This Calendar is effective September 1, 2001 - August 31, 2002
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9.7. Advanced Graduate Diploma
in Distance Education (Technology)


The Advanced Graduate Diploma in Distance Education (Technology) [AGDDE(T)] is intended for practitioners who are interested specifically in issues related to the use of technology in distance education and training, but who do not intend, at least initially, to pursue the Master of Distance Education degree. The AGDDE(T) provides usable skills and applicable knowledge in the use of educational technology for distance and virtual learning, along with a basic grounding in distance education concepts and principles. The program also provides some student choice in the selection of courses.


Admission Requirements
Persons wishing to enrol in the AGDDE(T) program must hold a baccalaureate degree from a recognized post-secondary education institution.

Application Procedure

  • Complete and submit the AGDDE(T) Application Form (online forms) along with the non-refundable application fee.

  • Complete and submit the AGDDE(T) Application Questionnaire and sumit an up-to-date résumé.

  • Submit official transcripts* directly from an accredited institution showing the granting of a bachelor's degree.

    *Applicants submitting any official documents (e.g., transcripts) in a language other than English must provide an official translation of such documents. If the credential being submitted has been earned outside Canada and the US, documentation attesting to its equivalence to a Canadian baccalaureate is required. Such documentation can be obtained from

    International Qualifications Assurance Services
    4th Floor, Sterling Place
    9940-106 Street
    Edmonton, AB T5K 2V1

  • Submit three letters of recommendation**; at least one should be from someone who is familiar with the applicant's academic skills.

    **It is the applicant's responsibility to notify his or her references, that, in accordance with the Province of Alberta's Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the information contained in the letter of reference is not considered to be confidential and it may be viewed by the applicant upon request. For more information, contact Dr. Bob Spencer, Program Director, Master of Distance Education.

Application Deadline

The Centre for Distance Education must receive all application materials by March 1 for consideration for admission into the program starting in September of the same year.

Program Structure

Credit Requirements
Eighteen credits (six courses) are required to complete the AGDDE(T).

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 MDE Program
Students completing the AGDDE(T) may apply for admission to the MDE program. If admitted, all credits completed by the student towards the AGDDE(T) will be accepted for credit towards the MDE degree.

Students considering the diploma should be aware that admission to the MDE program is highly competitive. AGDDE(T) graduates must compete with other qualified applicants for admission to the degree program.


AGDDE(T) students take their courses alongside MDE 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 (for example; textbooks, study guides, audiocassettes, videotapes).

In addition, students are expected to use computer mediated communications for the following purposes:

  • instructor and student-to-student interactions in computer conferences

  • e-mail, 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

  • accessing electronic databases and various Web sites.

Core Courses (Required)
MDDE 601 Introduction to Distance Education and Training
MDDE 603 Systems Design in Distance Education

Prescribed Options (minimum of three required)
MDDE 604 Instructional Design and Program Evaluation in Distance Education
MDDE 610 Introduction to Technology in Distance Education and Training
MDDE 615 Human Factors in Educational Technology
MDDE 620 Advanced Technology for Distance Education and Training
MDDE 621 Online Teaching in Distance Education and Training

Students may choose one additional course from the MDE category. Note: AGDDE(T) students are not allowed to register in MDDE 660, MDDE 696 or MDDE 690-691. Students should be aware that some courses in the MDE catalogue are currently only offered once a year. Generally, core courses should be taken first in the program (especially if the student has limited distance education background).

AGDDE(T) courses are generally available as follows:

Fall term: 601*, 603* 604, 610, 621.

Winter term: 601*, 603*, 604* 615, 620.

Spring/summer term: 601*, 603*, 604, 610.

*Required courses. Refer to the course offerings and course descriptions in the MDE program section for details about courses. The permission of the program director is required before courses are taken for AGDDE(T) program credit outside Athabasca University.

Advanced Standing
Some students may have completed work at other post-secondary institutions that is applicable to the AGDDE(T) 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 AGDDE(T) 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 MDE program director for review. Students will also be required to submit detailed course descriptions for such courses. Failure to supply transcripts or detailed course descriptions (if required) shall result in no advanced standing for courses previously used towards the granting of another credential. Contact the diploma advisor for more information.

Transfer Credit
Students enrolled in the AGDDE(T) program may take courses from other post-secondary institutions in fulfilment of the program requirements, provided such courses are applicable to Athabasca University's AGDDE(T) program. Students wishing to take courses from other institutions must submit:

  • a Letter of Permission Request Form

  • a written request

  • detailed course outlines and the appropriate Letter of Permission fees

to the MDE program director for review. If approved, the Office of the Registrar will issue a Letter of Permission. To allow 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 AGDDE(T) advisor 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 and lasts for 13 weeks. The winter semester begins the second Monday in January and lasts for 13 weeks. The spring/summer session begins the last Monday in April and lasts for 13 weeks. All course work should be completed during the semester periods. Extensions to these timelines may be granted if circumstances warrant through the granting of an Incomplete.

