Skip To Content

Athabasca University

CDE News

Revised Book: An Introduction to Distance Education | February 8, 2017

CDE faculty Dr. Martha Cleveland-Innes and Dr. D. Randy Garrison will be releasing the second edition of the book, An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era.

The impetus for revising the content for this book on Teaching and Learning in a New Era is that distance education is now a major player in the revision of education broadly. Higher education is facing multiple demands for change where distance education, as an alternative pedagogical and delivery approach, can be considered in the response to some of these demands. For example, distance education, appropriately designed and delivered, is the closest we can come to completing the iron triangle of education where all three elements of access, affordability, and quality can operate in tandem. For more information, click here.

New Focus Areas for MEd| December 23, 2016

Master 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 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.

The Inclusive Educators' Toolbox is a shared collection of member-created ideas, activities, and tools. Tools include lesson plans, activity ideas, reflections, articles, and many others. The resources made available through the Toolbox will expand as the community grows and develops.


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.


New MOOC helps spread technology-enabled learning globally | November 29, 2016

As technology is rapidly transforming the face of education, inequality of access remains a persistent reality in developing countries. A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) offered by the Commonwealth of Learning in partnership with Athabasca University’s Centre for Distance Education seeks to narrow the gap. The Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning MOOC (TEL-MOOC) will put sustainable tools for digital learning in the hands of teachers worldwide.

For five weeks beginning on January 9, educators 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. Participants will get hands-on experience with a variety of tools as well as foundational knowledge about how to effectively use technology in their teaching practice. According to Dr. Cleveland-Innes, the course aims to give participants “a sense of what it’s like to be a virtual student – to engage with other people, to respond to the teacher, to do the assignments using the technology themselves.”

In a world where technology is increasingly ubiquitous, Dr. Cleveland-Innes sees education as being among the sectors “slowest to change.” But this course is not simply “buttonology”: teachers should understand not just how to use specific tools but also why they might want to deploy certain technologies in their practice. Dr. Ostashewski underscored the need to put students first by considering what specific problems technology can solve. Dr. Cleveland-Innes says that with “foundational knowledge about appropriate developmental pathways, about pedagogical use, … the technology itself becomes just the prop and the implement for making sure that good engagement and effort is realized on the part of the students.”

Free of charge and available to everyone, TEL-MOOC puts accessibility first. The course will be delivered on the innovative mooKit platform developed by the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. This platform allows learners to get beyond the limitations of low bandwidth by providing several content delivery options tailored to their specific need and circumstance. For example, if a learner’s internet connection is too frail to stream video, they can stream audio separately while viewing slides, receive a call to listen to the audio only, or even have a transcript texted to their cell phone.

Dr. Cleveland-Innes sees this MOOC as part of a larger trend of education innovation: “I suggest that in 20 years we will have a less elitist, much more accessible, affordable and cost-effective education that imbeds in everything you do as a learner something about learning itself.”

MOOC details
Introduction to Technology-Enabled Learning
January 9 – February 10, 2017
Cost: free
Register now at


CDE presence at BlendEd symposium in Edmonton| November 24, 2016

Four CDE faculty members participated in the BlendEd Symposium on October 23-25, 2016. Dr. George Siemens opened the symposium with a keynote address. Dr. Rory McGreal explored the potentials and challenges facing the dissemination and development of Open Educational Resources (OER). Dr. Avgoustos Tsinakos  presented on an experience of teaching mobile app development with minimal effort and resources. Dr. Connie Blomgren shared experiences from the Blended and Online Learning and Teaching (BOLT) initiative.

The BlendEd symposium brings together researchers and practitioners to explore applications of flexible learning strategies. The CDE is proud to contribute to the development of innovations in education that put students first. Check out the symposium schedule for session notes!


Dr. Rory McGreal Awarded EDEN Senior Fellow | October 24, 2016

At their 9th annual Research Workshop, the European Distance and E-Learning Network (EDEN) announced their 2016 Fellows, which included CDE Professor Dr. Rory McGreal. The EDEN Senior Fellow title is awarded to outstanding EDEN members, in recognition of their contribution to the development of open, distance and e-learning. This recognition comes on the heels of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Open Education Consortium. As a devoted advocate of Open Educational Resources (OER), Dr. McGreal holds the UNESCO/COL Research Chair in OER.

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.”

