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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.



New to CDE
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

Featured Course

News and Events

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...

More news, more books [click here]

Last updated by MM October 01, 2015

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