Academic Schedule AGDDE(T)

July 6 Last day for program students to register in 2001 fall session courses. Registration fees are due.
Aug. 6 Civic holiday. University closed.
Sept. 3 Labour Day, University closed.
Sept. 10 First day of fall session courses.
Oct. 8 Thanksgiving, University closed.
Oct. 10 Last day for early withdrawal from fall session courses. No record of the course will appear on the transcript.
Nov. 7 Last day for late withdrawal from fall session courses. Transcripts will reflect a withdrawal in good standing.
Nov. 12 University closed in lieu of Remembrance Day.
Nov. 12 Last day for program students to register in 2001 winter session courses. Registration fees are due.
Dec. 7 Last day of fall session courses.
Dec. 24/01 -
Jan. 2/2002
The University will close at 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 24, 2001 and reopen 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2002..
Jan. 14 First day of winter session courses.
Feb. 14 Last day for early withdrawals from winter session courses. No record of the course will appear on the transcript.
Feb. 18 Family Day, University closed.
March 1 Last day for receipt of application materials for admission to the program starting in September 2002.
March 4 Last day for program students to register in 2002 spring/summer session courses. Registration fees are due.
March 12 Last day for late withdrawal from winter session courses. Transcripts will reflect a withdrawal in good standing.
Mar. 29 - Apr. 1 (inclusive) Easter break. University closed.
April 12 Last day of winter session courses.
April 29 First day of spring/summer session courses.
May 20 Victoria Day, University closed.
May 29 Last day for early withdrawal from spring/summer courses.
July 1 Canada Day, University closed.
July 26 Last day of spring/summer session courses.

Computer System Requirements

In order to participate in the program, each student must have ready access to the following minimum computer hardware and software.

Pentium 100 with 32 MB RAM, 100 MB free disk space, floppy disk device, CD-ROM drive (24 speed), mouse, 33.6 baud modem or faster, printer, and compatible monitor.

Pentium MMX200 or greater, 64 MB RAM, 1 GB free disk space, CD-ROM drive (24 speed or higher), mouse, super VGA compatible monitor, 3 1/2-inch floppy drive, 4 MB (minimum) video RAM, 33.6 or faster baud modem, printer (laser, inkjet or bubble jet), disk or other back up device, and a sound blaster or equivalent sound card and speakers.

Microsoft Windows 95 or Windows 98; Microsoft Word or WordPerfect; Netscape or Internet Explorer; and a current anti-virus program.

PCs are the primary equipment supported by Athabasca University's Help Desk. Only limited assistance for other hardware and software platforms is offered. Students are responsible for their own communication costs such as long distance telephone charges and subscriptions to an Internet node, or any other communications service requirements.

Course-related Procedures

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. Students will be required to complete a program plan for review by the diploma advisor to ensure conflicts or delays are avoided.

In exceptional circumstances, and where the course instructor concurs, students may be assigned a grade of Incomplete (INC). This allows the student to take an additional two months to complete and submit the course work. Two months after the original course completion date, a grade will be assigned to the course. If the required course work has not been submitted, a failing grade will be assigned.

Students may reregister in a course only if they have received a final grade of "B-" or lower in a core course or more than one final grade lower than "B-" in an elective course, or if they have withdrawn from the course in good standing. In reregistering, students must complete all course requirements and pay the full course fee. Students are permitted only one reregistration in each course. Both the initial registration and the reregistration will appear on the student's academic record.


Students may withdraw from a course up until one month before the end of the semester by submitting a Withdrawal Request Form. The date of withdrawal will be the postmark on the request, or if the notice is hand-delivered or faxed, the University date stamp. Students may also request a withdrawal from a course by e-mail provided the request is confirmed in writing.

If a student withdraws from a course within the first month, the record of registration will be deleted from his or her official transcript. If a student withdraws from a course after the first month of the course and before the last month of the course, the official record and transcript will show that the student withdrew without credit and without prejudice or academic penalty and no refund will be granted.

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.


Students will receive a refund of the full course fees minus the course withdrawal processing fee (see AGDDE(T) program fees) 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 minus the withdrawal processing fee).

Grading System

All courses will be graded using the following scale.

A+ 90 - 100%
85 - 89%
A- 80 - 84%
B+ 77 - 79%
74 - 76%
B-70 - 73%
C+67 - 69%
64 - 66%
C-60 - 63%
0 - 59%
IN Incomplete status
WWithdrawn in good standing

Time Limits for Completion

Students have a maximum of three years from their first registration to complete the AGDDE(T) program.

Fees (effective Sept. 01, 2001)

All fees are quoted in Canadian dollars and are subject to change.

Program application fee (non-refundable) required each time a person applies: $ 50
Admission fee (payable upon acceptance into the program): $100

Course Tuition Fee (includes all required materials)
Students living in Canada: $840
Canadians living outside of Canada: $945
International students living outside of Canada: $1,050

Other Fees
Evaluation fee: $55
International evaluations: $110
Letter of Permission fee: $20
Transcript fee: $10
Withdrawal processing fee: $300

The withdrawal processing fee includes the cost of course materials and an administrative fee for processing the request. There will be no refund for returned course materials. The total tuition cost for a Canadian student living in Canada, who takes all his or her courses from Athabasca University, would be $5,040 ($840 x 6, three-credit courses or equivalent). Application and admission fees not included in the above calculation.

Course Offerings 2001-2002

Refer to the complete course descriptions in the MDE program.

Additional Services

Athabasca University Library also serves the needs of graduate students.

Tuition and Education Tax Credit Receipts Information
Application and tuition fees can be used to reduce income tax. Only fees paid and expended during the calendar year can be reflected in the tax receipt. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency regulations permit the University to issue an education tax credit receipt only for amounts greater than $100. In February, T2202 tax forms for the educational tax deduction, along with the tuition tax receipts, are mailed to the address on record. Full-time students may be eligible for the education tax credit for each month of full-time registration.

Regulations and Appeals
Athabasca University policies and regulations governing academic conduct and appeals apply to all students. Refer to Section 12 Student Code of Conduct and Right to Appeal.

Athabasca University's policies, regulations, and procedures governing the release of transcripts and confidential information apply also to graduate students. Refer to Section 5 Undergraduate Admission, Transfer Credit, and Assessments.

Contact Information

AGDDE(T) Advisor
Centre for Distance Education
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
Athabasca, AB T9S 3A3
(800) 788-9041 (ext. 6179) or (780) 675-6179
Fax: (780) 675-6170

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