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Athabasca University

News and Announcements

New Focus Areas for MEd| December 23, 2016

Student working at laptopMaster of Education in Distance Education students wishing to specialize may now choose to pursue a Focus Area as an extra distinction on their degrees. The new Focus Areas are: Instructional Design, Leadership in Education, K-12 Online and Blended Learning, and Mobile Learning.


The Inclusive Educators' Toolbox Now Live| December 15, 2016

Inclusive Educators' Toolbox logoWe are excited to announce the launch of the Inclusive Educators’ Toolbox. This innovative tool grew out of the CDE’s course MDDE 631: Inclusive Leadership and Practice in Education, which addresses the skills, knowledge, and attitudes required to deal successfully with student diversity. Course participants address current challenges they face in a collaborative manner designed to create an ongoing community of practice. The Toolbox extends this collaborative workspace to the broader community of inclusive educators by inviting you to join our community and contribute your own tools and ideas for inclusive education.



BOLT Multi-Authored Blog | December 6, 2016

Join Blended and Online Learning and Teaching (BOLT) students and other contributors as they explore issues and trends in educational technology and evidence-based teaching practices on the BOLT Multi-Authored Blog. The two most recent posts offer a review of the recent BlendEd Symposium in Edmonton and a summary of essential facts of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Canadian copyright in a guest editorial by Dr. Rory McGreal.



Our Centre

The Centre's core faculty consists of nine academics and researchers, including a UNESCO/COL Research Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER) and a number of other internationally recognized scholars in the field of distance education. The Centre is also home to the Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research (CIDER), which publishes , The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL) an online journal.

All Centre for Distance Education programs offer:

  • Personal, individualized support
  • Leading-edge technology
  • Constructivist learning approaches
  • Excellence in distance education methods
  • Opportunities for collaborative research, and
  • Opportunities for community-building and networking

The Centre is proud to take education to the people, serving thousands of students in countries world-wide.


AU is a publicly funded institution in the Province of Alberta and reports to the government through the Minister of Advanced Education. Under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act, the Athabasca University Governing Council can grant degrees and govern our own affairs. Members of Governing Council are appointed under Orders in Council of the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Athabasca University is the first Canadian university to be awarded accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). More details about accreditation in the U.S.A. are available.

More information about Accreditation may be found on the main AU website.


CDE Events

CDE courses begin January 9. Students should now have limited access to courses to get started on readings.

CIDER Sessions Archived

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research (CIDER) has made available a recorded presentation by Md Aktaruzzaman entitled “A Socio-technological Approach of Addressing Distance Education Issues in Developing and Developed Countries.” Session available here.

Featured Courses

Technology-Enabled Learning Massive Open Online Course (TEL-MOOC)

Course runs Jan. 9, 2017 to Feb. 10, 2017

In support of our commitment to openness and accessibility in education, CDE is pleased to announce the Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning MOOC (massive open online course). This free, open access, and innovative course was developed in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning. For five weeks beginning on January 9, teachers from around the world will join CDE faculty members Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes and Dr. Nathaniel Ostashewski to explore the use of technology in teaching and learning.

The course is designed for teachers who want to build on their knowledge and practice in teaching and learning with technology. It will run over five weeks and requires approximately three to five hours of time each week. Designed to accommodate teachers’ busy schedules,the course offers flexibility with options for learning the content. You will learn from readings, videos, discussions with other participants and instructors, meaningful exercises, quizzes and short assignments. Certification is available for those who wish to complete all required exercises and quizzes. 

For more information about this MOOC, visit

To enrol in this free MOOC, visit

See more AU Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) here.

Teacher Professional Learning

Blended and Online Learning and Teaching BOLT

Athabasca University, Canada’s leader in online post-secondary education, through the Centre for Distance Education (CDE) and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre (ADLC), the premier distance learning partner for primary and secondary education in Alberta, are excited to present an innovative module offering for the professional development of practicing teachers.

Nine - four week modules are the equivalent to the study of three graduate courses, and each of the nine modules is tailored to allow completion within a four week period. BOLT participants gain professional knowledge, building on and extending the art and craft of teaching in the digital world.

BOLT Module Descriptions
BOLT Calendar of Module Offerings



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