Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 604

Instructional Design in Distance Education

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Group Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: MDDE 603 or equivalent

Availability: All terms

Note: MEd program students must complete Mdde601 & Mdde602 prior to all other courses
Early access to the Moodle Learning Management System begins a few days before the official start date of your course. At that time you will have limited course access.


MDDE 604: Instructional Design in Distance Education is a project-based course that introduces instructional design principles and explores their application in a realistic way. Step by step, you will work through each stage of the instructional systems design (ISD) process, designing, developing and evaluating distance learning materials. In the role of instructional designer, you will systematically create an original unit of instruction or learning object that meets an educational need or solves an identified performance problem. Giving and receiving feedback is an important skill for Instructional Designers, thus timely interaction with classmates is a required component of this course.


MDDE 603 Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory

MDDE 604 is more applied than most other core courses in the Master of Education in Distance Education program. As you design and develop the instructional unit that forms the basis of this course, you will apply the skills, knowledge, and concepts you were introduced to in MDDE 603: Foundations of Instructional Design: Systems Analysis and Learning Theory.

Course Outline

The course is divided into 13 weekly units:

  • Week 1: Getting Started with Instruction Design in Distance Education
  • Week 2: Needs Analysis
  • Week 3: Content Analysis and Student Assessment
  • Week 4: ISD Project Proposal
  • Week 5: Pre-Planning: Blueprinting and Design
  • Week 6: Planning Resources: Multimedia and Digital Interactions
  • Week 7: Meeting Learner Needs: CoI and Cognitive Load
  • Week 8: Addressing Quality Assurance (User Interface and Accessibility)
  • Week 9: ISD Project Peer Reviews and Revisions
  • Week 10: Finalizing Module Development
  • Week 11: Pilot Testing
  • Week 12: Data Analysis and Reflection
  • Week 13: Looking Forward

Learning Resources

Online Study Guide and course readings.

Student Assessment

There are a total of seven (7) evaluated assignments for MDDE 604:

Activity Weighting Due
Assignment 1: Needs Assessment and Proposal 15% Week 4
Assignment 2: Pre-Planning and Design 10% Week 6
Assignment 3: Peer Review 1 15% Week 9
Assignment 4: Online Module Creation
  • Part 1: Instructor/Course Welcome Video (5%) -- Due Week 1
  • Part 2: Online Module Creation (25%) -- Due Week 10
30% Week 10
Assignment 5: Peer Review 2 15% Week 11
Assignment 6: Final Reflections 10% Week 13
Assignment 7: Participation - Self Evaluation 5% Week 13
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.