Online Courses and Flexible Program Options

Three Routes to an M.Ed. Degree

We are often asked, "How much of the Educational Technology and Design M.Ed. program can be taken online?"

The short answer is, "All of it".

We try to build as much flexibility into our program as we possibly can, but the program wasn't initially built as a distance education program -- rather, it was built as a flexible program that offers a number of delivery options. However you design your program, we encourage you to be in regular contact with us and your classmates; a professional community of practice will certainly be an important feature of what you take away from our program of study. We would be happy to try to build a program that will offer a good experience for you.

Required Courses

This is a list of the Required Courses (21 c.u.) common to all program streams in ETAD.
Thesis-based, Project-based or Course-based.

  • ETAD 802.6: Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology
  • ETAD 803.3: Multimedia Design for Learning
  • ETAD 804.3: Designing for Distance Learning
  • ETAD 873.3: Instructional Design
  • ECUR 809.3: Models and Methods for Evaluation of Educational Programs
  • ERES 800.3: Research Methods Introductory
  • GSR 960: Introduction to Ethics and Integrity
  • ECUR 990: Seminar in Curriculum Research

The information in the tabs below indicates the differences between course requirements for the three program streams.

Thesis-based Program Stream

  • Required courses (21 c.u.) 
  • Plus the ETAD 994: (Thesis)

Project-based Program Stream

  • Required courses (21 c.u.) 
  • ETAD 992: (Project)

Plus a Minimum of 3 c.u. electives chosen from the following:

  • ETAD 874.3: Advanced Instructional Design
  • ECUR 810.3: Design and Practice of Evaluation of Educational Programs
  • ECUR 805.3: Trends and Issues in Curriculum Research and Development
  • ETAD 877.3: Video Design for Learning
  • ETAD 879.6: Advanced Video Design for Learning
  • ETAD 898.3 Special Topics or ECMM 899.6: Special Topics

Course-based Program Stream

  • Required courses (21 c.u.) 
  • ETAD 991: (Portfolio)

Plus a Minimum of 6 c.u. electives chosen from the following:

  • ETAD 874.3: Advanced Instructional Design
  • ECUR 810.3: Design and Practice of Evaluation of Educational Programs
  • ECUR 805.3: Trends and Issues in Curriculum Research and Development
  • ETAD 877.3: Video Design for Learning
  • ETAD 879.6: Advanced Video Design for Learning
  • ETAD 898.3 Special Topics or ECMM 899.6: Special Topics

Program Planning Outline

Sometime early in your program, you need to file your program with Graduate Studies and Research. To do this, you need to first think about all of the courses you would like to take that will comprise your program, and then discuss your ideas with your program advisor. You can download a pdf file of the program planning form  or a Word document to fill out and print.

Class Descriptions

ETAD 802.6 / Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Educational Technology (Online option) - Examines the historical, philosophical and theoretical foundations of the field of educational technology. Focuses on the maturation of theory and research in this area of study, and the impact of educational technology on educational institutions and practices. View past ECMM/ETAD 802 term papers

ERES 800.3 / Research Methods (Online option) - Introduction to research methods, with special reference to research in education. The basic principles of research, both qualitative and quantitative, are discussed. Skills necessary for the production of research proposals are developed, eg: techniques for surveying the research literature, and the collection and analysis of data.

ETAD 803.3 / Multimedia Design for Learning (weekend-monthly) - Presents procedures and principles for planning, producing and evaluating computer-based instruction, and how to develop the necessary support materials required for its implementation.

ETAD 804.3 / Distance Educaton Theory and Practice (Online option) - Examines the historical and theoretical foundations of distance education from a provincial, national and international perspective. Surveys the development, organization and practice of distance education for various educational endeavours. Focuses specifically on distance education in Saskatchewan and compares the Saskatchewan situation with similar situations across Canada.

ECUR 805.3 / Current Topics in Educational Technology and Design (Online option) - A guided, self-directed learning experience on current issues in educational communications and technology resulting in a paper or project suitable for publication.

ETAD 809.3 / Models and Methods for Evaluation of Educational Programs (Online option) - Examines current models for the evaluation of educational programs. The emphasis is on exploring the range of options which is available to the program evaluator and on developing an awareness of the strengths and limitations of the models. Problems in carrying out educational evaluations are also studied: examples of such problems are the utilization of evaluation results and the ethics of evaluation.

ETAD 810.3 / Design and Practice of Evaluation of Educational Programs (Online option) - Takes the methods of evaluating educational programs and applies them to practical situations in educational contexts. Particular attention will be paid to developing an awareness of the breadth of available techniques and to understanding the practical problems which arise in the conduct of evaluations.

ETAD 873.3 / Instructional Design (Online option) - An applied course in which the principles of instructional design are used to address learning problems. Students do a major project in which they plan and implement a learning module in a medium of their choice.

ETAD 874.3 / Advanced Approaches to Instructional Design (Online option) - Students learn and apply advanced concepts and approaches in instructional design including: project management, client processes, and usability procedures. Students complete an entire development process, from meeting clients and creating a design plan through product testing.

ETAD 877.3 / Video Design for Learning - Allows students to explore video design and production. Students script, direct, produce and edit digital video projects. This highly individualized course gives the student wide latitude and flexibility in content, technique and production time.

ETAD 879.6/ Advanced Video Design for Learning- Investigates development of video in education and its design for learning, including the critical analysis and understanding of video production, direction and script writing. Students undertake major projects to produce digital online learning products.

ETAD 898.3 or 899.6 Individual Reading and Study (Online option) - In order to provide an opportunity for individual study in an area of the student's own interest, a number of individual studies are offered. Each calls for intensive reading or a curriculum project under the guidance of a faculty supervisor. A paper is required. A proposal, representing a contract for the extent and nature of the work to be done, must be approved by an EdCmm faculty member and at least one other faculty member in the College of Education. The committee typically conducts and oral defence of the completed work.