In Dr. Cleveland-Innes’ workshop, three experts in the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework will discuss new directions in research for collaborative learning and teaching presence in online and distance education as well as demonstrate how the CoI framework can be applied to improve student engagement and success.

EDEN is a large and dynamic professional community of experts and practitioners of distance and online learning with members from 55 countries. All keynote speeches and plenary sessions will be streamed online – download the full conference programme for more details.

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. Teaching experiences provide the context for assignments and allow for examination of technology integration into face-to-face, blended or online teaching practices. Topics covered include online learning and teaching, learning theory and systems analysis, Open Educational Resources (OER), the pedagogy, utilization, and evaluation of digital learning tools for all ages and subject areas.

With the two-week early access to the module’s videos and readings, three weeks of asynchronous discussions and the last offline week to complete assignments, each module provides a blend of learning activities.  BOLT cultivates the development of a professional learning network that will nurture inquiry both during and after each module. Participants are encouraged to engage with this professional community through the innovative BOLT Multi-Authored Blog.

This blog offers an online space for flexible and dynamic exchange by educators who are applying their learning to their professional practice. As the blog welcome message affirms, contributions reflect “practicing teachers’ lived experiences, their expertise, and their self-reflective individual wisdom.” Topics include technology reviews, Open Educational Resources (OER), and evidence-based teaching practices and emerging K-12 trends.

Registrations are open
for the next BOLT module which begins on September 26, 2016. Cohort-based offerings can be arranged for divisions or schools interested in grouped professional development. For more information, please contact


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. It introduces mobile-assisted language learning, or more precisely mobile language learning (MLL), as a new phase of second and foreign language learning, a successor of computer-assisted language learning (CALL) and a subset of the larger field of mobile learning. MLL leverages new, previously unexperienced, mobile digital technologies and language-rich contexts to offer an innovative approach to untethered language learning that meets the needs and preferences of the 21st century learner. The book is intended for second and foreign language teachers, academics, researchers, instructional designers, and other professionals in education and the workplace. It will also benefit school administrators, technology staff, directors of Teaching and Learning Centers, and other stakeholders interested in integrating mobile technologies to promote the development of second and foreign language skills amongst their students and employees.

MALL has to be founded on the body of systematic theory, research, and practice that provides evidence and reflects a multitude of potential educational circumstances.  This volume is a forum for mobile language learning practitioners from around the globe to report on how they implemented MLL, what strategies and designs worked and what approaches did not provide desirable outcomes, and what that subsequently means to learners, teachers, and to creators of mobile language learning. There have been many small-scale and even bigger MALL projects that have not been appreciated for the knowledge they can contribute to the field and the community of practice. Many of them are described in this handbook. Case studies presented hereby have been carefully selected to accurately represent the current MALL practices and demonstrate a variety of problems and solutions through the practitioner’s lens. Only by sharing their expert perceptions, practices, findings and conclusions, can the authors truly contribute to the progress of mobile language learning and inform future MLL decisions. This international perspective is needed to promote a widespread adoption of MLL and the corresponding pedagogical shifts that it brings about (Chapter 2). The contributing authors further enrich the message of this book by reporting on the realities, possibilities and limitations specific to their individual educational contexts, which represent a wide range of developmental stages of MLL - from SMS-based learning solutions used to improve literacy in low resource environments in Liberia (Chapter 17) to the use of gamification principles in the design of an English-as-a-second-language vocabulary app for smartphone users in Canada (Chapter 13).  Overall, this handbook compiles theory essentials and practical examples of MLL. It distills them into recommendations on how to integrate mobile pedagogy and technology to teach and support learning of second and foreign languages in educational institutions, in the workplace and in informal learning. It weaves together m-learning explorations and experiences from diverse cultural and educational contexts to provide a broad understanding of the many facets and possibilities of MALL. Thirty-five authors representing thirteen countries contributed twenty-two chapters that refer to the study of foreign and second language at various levels of language proficiency, starting with basic literacy skills, all the way through academic English training programs to providing training in MALL to student teachers of languages. Each chapter enriches the reader’s understanding of the diverse language learning needs and contexts. The role of mobile technology in MALL is fundamental and it certainly brings about a redefinition of language learning as it enables innovative learning approaches and strategies in new physical and virtual contexts. We hope that this handbook, which shares a message of critical importance to the theory and application of m-learning, will assist its readers in implementing mobile learning in their practice.


