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Athabasca University

Program Options

The MEd in Open, Digital, and Distance Education program is designed to provide all students with a core foundation of skills, knowledge, and values regarding distance education and training, as well as to foster students' individual interests. All graduates will gain experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Problem solving, analysis, synthesis, and interpretation in distance education and training.
  • Designing, implementing, evaluating and managing educational and training programs. Related skills include organizational design, management and administration, budgeting and finance, curriculum and program development, course development, design, delivery and support, and program evaluation and revision.
  • Designing, implementing, and disseminating research in distance education and training.
  • Designing and developing distance education and training courses and materials.
  • Selecting, implementing, and evaluating technologies for use in distance education and training.

The MEd consists of 33 credits, which students have the option of completing through either the course-based route or the thesis route. Students who wish to specialize further may pursue a Focus Area in the following topics: Instructional Design, Leadership in Education, Mobile Learning, and K-12 Online and Blended Learning.


  Core Requirements
3 creditsMDDE 601: Introduction to Distance Education
3 creditsMDDE 602: Research Methods in Distance Education
3 creditsMDDE 603: Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory
3 credits

MDDE 604: Instructional Design in Distance Education


MDDE 605: Planning and Management in Distance Education

3 credits

MDDE 610: Survey of Current Educational Technology Applications


MDDE MDDE 620: Technology in Education and Training


Upon completion of core requirement courses, students will choose from one of two routes:

(a) Course-based Route 
15 credits5 Elective courses: See Focus Areas
3 creditsMDDE 694: E-Portfolio Capstone Project


(b) Thesis Route 
6 credits2 Elective courses: See Focus Areas
3 creditsMDDE 700: Introduction to Thesis Research
3 credits

MDDE 701: Quantitative Research Methods 


MDDE 702: Qualitative Research Methods

3 creditsMDDE 703: Research Proposal Writing
3 creditsMDDE 704: Thesis Completion and Oral Defense




Updated May 14 2021 by DE

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