis course must be registered for manually through the CDE office. Normally, students will register in a thesis course after completion of all core course work and electives.
Students who have successfully completed MDDE 701, 702, and/or 703, but decide to opt out of the thesis route, can choose to pursue the course-based route by contacting the CDE office.
Students choosing the thesis route should familiarize themselves with the Master's level thesis regulations outlined in the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.
MEd Focus Areas
Students are strongly advised to contact the CDE office for assistance and for advice on planning their studies. To qualify for a focus area, students must declare their selection with the MEd Program Administrator. Students must also complete all core and prescribed electives for either the course-based or thesis route of the focus area they are pursuing.
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, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019.