MDDE 601: Introduction to Distance Education and Training

My instructor was: Doug Crawford


This first core course in Athabasca University's Master of Distance Education program is required for all program students. It provides students with an overview of the field, addressing issues such as: what distance education is; where it came from; whom it serves; how it serves; and what its major problems are. It provides descriptions and examples of what distance education is and how it works, and encourages students to critically analyze and question both current practice and rhetoric in the field.

Course Objectives

The goals of the course are to provide you with:
  • a foundation of knowledge, skills and attitudes that will prepare you for further studies and which will enable you to become competent academics and practitioners of distance education;
  • an introduction to a wide range of literature in the field;
  • a critical attitude towards the rhetoric and practice in the field of distance education and training; and,
  • the means to integrate prior knowledge and skills with the newly acquired knowledge and skills developed in the course.

Course Outline

The course is divided into three units:
Unit 1: Definitions and Examples: Past and Present
Unit 2: Organization and Structure: Variations and Examples
Unit 3: Theory Development and Research: Issues and Trends