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Athabasca University

News and Announcements

CDE Faculty Featured in European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) Research Workshop | October 4, 2016

Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes will be co-delivering a workshop on the “Community of Inquiry Framework: New Directions and Research Opportunities” as part of the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) 2016 Research Workshop taking place in Oldenburg, Germany on October 5-6, 2016.

International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) co-editor and CDE instructor Dr. Dianne Conrad will be taking part in the closing plenary on “Scholarly Journals in Support of Research in Learning.” Read more >>

Innovative Professional Development Opportunity: Blended and Online Learning | September 14, 2016

As educational technologies multiply and extend their reach, finding one’s place in the sea of options can be challenging.  Beyond the how-to of specific tools, K-12 educators require the skills and knowledge to thoughtfully apply appropriate technology and support the diversity and range for all students’ learning.

To address this need, Athabasca University’s Centre for Distance Education in partnership with the Alberta Distance Learning Centre is offering an innovative solution: Blended and Online Learning and Teaching. This series of nine professional learning modules is designed for practicing teachers. BOLT provides a foundation in the theory, research, and practice of technology-supported learning and is also a bridge into graduate level studies.

The modules may be taken in any order and their timing complements the intense periods within the K-12 school year. Each one-credit module offers a self-contained learning experience, with the curriculum adapted from the Centre for Distance Education’s Master of Education graduate courses. Upon successful completion, BOLT graduates are eligible to have their credits applied to receive the Post-Baccalaureate in Technology Based Learning Certificate and have advanced standing for further Master’s level credentials.
BOLT offers multiple paths to ongoing and time-sensitive professional learning. Participants will explore current theory and evidence-based research as well as gain exposure to relevant educational technologies. Read more >>

The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning | August 23, 2016

CDE faculty (Dr. Agnieszka Palalas and Dr. Mohamed Ally) just published "The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning". The book is open access for free download. For more information on the handbook or to download, click here.

The International Handbook of Mobile-Assisted Language Learning is a practical resource book on mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) as well as many notions of mobile learning in general. This handbook is about a new understanding of teaching and learning - a perspective enriched by voices of educators from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds.

CDE Program Plans for Focus Areas
| August 17, 2016

The CDE strives to promote flexibility program delivery as well as program planning. Students are encouraged to tailor their program to fit personal interests and to serve professional goals.

In an effort to assist Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd (DE)) program students, the CDE is offering recommended program plans with a focus on the following areas of interest: Leadership in Education, Instructional Design, Mobile Learning, and K-12 Blended and Online Learning. Students are encouraged to discuss their options with an advisor in the CDE office.

To learn more, please visit CDE Program Planning for Master of Education (MEd (DE)).

Social Presence and Identity in Online Learning for Open University of China
| June 22, 2016

On June 14th, 2016, Dr. Marti Cleveland-Innes of the Centre for Distance Education at Athabasca University presented, via AdobeConnect, to instructors studying teaching at the Open University of China. With the assistance of Dr. Xiaoying Feng, who offered translation and discussion support, Dr. Cleveland-Innes provided a detailed review of presence in online environments. Read more >>

AU MEd in Distance Education in Greece Receives Accreditation from NARIC
| June 9, 2016

The Centre for Distance Education (CDE) has received full accreditation approval from NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre) for the MEd Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) program in Greece. Since the MEd is now fully accredited and equal to all other Master’s Degrees issued by Greek universities, it provides a competitive edge for the CDE in both Greek and European markets. It is also the only English language Master’s Degree offered fully at a distance in Greece.  Due to the high profile of AU, graduates from this program can gain public and private employment, in addition to receiving promotions anywhere in Europe without having to obtain further accreditation. Read more >>

More CDE news >>

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.

AU MOOC: Learning to Learn Online

Learn how online education differs from traditional classrooms while you explore and develop your own personal strategies for online learning success. You will be guided through an interactive investigation and self-reflection process to help you determine your learning preferences and create your own personal strategy for successful online learning. We will address common misconceptions, frustrations and fears about online learning and introduce techniques to help overcome such obstacles. Various models of online courses will be explored as well as the concept of a "personal learning space".

To enrol now, click here.


CDE Events

Graduate Professional Skills Development Webinar

Date: Friday, October 14, 2016 from 12-1pm

Title: Ignorance is no excuse: Don't be an accidental plargiarist

Presenter: Dr. Cheryl Kier

Coming from a perspective that much plagiarism is accidental, this presentation aims to help students recognize common errors. Using examples from my research and from real life events, I will illustrate patterns and techniques for students to use to avoid plagiarism in their papers. The importance of avoiding plagiarism and the use of plagiarism detection software will also be discussed. There will also be time for students to ask questions.

To register for this presentation, please email and indicate your student ID number & your program.

Join the Adobe Connect Webinar:


Indigeneous Albertans Awards

Funded by the Government of Alberta and administered by Athabasca University, the 2016-17 Indigenous Careers Award and Indigenous Graduate Award are intended to encourage a larger proportion of indigenous Albertans (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) to pursue and complete full-time undergraduate or graduate studies in Alberta. 

Eligible MEd and EdD students are encouraged to apply. More information at

Featured Courses

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

Course runs January 9, 2017 to February 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.


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



Last updated by CY October 05, 2016

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