Doctor of Education in Distance Education (EDDE) 804

Leadership and Project Management in Distance Education

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Grouped study with Internet component

Credits: 3 - Core Course

Prerequisite: None

Availability: Winter Only

Only students admitted into the doctoral program may take this course.


This is a required seminar course in the Doctorate of Education, Distance Education program.  As participants in an advanced community of inquiry, students will cover general leadership theory, issues in contemporary education leadership, leadership in distance and distributed education and training and special topics on leadership and project management, as they relate to educational technology, innovation and change.  Students will be required to bring issues, problems and cases to the class for analysis, evaluation and strategy development.

The course is paced and supported by asynchronous and synchronous meetings and conferencing.  Moodle will be used as the online learning platform.  The platform will allow for social, emotional, cognitive and teaching/learning presence to emerge in an online community of inquiry. Course material will be divided into segments and provided either in print or electronically according to weekly coverage and activities.

Required readings will be chosen by the instructor from a list of appropriate materials for the course. Other readings will be chosen by the cohort within each course, as they relate to leadership issues and cases chosen for study by the group.

Adobe Connect will be used for course launch, guest speaker presentations, student case debates and presentations, and course closure.

Learning activities will include reading, asynchronous discussion, synchronous presentation, discussion and debate, case study and presentation, watching video, listening to and discussing topics with guest speakers and assignment creation.

Course Goals

Doctoral study of education leadership provides students the opportunity to develop rigorous, detailed theoretical knowledge and skill application models in support of leadership in the field of education. This course looks particularly at the requirements and evolution of leadership for distance and distributed learning across the globe.

At the conclusion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Present, critique and apply general leadership theory.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge regarding multiple leadership theories.
  3. Outline central issues in educational leadership in North America and beyond.
  4. Apply leadership theory to social problems, particularly in relation to education.
  5. Synthesize the opportunities presented by leadership theory to the issues and innovations of distance and distributed learning networks.
  6. Integrate and apply innovative leadership strategies for distance and distributed education in relation to the needs of education and training broadly.
  7. Use case-based methods to strategize and problem-solve in distance education using leadership interventions.
  8. Review and consider project management techniques as a leadership function.
  9. Reflect on, evaluate, and demonstrate personal leadership competencies.

Course Outline

The course consists of the following units:

Unit 1: Leadership Theory, Practice and Education

Review, debate and apply multiple leadership theories and practice models in education broadly, as they relate to education systems, institutions and programs.

Unit 2: Education Issues and Distance Education Leadership

Review, debate and apply leadership theories and practice models to distance education.

Unit 3: Critical Social Issues and Distance Education Leadership

Consider global social issues and the application of distance education through leadership models that support collective action and social responsibility.

Unit 4: Linking leadership and education practice;  Project management in distance education.

Identify, critique and apply appropriate project management models in cases of distance education program development.

Learning Resources


Cleveland-Innes, M. & Garrison, D. R. (2021). An introduction to distance education: Understanding teaching and learning in a new era, 2nd edition. New York, N.Y.: Routledge.

Student Assessment

Participation, case development and debate, presentation, group work and written assignments will make up the roster of coursework for performance evaluation.  Evaluation rubrics will be created and presented to students with assignments.  High quality written and oral presentation, demonstration of higher order thinking, argument creation and use of evidence and engagement in forums will be expected.

Student assignments: Four required assignments and the weighting for forum participation are the evaluation criteria for EDDE 804. Specific directions are given for each assignment and the student is advised to carry out each step with due care and attention.

Activity Credit Weight
Assignment 1: Leadership theory: Assessment, comparison and application 15%
Assignment 2: Leadership issues in distance education 25%
Assignment 3: Capstone project, leadership theory, project management and issues in current distance education 35%
Assignment 4: Personal reflections 10%
Forum participation 15%
Total 100%

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.