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 Chinese open universities | 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.

Many instructors in Chinese open universities have had no prior knowledge of how to effectively teach online. While instructors may be skilled at face-to-face instruction, many feel frustrated and struggle with online facilitation techniques. A great challenge for Chinese online instructors is how to shift their role, identity, and conception from face-to-face instruction to online instruction. Many instructors have no conception of developing presence in an online course. Dr. Cleveland-Innes and Dr. Feng of Beijing Normal University have joined forces to teach and research the implementation of the Community of Inquiry at the Open University of China.


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 for the MEd Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) program in Greece. NARIC is the National Academic Recognition Information Centre and is the National Agency for the recognition and comparison of international qualifications and skills.

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 for their degree.

Over the last few weeks, the first two students from this accredited MEd degree have graduated!  Big congratulations go out to Thalia Vasiliadou and Natalia Antonopoulou on this great accomplishment.

For more information Master of Education in Distance Education, in Greece please visit Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Institute of Technology.

SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship Program winner - EdD Student Djenana Jalovcic

Friday, May 2, 2014 9:03 AM

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".

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

Monday, April 07, 2014 7:33 PM

GRASS project as part of her keynote at the Next Generation Learning (NGL) conference: The NGL conference is the major conference on e-learning in higher education and beyond in Sweden. Grading Soft Skills (GRASS) is a 3-year research project financially supported by EU (project reference number: 543029-LLP-1-2013-1-RS-KA3-KA3MP), focusing on representing soft skills of learners of various ages and at different levels of education in a quantitative, measurable way, so that these skills can become the subject of formal validation and recognition. The project is being developed with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) of the EU, the flagship European funding programme in the field of education and training . The key objective of LLP is to enable individuals at all stages of their lives to pursue stimulating learning opportunities across Europe. The GRASS project is categorized as an LLP transversal programme key action 3 (KA3) project. KA3 projects are about the use of ICT tools to enhance learning environments and experiences. GRASS addresses KA3 p riority 3.1.2, Innovative pedagogy and assessment methods for diverse learning pathways . See the project description page for details. The project has officially started on Jan 01, 2014.

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 6:50 AM

Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison. Teaching in Blended Leaning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to explore the transformative concept of blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. A direct result of the transformative innovation of virtual communication and online learning communities, blended learning environments have created new ways for teachers and students to engage, interact, and collaborate. The authors argue that this new learning environment necessitates significant role adjustments for instructors and generates a need to understand the aspects of teaching presence required of deep and meaningful learning outcomes. Built upon the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry – the premise that higher education is both a collaborative and individually constructivist learning experience – the authors present seven principles that provide a valuable set of tools for harnessing the opportunities for teaching and learning available through technology. Focusing on teaching practices related to the design, facilitation, direction and assessment of blended learning experiences, Teaching in Blended Learning Environments addresses the growing demand for improved teaching in higher education.

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

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:27 PM

By Mohamed Ally (Editor), Avgoustos Tsinakos (Editor). We live today in a hugely “mobilised” world. Estimates put mobile subscriptions at more than 6 billion globally, with at least 75% of these being in developing countries. And nearly 2.5 billion of the world’s population can now access the Internet, a third doing so through mobile devices alone. As the use of mobile devices increases, so is interest in harnessing their power for education and training. Mobile learning (mLearning) is an emerging field that, with the availability of Open Educational Resources and rapid growth of mobile technologies, has immense potential to revolutionise education — in the classroom, in the workplace, and for informal learning, wherever that may be. With mLearning, education becomes accessible and affordable for everyone. Many countries have major initiatives underway already to provide mobile technologies to their citizens. These are significant efforts, well aligned with the Commonwealth of Learning’s mandate and UNESCO’s goal of Education for All in the 21st century. Increasing Access through Mobile Learning contributes to the advancement of the mLearning field by presenting comprehensive, up-to-date information about its current state and emerging potential. This book will help educators and trainers in designing, developing and implementing high-quality mLearning curricula, materials and delivery modes that use the latest mobile applications and technologies. The 16 chapters, written by 30 contributors from around the world, address a wide range of topics, from operational practicalities and best practices to challenges and future opportunities. Researchers studying the use of mLearning in education and training, including as a means of supporting lifelong learning, will also find the experiences shared in this book to be of particular interest.

