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Centre for Distance Education

Dr. Rick Kenny

Associate Professor

Centre for Distance Education
Athabasca University

B.Sc. (Biology and Psychology), McGill University, 1970

Dip. Ed. (Upper Elementary Education), McGill University, 1971

M.Ed. (Media and Technology), University of Calgary, 1981

Ph.D. (Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation), Syracuse University, 1992

Phone: 1-888-529-5725
Fax: 1-250-703-2031
Dr. Rick Kenny AU Space


Professional Background

I joined the CDE faculty in February, 2004. I have over 35 years of experience in Education. I received a Master of Education in Curriculum from the University of Calgary and my Ph.D. in Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation (Educational Technology) from Syracuse University in New York in 1992.

I began my career as a classroom teacher and taught for 17 years at a variety of levels from Grade 1 to Grade 10. As a part of my K-12 experience, I worked for 13 years at the Calgary Board of Education, including 3 years as an instructional designer and media consultant and 5 years as a teacher-librarian.

After completing my doctorate, I spent 7 years as an Assistant Professor of Education at the University of Ottawa. There, I taught undergraduate (Teacher Education) courses on Technology and Learning and graduate level courses in Instructional and Curriculum Design and on Emerging Technologies and Learning.

I then came back out West and spent 2 years in the private sector with NTS Computer Systems and as an independent consultant. In 2001, I accepted a position as Instructional Designer with the Department of Distance Education and Technology at UBC, where I also held an Adjunct Faculty appointment with the Faculty of Education. There, I had the privilege of working with Tony Bates, Mark Bullen, and other very knowledgeable individuals in the field of Distance Education and learned a great deal about Distance Education from the front lines!


Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology

I am a past editor of the Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology (CJLT) is a publication of the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE). CJLT is a fully bilingual (English and French), peer reviewed, scholarly journal that publishes a wide range of research reports, case studies, reviews of literature and position papers relating to technology and learning. CJLT is published both in print and online. The full text of all articles is provided on the website with a one issue (4 months) delay.

All articles, abstracts for the most recent issue, and information for authors can be found at:


Research Interests

I continue to pursue an active research agenda on:

  • Mobile learning issues and design
  • E-portfolios in higher education

I also maintain an interest in:

  • Instructional design and change agency
  • The design and development of emerging technologies to foster higher-order thinking


Research Publications

Some of my more recent work includes:

Kenny, R.F., Park, C.L., Van Neste-Kenny, J.M.C., & Burton, P.A. (2010). Mobile Self-Efficacy in Canadian Nursing Education Programs. In M. Montebello, V. Camilleri and A. Dingli (Eds.), Proceedings of mLearn 2010, the 9th World Conference on Mobile Learning, Valletta, Malta.

Zhang, Z. & Kenny, R.F. (2010). Learning in an online distance education course: Experiences of three international students. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(1). Available:

Kenny, R.F., Park, C.L, Van Neste-Kenny, J.M.C., Burton, P.A., and Meiers, J. (2009). Mobile Learning in Nursing Practice Education: Applying Koole's FRAME model. Journal of Distance Education, 23(3), 75 – 96. Available:

Campbell, K., Schwier, R.A., & Kenny, R.F. (2009). The critical, relational practice of instructional design in higher education: An emerging model of change agency. Educational Technology: Research and Development, 57(5), 645-663.

Kenny, R. F., Park, C., Van Neste-Kenny, J. M. C., Burton, P. A. & Meiers, J. (2009). Using mobile learning to enhance the quality of nursing practice education. In M. Ally (Ed.), Mobile learning: Transforming the delivery of education and training (pp. 75-98). Athabasca, AB: Athabasca University Press. Available at:


CDE - Last Updated by MK May 14, 2013

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The faculty and instructors in Athabasca University's Centre for Distance Education (CDE) are experts in their subject matter as well as distance delivery methods, ensuring you a quality learning experience.