ECUR 990.0 / Research Seminar (Online option) - A non-credit seminar for graduate students in Curriculum Studies conducted by the Graduate Program Advisor in Curriculum Studies.

ETAD 991.3 / Scholarship in Teaching (online option)
Students will demonstrate their scholarship in teaching and learning through developing a comprehensive, detailed, and coherent collection of academic and professional work. The collected work will be organized and represented through the use of an electronic portfolio and will include any variety and combination of media (e.g., text, electronic files, images, video, multimedia products, blog entries, and other appropriate resources). The e-portfolio will provide documented and organized evidence tied to learning outcomes (developmental), personal reflection and articulation of meaning (reflective) and will showcase learners' achievements in relation to particular work or learning goals (representational). A final public presentation documenting both the professional development process and the terminal product will provide a superior capstone outcome, one underscoring the critical skill of effectively and coherently communicating such a compiled work.

ETAD 992.6 / Project (Online option) - Development project which is required on the non-thesis option for the M.Ed. Each project calls for intensive reading, under the guidance of a staff supervisor. The proposal for the project, and the oral defence, will be processed by a committee constituted in the same fashion as for a thesis committee, with the exception that there will not be an external examiner of the work.

EDCUR 994 / Research for Thesis - A student undertaking research leading to a Master's thesis must register in this course each year until the thesis is completed (applies to thesis work done extramurally as well as intramurally).

GSR 960.0 / Introduction to Ethics and Integrity (Online) - This is an online tutorial class on research ethics that is required of every graduate student at the University of Saskatchewan. It is a non-credit experience that requires only a few hours to complete.

Optional Courses within the College

External electives may be 800 level courses taken in the areas of :

  • Curriculum Studies
  • Educational Administration
  • Educational Foundations  
    - Continuing Education
    - Indian and Northern Education
    - Global Focus
  • Educational Psychology & Special Education

Project or Thesis

The final component of your program is either a master's project (ETAD 992.6) or a master's thesis (ETAD 994.12). If your career plans or interests include further academic study or a career in higher education, you might consider writing a thesis rather than a project. In most programs you can qualify for admission to a doctoral program with either a project or a thesis, but the thesis will give you better preparation for conducting doctoral research. If your plans are to use the M.Ed. as a terminal degree (your last one) for salary or personal purposes, another option could be the course-based program, which includes ECUR 991.3 as a culminating activity in which you design a complete professional portfolio to synthesize and demonstrate what you have learned in the program.

In the program, we do not have a preference for one program route over another. You should make your decision to undertake the portfolio, project, or thesis based on your own interests and professional aspirations.

A project allows you to create a product that demonstrates your mastery of design and development principles and skills. Generally speaking, the project can be used as the centerpiece of your professional portfolio if you are looking for a position as a practitioner or manager in instructional design or educational technology.

Project Proposal Guidelines

The following outline is intended to give you an idea of what should be included in a typical proposal for a master's project, not to prescribe the specific content of your proposal. You can and should make necessary changes and additions to describe your proposed project clearly, concisely, and thoroughly to your committee.

We recommend that you develop a one or two page précis of your intentions and share it with your project supervisor before writing an entire project proposal.

1. Statement of Intent

  • Describe the product you will build.
  • Describe the need for the product.

Questions you may address in the Statement of Intent:

  • Is it useful?
  • Has a client identified a need?
  • Is the product innovative?
  • Does the product have significance in the field?
  • Does the product demonstrate the an approach of theoretical interest?
  • Describe the main components and people involved in the product.
  • Who is the client?
  • Are there any potential funding agencies?
  • Is there a design team?
  • What roles do team members play?

2. Supporting Literature and Information

  • Describe the key variables you must consider to complete your product.
  • Discuss what key literature says about your topic and your approach to it.
  • Describe the model of instructional design you are following
  • Contextual variables? (schools, businesses, commercial entities, universities, technical institutes, homes)
  • Design variables?
  • Learner/user variables?
  • Usability testing and formative evaluation strategies?

3. Production Blueprint

  • What needs to be done in what sequence?
  • Time lines for completing each step?
  • Human resources and committee support required?
  • Client approvals required and how you will obtain them?
  • Copyright issues and release forms?
  • Equipment/software needed and access you may require?
  • Financial resources required and the plan for acquiring them?
  • Media releases, permission forms and ethics committee approval?

The thesis allows you to demonstrate your skills in research. You will plan, conduct and report a significant study that contributes to our understanding of the theory or practice of educational technology. It may replicate or extend earlier research on a topic, and it will be held to rigorous professional standards for conducting the research and writing the thesis.

Some examples of thesis topics in Educational Technology and Design include:

  • Visual Design Factors in Web Design
  • Computer Education, Gender and Research
  • Teachers' Experiences with Technology: Tales from the Field
  • Students' Experiences with Technology: Tales from the Field Distance
  • Education Technology and the Teaching/Learning Process
  • The Role of the Teacher Librarian
  • Effect Usability Testing on Literative Product Development
  • Distance Education and Communications Technology at the University of Saskatchewan

The College of Graduate Studies and Research publishes a booklet called "Guide for the Preparation of a Thesis" available online, or from the University of Saskatchewan Bookstore. CGSR has also prepared a pamphlet called "Guidelines for Various Parties involved in Graduate Student Project and Thesis Research" which is available at the College of Graduate Studies and Research. We recommend you acquire both of these useful documents before writing a thesis proposal.

Thesis Guidelines

Guidelines for Preparation of a Thesis - College of Graduate Studies and Research