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Athabasca University

Our Centre

The Centre's core faculty consists of 9 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 online journal, The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL).

All Centre for Distance Education programs offer a number of benefits:

  • 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

Athabasca University (AU), Canada's Open University, is the nation's leading distance-education and online university. We are proud to take education to the people, serving more than 37,000 students in 87 countries world-wide.


AU is a publicly funded institution of the Province of Alberta and reports to the government through the Minister of Advanced Education. Through the Post-secondary Learning Act, the government authorizes Athabasca University Governing Council to grant degrees and govern our own affairs. Members of Athabasca University 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.


Featured Courses

News and Events

Final Thesis Oral Examination for Ken Desson (MEd), Centre for Distance Education

To be held on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 10:00 am (MST)

Contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies at by Wednesday, March 25th if you are interested in attending as a guest.

The CDE is excited to announce the Education Innovation & Research Symposium 2015.

Registrations and presentation proposals (extended deadline March 31, 2015) are now being accepted for the Education Innovation & Research Symposium 2015 hosted by Athabasca University’s Centre for Distance Education. Ongoing information will be available from the symposium website at

Winner of the Excellence in Research Scholarship 2014 is Madelaine Befus!!! Congratulations Madelaine!!

Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda, edited by Olaf Zawacki-Richter and Terry Anderson

06 May 2014

Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda offers a systematic overview of the major issues, trends, and areas of priority in online distance education research. In each chapter, an international expert or team of experts provides an overview of one timely issue in online distance education . . .

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship Program winner - EdD Student Djenana Jalovcic

02 May 2014

Djenana Jalovcic, EdD (Distance Education) student from the CDE, has been successful in securing a $60,000.00 SSHRC scholarship over a 36 month period for her project entitled, "Access to Online Higher Education for Students with Disabilities". . .

International Research: Grading Soft Skills (GRASS) Project - Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes

08 Apr 2014

GRASS project as part of her keynote at the Next Generation Learning (NGL) conference: The NGL conference is the major conference...

New book! Teaching in Blended Learning Environments: Creating and Sustaining Communities of Inquiry

11 Mar 2014

Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison. Teaching in Blended Leaning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to e...

Free new book: Increasing access through mobile learning (2014)

21 Jan 2014

By Mohamed Ally (Editor), Avgoustos Tsinakos (Editor). We live today in a hugely “mobilised” world. Estimates put mobile subscriptions at more tha...

More news, more books [click here]

Last updated by MM March 23, 2015

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