Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 620

Technology in Education and Training

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Group Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None.

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 620 Technology in Distance Education and Training is intended to develop students' knowledge and understanding of educational technologies, and their planning skills in relation to the introduction of technology into existing educational and training systems. Besides acquiring information about present and emerging distance education and training technologies, students will study planning and implementation issues. The course combines information, theoretical concepts and frameworks, case studies, and, where possible and appropriate, direct experience with specific technologies in actual educational and training use.

Course Goals

The course is designed to achieve the following goals:

  1. Review, describe, and analyse issues in distance education to which technology might apply as a delivery, administrative, student support, or learning tool.
  2. Describe salient operating characteristics, communications and interaction capabilities, and technical requirements of selected distance education technologies.
  3. Evaluate strategic planning models and approaches applicable to technology use in distance education and training.
  4. Summarize principles of effective organizational management, development, and renewal, from the perspective of an agent of technological change in an education or training environment.

Course Outline

The course consists of eight units as described below.

  • Unit 1: Basic concepts and background issues are introduced, relating to technology as a learning tool. Students are asked to begin forming positions on some questions about the proper roles for and uses of technology. Some terms are introduced and clarified, and some distinctions drawn which are used in the course.
  • Unit 2: The organizational context for technology is discussed. Key leadership issues related to change in complex organizations are identified. Students examine their personal management values and leadership style.
  • Units 3, 4, 5, and 6: Specific technologies are described, from print to the World Wide Web. Textbooks, journal articles, information provided by vendors, and the course Study Guide constitute the major information sources. The students' own experiences and observations of local technology implementations may also be incorporated.
  • Unit 7: Strategic planning as a tool for combining the concepts from the previous units is introduced.
  • Unit 8: Management issues in the adoption and use of technologies for teaching and training are considered.

Learning Resources

Online Study Guide and Readings


Bates, A. W. (2005). Technology, e-learning and distance education. New York: Routledge.

Student Assessment

Students are evaluated on the basis of two assignments and course participation.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: The student completes assignment of choice, selected from a list of topics provided by the instructor. 30%
Assignment 2: The student completes assignment of choice, selected from a list of topics provided by the instructor. 60%
Conference Participation: Students are expected to participate in the course forums. 10%
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.