New free book: Global Mobile Learning Implementations and Trends (2013)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:27 PM

By Avgoustos Tsinakos (Editor) and Mohamed Ally (Editor). Global Mobile Learning Implementations and Trends is edited by two internationally recognized mobile learning experts and the chapter authors are from around the world. They have extensive expertise in mobile learning. The book presents information on implementation of mobile learning around the world and trends in mobile learning. It is a valuable resource for educators and trainers who want to find out about mobile learning around the world and who would like to conduct research on mobile learning.

New book: From margin to mainstream - mobile technologies transforming lives and libraries (2013)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 7:27 PM

By Mohamed Ally and Gill Needham. An up-to-date showcase of the innovative and inspiring work that libraries are doing across the world to interact with their users and deliver resources via mobile devices.

Mobile technology is now the norm for accessing information for a growing swathe of library users. As mobile devices become increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, so users’ expectations of being able to access information and services through them are on the rise. Libraries and information centres must respond to the challenge with ever-more inventive and effective solutions for providing content to users anywhere and anytime using a range of technologies. Librarians have a major role to play in facilitating access and providing the services required in order to access quality information.

MDDE 665 Wins Prestigious Award

Wednesday, January 08, 2014 8:02 PM

Athabasca University's course Collaboration and Mentoring in Educational Environments (MDDE 665) has been awarded the 2013 Commonwealth of Learning Award of Excellence for Distance Education Materials. The course is offered through the Master of Education program at the university's Centre for Distance Education.

Upcoming presentations and workshops through the Faculty of Graduate Studies

Thursday, January 02, 2014 8:02 PM

The Faculty of Graduate Studies is pleased to announce the following presentations/workshops for the 2013-2014 academic year. Further sessions will be added once they are confirmed. Those interested in attending a presentation must contact to register. Please include the program you are in, your student ID number and how you will attend the session (if applicable). Further information will be provided at that time.

New Book: Perspectives on Open and Distance Learning: Open Educational Resources: Innovation, Research and Practice

Thursday, May 16, 2013 3:46 AM

by Rory McGreal (Editor), Wanjira Kinuthia (Editor), Stewart Marshall (Editor), Tim McNamara (Editor). Open Educational Resources (OER) – that is, teaching, learning and research materials that their owners make free to others to use, revise and share – offer a powerful means of expanding the reach and effectiveness of worldwide education. Those resources can be full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, software, and other materials and techniques used to promote and support universal access to knowledge. This book, initiated by the UNESCO/COL Chair in OER, is one in a series of publications by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) examining OER. It describes the movement in detail, providing readers with insight into OER’s significant benefits, its theory and practice, and its achievements and challenges. The 16 chapters, written by some of the leading international experts on the subject, are organised into four parts by theme: OER in Academia – describes how OER are widening the international community of scholars, following MIT’s lead in sharing its resources and looking to the model set by the OpenCourseWare Consortium; OER in Practice – presents case studies and descriptions of OER initiatives underway on three continents; Diffusion of OER – discusses various approaches to releasing and “opening” content, from building communities of users that support lifelong learning to harnessing new mobile technologies that enhance OER access on the Internet. Producing, Sharing and Using OER – examines the pedagogical, organisational, personal and technical issues that producing organisations and institutions need to address in designing, sharing and using OER. Instructional designers, curriculum developers, educational technologists, teachers, researchers, students, others involved in creating, studying or using OER: all will find this timely resource informative and inspiring.

Giovanni Farias receives the Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures Award

Thursday, April 11, 2013 4:59 AM

Giovanni is currently an EdD student with our Centre. He has been awarded $15,000. /year for 4 years. It was a competitive pool of applications with more applications than last year. This is the second year that AU has been given the opportunity to offer this award. Depending upon the amount of funding received from AI-TF a second call for applications may occur later this year. The award is to support academically superior graduate students leading to a master's or doctoral degree. The scholarship is designed to enable these promising students to succeed in areas of scientific research which are strategically important to Alberta. These areas are: Information and Communication Technology ( ICT ), Nanotechnology, and Omics in and of themselves or additionally which support the areas of Health, Bio-industries, Energy, and Environment (Alberta Innovates- Technology Futures). Sincerest congratulations!

