The rise in e-Learning’s popularity is more than promising. In fact, an increasing number of individuals, corporations, and institutions are turning to eLearning as they recognize its effectiveness and its convenience. Those facts made the choice for the Master of Distance Education (MEd) program an easy one for me.
The curriculum gave me an in depth knowledge of each stage of the e-learning life cycle – from analysis to evaluation – through a holistic approach to learning. In practical terms, this means analyzing learner needs, designing goal-oriented courses, developing effective course materials, deploying the training and measuring whether the training works…and this is awesome! Because learning happens everywhere – in the Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education sectors.
The MEd program was a life changer for me! After the program, I started working as a Researcher and Professional Learning Consultant in the areas of E-learning and Distance Education and today I ran my own eLearning company. The faculty members are more that supportive and they constantly provide opportunities for research, community-building and networking. They really care about the welfare of their students, and they want to see you succeed!”
I would strongly recommend the MEd program to education system leaders, policy-makers, teachers & trainers, professionals and anyone else who believe that “Education can transform lives and behaviors”.
Athabasca University’s Master of Distance Education program was the right one for me mainly for two reasons. Distance education seemed to be a very interesting, modern and future oriented field of studies. The second reason is the nature of the program, meaning the temporal and spatial flexibility that it offers to learners. Being able to live in my country while studying in a foreign university was definitely a main factor for my choice.
The Med program helped me gain knowledge, develop critical-thinking skills and appreciate the benefits of collaboration. The focus of my undergraduate studies was placed upon teaching English as a second/foreign language to minors not adults. Nonetheless, my classmates and instructor’s help and support during the program was valuable and much appreciated. I’m so glad that living so far away in a different time zone did not deprive me of the opportunity to experience this journey at its fullest.
I am very happy with my experience with the M. Ed program and I strongly believe that it will constitute a strong basis for continuing my educational journey as a lifelong learner. The goals that I had set prior to beginning the M.Ed. program have all been achieved. This program helped me improve my English. Working on the assignments and participating in the weekly discussions helped me improve my writing, critical thinking and communication skills.
I opted for the Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) because I find the curriculum interesting and innovative. Moreover the courses give me a firm grounding in key subjects as in designing educational and training programs as well as implementing, evaluating and managing them.
The University of Athabasca’s flexible study options enabled me to balance studying with working full-time in the military industry. Due to my numerous deployments schedule online was the only way to study. To echo Aristotle’s words “the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”.
My online experience is unique and professors more than willing to support and advice. What I particularly like about the Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) is that there’s a sense of family atmosphere thanks to the forums and synchronous sessions.
I strongly recommend this program to anyone looking for high quality education with real-life examples in teaching.
Thalia Vasiliadou (MEd Teacher of Informatics)
“Concerning my experience in the MEd program, I couldn’t have been more grateful for having completed the specific program. The quality of knowledge and services was excellent and the support of my instructors throughout my studies was constant and warm. The program assisted me to acquire knowledge on different fields of distance education and taught me how to search and research. It also made me be able to form opinions and integrated proposals concerning distance education. Just to refer that a few months after having completed the program, I got a new job as an instructor of distance education principles and authoring tools! However, the most important is the fact that my studies in MEd enhanced my self esteem and gave me self confidence to participate in discussions concerning distance education and form practical solutions. I would absolutely recommend the program to professionals and I want to thank Mr.Tsinakos Avgoustos, professor of the program, for having informed me about it.”
According to Sally Brown (2005) “assessment is probably the most important thing we can do to help our students learn”. Using this statement as a starting point, I would like to express my personal opinion and experience, regarding the methods of our assessment, as a student in the Master in Distance Education in Athabasca University. I have chosen this topic, because I am totally convinced that the successful assessment practices can lead to successful learning achievements by students.
The assessment practices in the Master in Distance Education serve and supplement successfully the aim of the Master for providing high quality learning by distance and their requirements are suitable for the whole structure of the course, the deadlines and the topics of the learnt theory. Furthermore, there is facilitation offered by our instructors for asking additional time for the completion of the assignments, when we feel that the deadlines are short. This is really helpful for the students with extensive responsibilities in their everyday life and reveals some of the flexible and self-paced character of the specific Master. The grading of the assignments is always fair and based on marking rubrics, which are known to us and describe the criteria for the final grade of each assignment. The assignments are also commented with details on our errors and are accompanied with clear directions, which are very useful for us, in order to improve our performance to the following assignments. This situation reveals to me that my instructors are professionals, who have passion with their career and the learning and are willing to lay the ground for my learning development too, as they stimulate and inspire me.
Even if my experience in the Master is short, I am already convinced that I made an excellent choice for my academic development. Firstly, the schedule and the specification of the deadlines help me to arrange both my everyday responsibilities and my studying, in order to be punctual and leave nothing with loose ends. Additionally, this program is the reason behind new friendships and collaborations. The collaborative assignments and the interaction in the forums were the sources of meeting new interesting people, interact with them, exchange ideas, share problems and develop strong friendly relationships, which have gone beyond the activities of the Master, and so develop meaningfully my social skills. I had also the chance to meet and interact with eminent professors, who are always willing to lead me to the right directions, enrich my knowledge level and generally inspire me and motivate me not only for my academic but also my personal development. The final point that I would like to stand on, considering my personal growth in this program, is the APA style, which is demanded for our assignments. My partners in the assignments call me “APA GUIDE”, because I insist on APA details. This is a significant accomplishment for me, because APA taught me not only to write academically and build more structured assignments, but also to respect the artifacts of other authors, try to decode them and find the appropriate words to present their meanings. APA style develops my writing skills and my critical thinking.
I am sure that my journey will have the ideal destination! My initial experiences are very promising and inspiring. I am looking forward to the next semester and generally to the following courses!
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Being a student of the Athabasca University has been a great privilege for me. The Master of Education in Distance Education (MEd) program gave me the opportunity to explore the rapidly expanding fields of distance education and training. I feel lucky that I was able to attend courses instructed by knowledgeable experts and highly skilled leaders in a friendly academic community without dealing with barriers of time and place. I can tell that the MEd and its innovative courses combined with the up-to-date services of AU’s Center of Distance Education met my needs and added to my professional growth.
Each course offered me an in-depth understanding of various interrelated scientific fields through balanced theory-based learning and hands-on experience. Inter alia, I was given motives to conduct research, develop distance education products and services, gain management and administrative skills, work on instructional design, exploit a wide variety of educational technologies, and improve my English language fluency. Apart from studying closely the course material, the effective combination of synchronous and asynchronous delivery provided flexibility; and brought a team-centered and collaborative touch to the student-student, student-instructor, and student-content interactions.
This demanding graduate program is a valid and competitive certificate aligned with blended learning trends and lifelong learning competences, which definitely contribute to the formation of qualified professionals and academics able to seek worthwhile career opportunities and grow as well in their own working settings.
Fani Sarli (Econonmist, MBA)
I initially chose the Master of Education in Distance Education at Athabasca University for its global reputation as the future in education, for its convenience in delivering by distance education and for the high value of the Master’s degree.Studying at Athabasca University has been very challenging and academically stimulating! It really leads you to new learning paths and provides well-built interaction with vibrant learning communities from all over the world.I am very excited to belong to Athabasca’s learning community and I entirely recommend it to all people seeking best quality education to lead a better life!