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Athabasca University

Frequently Asked Questions

Question Answer
Do I need to be employed as a teacher? BOLT modules are designed for K-12 educators. Recent, part-time, or full teaching employment is desirable but not required.
Do I need to be teaching fully online to be admitted? There is a continuum of distributed or distance education and the lines of definition are blurring. Blended teaching models, which combine various aspects of face-to-face and online learning, are becoming very common and BOLT modules will support teachers wherever they are, or plan to be, on this continuum. Educators who would like to enhance their teaching skills in preparation for teaching online or in a blended classroom will find BOLT modules highly useful.
Do I need to be an Alberta teacher? Being an Alberta teacher is not required. BOLT participants are usually K-12 teachers employed in Canada. BOLT modules are designed with a working professional in mind and reference to teaching experiences may form the basis of discussions or assignments. Module materials cover K-12 teaching within Canada and beyond.
What is the prerequisite for admission to BOLT? There is no educational prerequisite. BOLT is designed for K-12 educators teaching in the digital age.
How many credits will be earned upon completion of the BOLT? Upon completion of all nine BOLT modules, you will have earned nine credits. Specific combinations of three modules can be used for credit in the Graduate Certificate in Technology-Based Learning (GCTBL) or Master of Education Programs.
What if I already have a Master of Education? Educational technology is quickly changing all levels of education and staying current with this shift in teaching and learning is the foundation to BOLT modules. Educators with a graduate degree such as administrators (e.g. educational leadership) may find BOLT an enhancement to understanding the fast-paced educational changes related to digital technologies. Each BOLT module is a self-contained learning experience that allows flexibility of professional learning for each individual. BOLT participants may take one, some, or all nine modules without being committed beyond the four-week duration of the module offering. For a more detailed description of the BOLT modules, which originate in three graduate courses from within the graduate programs in DE, please review the module descriptions and objectives. BOLT modules have been enhanced with a focus on blended and online K-12 pedagogy and situations.
Can I audit these modules? We do not offer an audit option for these modules, however, with the fast pace of educational technology and its deep implications for education, BOLT modules provide unique professional learning opportunities. Those who hold a Masters of Education but require updating of educational leadership skills will find that BOLT modules effectively fill this professional learning need. Completing one, some, or all of the modules would allow for educational leaders to be current in the theory, techniques, and decision-making involved with blended and online teaching. Please contact for a detailed response.
What if I already have a Master of Education in Distance Education? Please send an email to for a personal response.
Is BOLT professional learning recognized by other educational institutions? Graduates of BOLT may receive the Graduate Certificate in Technology-Based Learning (GCTBL) through Athabasca University. This Certificate requires nine graduate credits and it is acknowledged as a graduate certificate as awarded by Canadian universities. Athabasca University is accredited through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Electronic Textbook? BOLT is offered online with access to an electronic textbook. BOLT curriculum includes a variety of learning resources and activities designed to connect the content of the modules with the experiences of the being an educator. There is a BOLT speaker series of noted scholars delivered over the web. Learning resources include current journal articles, a comprehensive study guide, Open Educational Resources, educational videos, podcasts, infographics and electronic textbooks. For further details please review Athabasca University eText Initiative.
How proficient with educational technology do I need to be to be successful in BOLT modules? Although some working knowledge of educational technology is required (eg. email communications, Internet searches etc.) the intent of BOLT is to deepen and strengthen the pedagogy and understanding of what it means for K-12 educators to teach and enable their students to learn with technology.
Why should I take BOLT instead of other programs through the CDE? BOLT is specifically designed for the K-12 educator. The timing of modules runs counter to the intense periods of the K-12 teaching year. Each four-week module, with three weeks of online activity required, allows for a short and immersive experience that nurtures a Professional Learning Network (PLN) and a Community of Practice (CoP).
When are BOLT Modules offered? BOLT Modules are scheduled to avoid the busiest times in the K-12 school year. BOLT Calendar of Module Offerings
Do I have to take all nine BOLT Modules in succession? BOLT is designed as a series of professional learning opportunities. You can take one, some or all nine of the BOLT modules as suits your personal and professional learning needs. There is no requirement to complete the modules in order or to complete them by a set date. They are designed to be complete learning experiences that you can access in time to meet your professional growth plans and professional learning needs.
Is the work load manageable while teaching full time? Yes – this is the intention – professional learning that is more than a one day offering (which tends to be a passive reception of content). The modules are timed to run counterpoint to the busy times in the school year. BOLT calendar.
Is the time commitment manageable while balancing a full time teaching position? The design of the modules is sensitive to the "working lives of busy teachers". The assignments are developed with a fine balance between graduate level rigour and the reality of demanding professional learning while teaching. Approximately ten hours per week is the expected time allotment - this includes reading, participating in asynchronous discussions, and completing assignments; (ten hours per week is also the time expected for a regular grad course). The assignments are all designed to establish skills and then extend them with the upcoming modules.
Is completing all nine modules equivalent to a Master of Education degree? Upon completion of all nine BOLT modules, you will have earned nine credits. Specific combinations of three modules can be used for credit in the Graduate Certificate in Technology-Based Learning (GCTBL) or MEd Programs.

Updated September 16 2021 by DE

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