Online EdD Programs in Education Technology and E-Learning

Online EdD programs with a concentration in Education Technology and E-Learning prepare students to manage e-learning initiatives at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. New forms of education technology not only enable people to take online classes, but also complete entire degree programs online. With these developments come new job opportunities in e-learning administration, leadership, curriculum development, and more.

EdD programs with a specialization in Education Technology and E-Learning focus on how education technology can enhance the learning process for students of all ages. These programs cover topics such as incorporating educational technologies into campus-based courses (including college classes and K-12 curricula), the creation of online education programs (including managing the transition of on-campus course content to online formats), and training faculty in online course delivery methods. They may also include coursework in using learning management systems and online course modules to engage students, managing internship and practicum placements for online programs, evaluating education outcomes for online learning programs, and improving on programs accordingly.

Curriculum for Online EdD Programs in Education Technology and E-Learning

EdD programs typically require the completion of 40 to 70 credits over the course of 3 to 5 years of study. Students usually progress through a sequence of core courses before progressing to specialization courses, electives, and dissertation-related classes. Core courses for all EdD programs tend to cover the fundamental principles of teaching and learning, educational program development and improvement, and the creation of communities of learning. Examples of these courses may include:

  • The American Education System: A description of the American education system at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and the standards of educational attainment for students at every academic stage. The political and economic factors at the local, state, and national levels that affect students’ educational attainment. Students discuss major issues in the American education system, their origins, and how to resolve them.
  • Theories of Learning for the Child and Adolescent: The methods and principles for teaching children from infancy through adolescence and supporting their cognitive, emotional, linguistic, and social development. How teachers, parents, educational administrators, and students can collaborate to meet students’ learning objectives.
  • Theories of Learning for the Adult: The principles and practices necessary to support adults’ cognitive development, creativity, and obtainment of knowledge and skills across different academic and professional environments. How to instruct adults in individual and group contexts, encourage team-building, and promote intellectual growth and engagement in adult students.
  • Organizational Leadership in Educational Settings: How institutions of education (e.g. primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, school districts, college consortiums, education accreditation organizations, etc.) are organized and how different departments within these organizations work together to achieve goals. How to engage different groups (e.g. young students, adult students, working professionals, etc.) in different types of learning, establish educational standards, and encourage teaching as a form of leadership.

After completing their core classes, students progress to e-learning and educational technology-specific courses, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Online Education Program Development and Assessment: How to develop and evaluate online education programs by identifying students’ learning needs, creating curricula and other programming that addresses those needs, facilitating student-instructor engagement through different forms of synchronous and asynchronous instruction, creating support systems for students and faculty, and conducting surveys and examinations to test online learning outcomes.
  • Advancements in E-Learning Technologies: The latest developments in education technology and e-learning, and their applications in different academic and professional contexts, including K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and corporate settings.
  • Leadership and Administration in Education Technology: The principles of educational leadership and administration and how to apply them to online education program development and implementation. How to manage student and faculty needs in the context of larger class sizes and course delivery via online learning platforms. How to support students individually and as part of a larger student community in online classes and online programs.
  • Research in Educational Technology: Analysis of past and current research that has been conducted on the development, implementation, and efficacy of online learning programs. How to design and conduct one’s own research project in education technology and e-learning, document and analyze the results, and apply them to practice.

In addition to courses in their specialization, students of e-learning and education technology EdD programs may be able to take courses in education that interest them but are not in their major. These electives may be from a different EdD specialization offered in the same program, or be education-related courses from different departments within the same school or even from a different university (students should always check with school officials to see if courses from another school can transfer into their current degree program). Examples of elective courses may include:

  • Diversity and Multiculturalism: How to foster an acceptance of diversity and multiculturalism in community settings, including academic and professional environments. How to create curricula and education programming around tolerance of difference, and how to promote the development of student and professional communities that are diverse.
  • Effective Communication and Team-Building: The principles of effective communication in both writing and speech, and how to apply them to different teaching and learning situations. Fostering positive team dynamics across different contexts, and the necessary skills for effective collaboration and communication in a variety of settings.

In the latter half of their program, EdD students are typically required to complete a dissertation, which is a capstone research project that examines a problem in the educational system, investigates its origins and effects, and proposes various solutions to this problem. Students receive academic credit for their independent work on their dissertation, which is often supervised by a faculty member serving as a research mentor. Students may also attend a dissertation seminar, during which they discuss their ideas for their project with peers and faculty.

For more information about the dissertation component of online EdD programs, please refer to our Dissertation and Research Requirements for EdD Programs resource page.

Prospective students should note that online EdD programs can vary in terms of their structure and format, for more information, please refer to our Structure of Online EdD Programs resource page.

Career Paths for Graduates of EdD Programs in Education Technology and E-Learning

EdD programs in Education Technology and E-Learning provide students with the knowledge of educational systems, organizational leadership, online learning technologies, and e-learning curriculum development to optimize education outcomes for students in K-12 education settings as well as higher education. Examples of jobs for graduates of these types of programs include but are not limited to:

  • Deans of Online Programs at Colleges and Universities: Graduates of EdD programs in education technology and e-learning may work as college and university deans, specifically in the online education departments for different schools. A dean’s responsibilities may include developing and supervising the delivery of online classes for a particular program, overseeing faculty instruction and student learning outcomes, supporting faculty research and professional development, and managing non-curricular programming for online students and teachers.
  • Primary or Secondary School Principals: School principals oversee the daily operations of one or more schools by coordinating teacher schedules and student curricula, supervising teachers and other school personnel and supporting their professional development, managing school budgets in collaboration with other office staff, and upholding any state educational standards. Principals who have training in education technology and e-learning may be able to incorporate more technological advancements into their schools’ curricula and extracurricular programming.
  • Online Education Researcher: Education researchers can work for non-profit education advocacy organizations or research universities, and typically conduct research that identifies issues and areas for improvement within systems of education. EdD graduates who specialize in education technology may investigate such topics as the use of e-learning technologies in K-12 settings and its effect on student learning, and education outcomes of online education programs versus campus-based programs.
  • CEOs and Executive Managers of Education Companies and Non-Profits: Executives of companies and non-profit organizations that focus on education oversee their organization’s daily operations with the goal of improving education outcomes for certain student demographics. Education non-profits can engage in the online education space through the creation and dissemination of online course content (ex. massive open online courses) and the development of other e-learning initiatives. CEOs and managers of these non-profit organizations may have responsibilities such as overseeing online education projects and initiatives that improve learning outcomes for students both directly and indirectly, managing partnerships with other education organizations, and increasing public awareness of education-related issues.