Student Success! Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program

Monday, March 11, 2013 5:41 AM

On Feb 28, 2013, Mariea Spray and Sue Erdman-Burton, two MDE students at Athabasca, saw a proposal for a DE project that they had developed for one of their courses become a reality - the Rural and Remote Maternity Education (RRME) program went on-line. Based at the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) in northern Ontario, the program uses DE to deliver high-risk and specialized obstetrical education to registered nurses serving remote and rural communities. Many of these professionals have trouble accessing best-practice education because of their isolated locations – a single two-day program in Toronto can easily cost $2,500 in travel, living and course costs. “Our intensive, six month program costs $2,000 per person and is almost entirely delivered on-line” said Mariea, who is the Staff Education and Professional Practice Manager at SLMHC. “We also have a practicum of one to two weeks during which our students receive hands-on training at the SLMHC which is itself state-of-the-art with computerized mannequins capable of simulating a woman in labour.”

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 7:45 PM

Teaching in Blended Leaning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to explore the transformative concept of blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. A direct result of the transformative innovation of virtual communication and online learning communities, blended learning environments have created new ways for teachers and students to engage, interact, and collaborate. The authors argue that this new learning environment necessitates significant role adjustments for instructors and generates a need to understand the aspects of teaching presence required of deep and meaningful learning outcomes. Built upon the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry – the premise that higher education is both a collaborative and individually constructivist learning experience – the authors present seven principles that provide a valuable set of tools for harnessing the opportunities for teaching and learning available through technology. Focusing on teaching practices related to the design, facilitation, direction and assessment of blended learning experiences, Teaching in Blended Learning Environments addresses the growing demand for improved teaching in higher education. Authors: Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison.

About CDE's e-portfolio process

Monday, January 21, 2013 9:14 PM

In this video, Dr. Debra Hoven provides a brief overview of the e-portfolio project. For more information, please visit our e-porfolio site:


The JIME Cambridge OER 2012 special issue

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 5:45 AM

A special issue of selected papers from the Cambridge OER 2012 conference, edited by Anna Comas-Quinn, Alannah Fitzgerald and Ian Fairweather. Contribution by Dianne Conrad and Rory McGreal of Athabasca University.

Anderson: Presentation given at the Universidade Aberta in Lisbon on open access publishing, MOOCs and equivalency

Wednesday, December 05, 2012 2:15 AM


New article: Disruptive Pedagogies and Technologies in Universities (Anderson and McGreal)

Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:37 AM

This paper is a reaction to the increasing high cost of higher education and the resulting inaccessibility for the millions of potential learners now seeking opportunities for quality higher education opportunities. The paper examines the cost centers associated with campus-based and online education systems and then suggests that disaggregation may prove to be a cost-effective way to reduce tuition payments, while maintaining quality. The paper suggests that discount service models, now available to consumers in many industries may also be attractive in new models of higher education. The paper also briefly looks at the Open Educational Resources University initiative, a pilot, collaborative project attempting to test some of these innovations in a consortium of high quality, accredited public universities. Finally, we note both the disruptive characteristics of this model and commiserate opportunities for innovative providers of higher education.

e-Portfolio News

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 9:25 AM

A recent regulation change has made e-portfolios an official part of the M.Ed. (Distance Education) program.

Open Access Week: Learn about OERs

Friday, September 21, 2012 4:48 AM

Detailed information about Open Access week can be found at the website:

New book! M-Libraries 3: Transforming libraries with mobile technology

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 5:20 AM

Ally, M. and Needham, G. (2012). M-Libraries 3: Transforming libraries with mobile technology. Facet Publishing, UK.

MDE to MEd Degree Conversion

Monday, February 06, 2012 9:50 PM

The deadline for conversion is July 31, 2012. Alumni who wish to convert their MDE degree to MEd should complete and submit the online Parchment Replacement Request Form along with the required $60 fee. Choose “Other” in the list of check boxes and indicate “Convert MDE degree to MED”.

First UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

Monday, February 06, 2012 9:39 PM

CDE Professor, Dr. Mohamed Ally, was an expert participant at the First UNESCO Mobile Learning Week at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. Officials from Ministries of Education, international experts and practitioners in mobile learning, as well as representatives from major partners in the mobile learning field were invited to share innovative ways of learning with, and through, mobile technologies, and of using them to achieve the Education for All goals and improve the quality of education. For more information on the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week, go to the URL below.

