Master of Education in Distance Education (MDDE) 703

Research Proposal Writing

Course cover

Delivery Mode: Online course using Moodle

Credits: 3

Prerequisite: MDDE 702

Availability: All Terms

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.


This three-credit course focuses on the integration of the competencies acquired in MDDE 602, MDDE 701, and MDDE 702 with the generation of a thesis research proposal. The three components of this course are a comprehensive review of the literature that focuses on the individual student's topic of interest, an in-depth analysis of a completed research proposal and of a completed M.Ed. thesis (both by graduated M.Ed. thesis students) and the generation of a research proposal.

Students that successfully complete MDDE 703 but opt out of thesis program route.

Course Goals

The goals of MDDE 703 are to provide those M.Ed. program students who are considering or who have decided to pursue the thesis program route with the following:

  • An examination of the issues that affect the decision to select the thesis route
  • An overview of the concepts and terms associated with the thesis route
  • Knowledge of the policies and regulations that apply to the thesis route
  • An examination of the two predominant research methodologies for distance education research
  • An analysis of examples of completed master's level theses research proposals in distance education
  • The production of research proposal

Course Outline

MDDE 703 consists of four modules that focus on the following topics:

  • Module 1 - Program route selection
  • Module 2 - Research framework
  • Module 3 - Analysis of thesis research proposals
  • Module 4 - Research proposals

Learning Resources

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (4th Ed.). Sage Publications.

Mauch, J. E., & Park, N. (2003) Guide to the successful thesis and dissertation 5th edition. Marcel Dekker Publications.

Other Resources

Online Study Guide

Student Assessment

Three (3) assignments are to be completed and submitted. They comprise a substantive part of the course activities and are described in detail in the Assignment Manual. All assignments are graded as pass/fail and the final course grade is also pass/fail. A brief description of each assignment is given below:

Activity Weighting
Assignment #1 - Conventional and on-line literature search. Students will carry out a comprehensive search of the existing literature, both conventional (paper-based) and on-line, to determine the status of their topic of interest. Pass/Fail
Assignment #2 - Analysis and evaluation of completed thesis research proposals. Students will select examples of completed master's level theses, and research proposals and carry out an analysis and evaluation of their selections. Pass/Fail
Assignment #3 - Research proposal production. Students will produce a research proposal, a well-researched, tentative plan for further investigation of their topic of interest. Pass/Fail

Note: Changes to assignments may be made from time to time by individual instructors.

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.

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services