Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 630

Trends and Issues in K-12 Online and Blended Learning

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Group Study

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: None.

Availability: Normally, Fall Term Only

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 630: Trends and Issues in K-12 Online and Blended Learning explores current and emerging uses of information and communication technology in schools as well as the factors associated with their successful implementation. Research and practice related to educational and technological innovations in the K-12 sector is examined. In addition, students participate in collaborative, applied research activities in which they investigate their own school environments and explore the capacity for change and technology adoption. The course is presented in four units as described below.

Course Outline

Unit 1: ICTs in K-12 – Perspectives

In this unit students will survey the different uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in K-12 education to ensure that students formulate a common set of definitions and an awareness of the current state of the art.

Unit 2: The ICT in K-12 Education Ecosystem

Students will explore how K-12 education influences how society transfers its culture, invests in its continued survival and hopefully improvements for the future. Education is affected by the priorities of a society and how the government funds it. The perceived value for the investment in terms of economic activity, quality of life, and stability are demonstrated in the relationship between schools and funding bodies. Each generation hopes the next generation will have a higher quality of living, but many factors play on this concept and the way in which public funds are allocated.

Unit 3: ICT Intervention Planning for K-12 Environments

In Unit 3 students will be encouraged to be creative, using technology, regarding improvements in a K-12 environment. Students will be asked to practically consider what it would actually take to make a positive impact given the environment of K-12 education.

This course is not a “how-to” course in planning and preparing instructional materials for K-12. Rather the intent is to help student become more aware of global trends in technology use in K-12, and to develop two sets of skills, the case study, and the meta-analysis as tools for objectively analyzing options for implementation.

Course Goals

The course is designed to support the following goals:

  1. Identify the current uses of ICTs for Distance Learning in K-12 settings and discuss their impact on public schools and in higher education.
  2. Identify factors that influence decision-making about technology directions in  K-12 public schools.
  3. Describe how meta-analysis is conducted and explain how it provides a perspective for interpreting educational research
  4. Develop a conceptual proposal for an ICT intervention in a local K-12 school, school board, and/or province that is accessible to you.

Learning Resources

Online Study Guide and Readings

Student Assessment

Students will be graded on the basis of four assignments and course participation.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: ICT Usage for Distance Learning in Education 20%
Assignment 2: Case study 25%
Assignment 3: School ICT Intervention Proposal 35%
Assignment 4: Peer Review Activity 5%
Course 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.