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Athabasca University

Master of Education in Open, Digital, and Distance Education*

* This program was previously called Master of Education in Distance Education.

The Master of Education in Open, Digital, and Distance Education (MEd) program is offered by Athabasca University's Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and is one of the oldest graduate programs in distance education. Established in September 1994, its primary focus is on the fields of distance education and training—learning that helps students overcome the barriers of time and space. Distance education and training are rapidly expanding fields and indicators point to their continued and steady growth well into the future.

Today, distance education and training students of all ages are provided with the opportunity to learn in a wide variety of subject areas, formats, and organizations. If distance educators are to adapt to the increasingly sophisticated field of distance education and to maintain their professional competence, continuous upgrading is essential. Professional growth is also required by people from a variety of educational and occupational backgrounds who seek entry into this burgeoning field.

As the demand for distance education and training increases, the need for formal qualifications in their delivery becomes more pressing. Those students who currently work or aspire to work in distance education and training and whose personal commitments demand a flexible and accessible graduate-level program, may find Athabasca University’s MEd program the path to a more rewarding career.

The MEd program is unique in several ways. It is housed at Athabasca University, one of the world’s leading open universities. All courses for the degree are delivered online and use a variety of learning platforms and communication tools. There are no face-to-face requirements for completion of the degree. Tuition rates are affordable. Up to 12 credits (four courses) may be transferred from other institutions (refer to MEd Program Regulations).

Program participants work in diverse distance education and training settings such as business firms, government agencies, voluntary and professional associations, hospitals and other health-care organizations, schools, colleges, and universities.

The MEd program is designed to provide all students with a common base of skills, knowledge, and values regarding distance education and training, independent of the students' special area of interest. All graduates will gain experience in the following areas:

  • Problem solving, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation in distance education and training.
  • Designing educational and training programs, as well as implementing, evaluating and managing them. This will result in skills in institutional and organizational design, management and administration, budgeting and finance, curriculum and program development, course development, design, delivery and support, and program evaluation and revision.
  • Designing, implementing, and disseminating research in distance education and training.
  • Designing and developing distance education and training courses and materials.
  • Selecting, implementing, and evaluating technologies for use in distance education and training.


Information effective Sept. 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021.

Updated May 03 2021 by laurab

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.