Master of Distance Education and E-learning: Distance Education Technology

Distance Education Technology (DETC) Specialization

Acquire the education you need to effectively manage essential technology-related aspects of the distance education program development, including setting up appropriate technology configurations, selecting tools, media integration, course design, and development.

This specialization builds on the core course – OMDE 603 Technology in Distance Education – which gives grounding in the relevant history pertaining to media and technology in distance education. The course sets a framework guiding the appropriate technology choice. The specialization builds on that with two further specialized courses providing an in depth understanding of both asynchronous and synchronous technologies.

Note that:

  • The goal of the MDE program is to educate managers and leaders in the field of distance education not specialists in technology.
  • The objective of the technology specialization is to train managers who manage technology related aspects of distance education program development, including setting up appropriate technology configurations, selecting tools, managing the technology related aspect of media integration, course design, and development. However, the manager should also be critically aware of the intricate relationship of globalization and ICT’s (Information and Communication Technologies) which exert a considerable influence in reshaping distance education.

Career Path

The MDE is a post-graduate program. The overall mission of the program is to educate leaders and managers of distance education and e-learning – a rapidly developing and expanding field.

The professional profile itself is developing and, consequently, job titles are often generic (such as 'program director'). One needs to read a job description to find out the necessary details about the tasks and job requirements.

Many graduates bring with them competencies from their first degree and professional experience on which they may want to build. For example, some graduates with a technical background, may find that the MDE provides just the 'added value' to qualify them as a technical director in a training institution. Such a position would not be available to all MDE graduates, nor would the position be available without the MDE (or an equivalent degree). The careers available for the MDE graduates and their level may also depend on prior experiences and qualifications. (It may, however, be the case that a MDE graduate of the policy and management specialization who has prior specialist ICT competencies may be eligible as technical director.)

The Master of Distance Education and E-learning program serves a number of careers at mid-, or high-level positions, depending on the prior level of experience of the candidate.

Distance Education Technology

Graduates of the distance education technology specialization, depending on their background, can find positions such as:

  • Technical director (for example, involved in setting up the appropriate technology configuration; has a profound understanding of the technology options combined with an awareness of pedagogical objectives)
  • Production manager (for example, supervises and guides course development processes and media integration; awareness of what is technically feasible and what is pedagogically intended, is necessary, and bears on the management of the development and production process)
  • Technical expert/advisor/consultant (for example, advises setting up distance education centers or courses; evaluates the efficiency and appropriateness of technology configurations; works as consultant for international organizations on aspects of technology/media choice)
  • Coordinator of online instruction (for example, advises on the instructional design, the functionalities of the learning and content management systems, and the setting up of the faculty and student support systems)
  • Online course support specialist (for example, creates shells for online course development; faculty support; maintains critical data and course information)



Students who wish to improve their graduate writing skills may take COMM 600, Academic Writing for Graduate Students (3).

Core Rules

  • OMDE 601 must be taken in the first semester.

Core Required Courses

UCSP 615* Orientation to Graduate Studies at UMUC (0), to be taken within the first 6 credits of study.

  • OMDE 601 Foundations of Distance Education and E-learning (3) (Must be taken as the first course)
  • OMDE 603 Technology in Distance Education and E-learning (3)
  • OMDE 610 Teaching and Learning in Online Distance Education (3)
  • OMDE 606 Costs and Economics of Distance Education and E-learning (3)
  • OMDE 608 Learner Support in Distance Education and Training (3)

Distance Education Technology (DETC) Specialization Required Courses

  • DETT 607 Instructional Design and Course Development in Distance Education and E-learning (3)
  • DETC 630 Emerging Technology Trends and Issues in Distance Education and E-learning (3)
  • DETC 620 Training and Learning with Multimedia (3)
  • DEPM 604 Leadership in Distance Education and E-learning (3)
  • DEPM 625 Distance Education, Globalization, and Development (3)
  • IMAT 639 Internet Multimedia Applications (3)
Capstone Course

OMDE 670 Portfolio and Project in Distance Education and E-learning (3)

Note: Some course titles and numbers were revised beginning with the fall 2007 semester. If you began your program prior to fall 2007 and have chosen to follow the pre-fall 2007 curriculum, please refer to the pre-fall 2007 Study Plan to determine your degree requirements.

* The UCSP 615 requirement may be waived if you previously earned a graduate degree from a regionally accredited institution. For more information, contact your academic advisor.

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