Building a Dream: Nepal Update

Sunday, February 05, 2012 3:58 AM

This is the third in a series of occasional letters from Susan Bainbridge to The Insider (AU newsletter) by Susan Bainbridge, an AU doctoral student in distance education, who teaches at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates and has been working in support of the Mansingh Dharma School in Kathmandu, Nepal.

New Article: Design-Based Research : A Decade of Progress in Education Research?

Friday, February 03, 2012 7:38 AM

I was fortunate enough to recruit Atahabasca University doctoral student Julie Shattuck and together we analysed the 5 most widely cited DBR articles over each of the ten years since the methodology was first promoted. You are welcome to read the results published this week. Terry Anderson and Julie Shattuck (2012) Design-Based Research : A Decade of Progress in Education Research? Educational Researcher, 41: 16-25,

CDE Faculty Awarded SSHRC Grant: The Community of Inquiry and Mobile Learning

Friday, December 03, 2010 6:10 AM

The research will identify how communities of inquiry can develop via mobile technology—particularly how student interaction may differ when compared to more traditional devices for online learning such as desktop and laptop computers—and how communities of inquiry may relate to the relationship between learner, device, and social aspect identified in the FRAME model of mobile learning.

Dr. Baggaley co-edits two new books

Thursday, December 02, 2010 5:23 AM

Sage has launched two new books co-edited by Jon Baggaley and Tian Belawati, Rector of the Open University of Indonesia. The launch took place in October at the annual conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities in Hanoi, Vietnam. The books are Distance Education Technologies in Asia and Policy and Practice in Asian Distance Education. In his foreword to the first, Sir John Daniel calls it "a most stimulating has coherence, a breadth of coverage, and a rigour of analysis that is rare in such collections." Prof. Gajaraj Dhanarajan describes the second book as "a valuable resource for all those interested or engaged in open and distance contributes enormously to the growing base of distance education literature in the world." For more about the conference:

Video: Dr. Cleveland-Innes goes to cooking school

Dr. Cleveland-Innes thought she was just invited to speak at the Open EdTech Summit in Barcelona in October, 2010. Little did she know that she would go to cooking school. As she comments, "the food and the cooking activity became a prop for us to get to know each other, share a lot of experiences and ideas about learning, teaching, education, and technology in general . . . " To hear her comments, advance to 3:00. The video is 13:40 in duration. For more about the conference, please see:

New book on online conferences

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 8:34 AM

After a long gestation, Lynn Anderson and myself have finally seen the images of our new book Online Conferences: Professional Development for a Networked Era. The book is available from IAPpublishers for $39 and for a free preview at Google Books. For some reason the book can also be ordered from Amazon.UK, but not yet from Amazon .com or .ca We still haven’t held it in our hot little hands, but maybe that is appropriate for a book on online conferences. Supposedly a copy is on its way for Lynn and I to drool over!

Join CDE's Social Networking Site

Wednesday, November 17, 2010 7:34 AM

If you have an AU login or are an invited guest, this is your site. You can use this site to share, communicate and connect. Make and join groups, blog, create wikis, share files, share bookmarks, share photos, discuss, are in control.

New book coming soon: An Introduction to Distance Education: Understanding Teaching and Learning in a New Era

Monday, January 18, 2010 1:12 PM

An Introduction to Distance Education is a comprehensive look at the field today, outlining current theories, practices and goals. The book reviews the influence of past distance education theory and practice, along with current changes. It outlines the practical skills and information that are essential to effective distance education design, delivery and navigation. This volume brings together seminal contributors who have and who are currently researching and shaping our understanding and practice of distance education. A discussion of past and present practices in higher and distance education leads to an understanding of accessible education and the appropriate use of Web 2.0 technology. Utilizing a student-guided approach, each chapter offers the following pedagogical features to engage and support the teaching and learning process: 1) Key Questions to Consider: Students can use these questions as triggers for further thoughts related to the topic. Instructors can use these questions for classroom and online discussion. 2)Thinking Points: Strategically placed throughout the text, these points act as a springboard for further reflection and classroom discussion.A perfect textbook for Educational Technology PhD, Masters and Certificate programs, students will find An Introduction to Distance Education a solid foundation from which to explore and develop new approaches to designing and implementing online courses.

- M. F. Cleveland-Innes is a faculty member and program director in the Center for Distance Education at Athabasca University in Alberta, Canada.

- D. R. Garrison is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre and a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary.


Last updated by MK February 08, 2017

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