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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Course Guide


Our program is designed such that a well-organized and focused student could finish in 3 years.  However, the work and life environments of our students are diverse, so anticipated completion dates may vary.  The program is designed in three phases.  

Program Map

  • Year 1 - Preparation, Methodology and Electives

    We designed the program so that you could complete your first 2 core courses and 3 electives in the first year.  Here is one possible configuration of courses, but you can decide when you would like to take your elective courses.  

    Fall - 2 courses (Sep to Dec)
    • EDUC 7001G Critical Issues in Education
    • Elective course
    Winter - 2 courses (Jan to Apr)
    • EDUC 7002G Research Perspectives and Methods
    • Elective course
    Spring/Summer  - 1 course (May to Aug)
    • Elective course
  • Year 2 - Proposal and Data Collection

    In year 2, you are preparing for your candidacy exam, therefore the Thesis Prosoal Development is critical.  Officially, you will be enrolled in 1 course, but you will be working closely with your supervisor and your peers to develop a solid thesis proposal which you will defend in your candidate exam.  In the Spring/Summer you will be working on collecting your data.

    Fall - 1 course (Sep to Dec)
    • EDUC 7003G - Thesis Proposal Development
    Winter (Jan to Apr)
    • EDUC 7100G - Candidacy Exam
    Spring/Summer (May to Aug)
    • Thesis Research (Collecting Data)
  • Year 3 - Analysis, Thesis Writing & Defense

    In year 3, you will be analyzing your data and writing your thesis, which you will defend in the Summer.

    Fall - 1 course (Sep to Dec)
    • EDUC 7004G - Analysis in the Research Process
    Winter - 1 course(Jan to Apr)
    • EDUC 7005G - Thesis Writing
    Spring/Summer  - 1 course (May to Aug)
    • EDUC 7200G - Thesis Defense

Core Courses

  • EDUC 7001G - Doctoral Seminar I: Critical Issues in Education in the Digital Age

    A doctoral−level seminar course that introduces students to the leading scholars, theories, and paradigms that have advanced the field of educational research and shaped the landscape of learning in the digital age. This course focuses on identifying, understanding, and interrogating complex problems of practice as they connect both to students’ interests and to recognized areas of needed future research. Throughout the course, students will develop awareness of the scholarly practices expected of doctoral−level research and will be introduced to a variety of cutting−edge research initiatives and innovations within and beyond our faculty.

  • EDUC 7002G - Doctoral Seminar II: Research Perspectives and Methods

    A doctoral−level seminar course that focuses on differentiating and networking various research perspectives and methods as they apply to current problems of practice and key issues in education in a digital era. The course will foster in−depth understandings of the interconnected elements of designing, developing, and analyzing research, with a particular emphasis on the uses of technology to support these processes. Throughout the course, students will collaboratively develop knowledge, skills, and experiences to support their emerging research plans.

  • EDUC 7003G - Doctoral Seminar III: Thesis Proposal Development

    This course assists students in the development of their thesis proposal, which is the focus of the candidacy exam. The candidacy examination determines if the candidate has the knowledge and expertise to undertake a thesis. The exam consists of a thesis proposal and an oral presentation, which demonstrates student mastery of the relevant background knowledge. The thesis proposal will outline a plan for an innovative research project that will make an original contribution to the field of education in a digital era. The thesis proposal outlines both research objectives and proposed methodology. This thesis proposal will contain a solid literature review that captures the depth and breadth of the current state of knowledge of the research topic, a clear statement of the research problem and a description of the intended theoretical framework and methodological approach.

  • EDUC 7004G - Doctoral Seminar IV: Analysis in the Research Process

    This course explores and emphasizes specific practices and approaches for gathering, theorizing, and analyzing research data. Students will engage in comparative analyses of various data collection traditions, conditions, and constraints during the investigation of current problems of practice and key issues in education in the digital age. The course will use a collaborative model of learning to provide students with preliminary experiences analyzing and theorizing data in support of their thesis argument, while also exposing them to issues of validity and reliability across methodological traditions.

  • EDUC 7005G - Thesis Writing

    In this course, students will develop their thesis writing in accordance with current scholarly practices and in such a manner as to be defensible to the scrutiny of external examiners or peer referees. Students will analyze different forms of professional writing for diverse audiences and will focus in particular on ways to structure, organize, and approach thesis writing. The course will explore traditional, current, and innovative formats and structures for research knowledge mobilization.

  • EDUC 7006G - Doctoral Internship (Elective Course)

    This doctoral elective course provides an opportunity for students to reflect on praxis (theory, research, policy and practice connections) while working in a supervised “on−site” research experience or field placement. This advanced-level work/research experience will take place in an authentic setting related to the student’s EdD thesis direction. The nature of the work will be negotiated as a contract to include the student’s supervisory team and may include an external supervisor who is a leader in an educational organization. Students are expected to read and research throughout the internship experience, deepening connections between theory and practice. At the conclusion of the internship, students submit a significant analysis paper.

Electives: Education and Digital Technologies

  • EDUC 5101G - Digital Tools for Constructing Knowledge

    This course critically examines research and theory on the use of digital cognitive tools for constructing knowledge. Students will explore and analyze the educational affordances of a wide range of digital tools. It is expected that students will see the ways in which specific choices of technology are associated and lead to specific learning outcomes. Specific topics that may be considered include systems of thought that favour or oppose the use of  technology in education, analysis and categorization of online digital tools and systems, and constructivist approaches to applications of technology (three credits).

  • EDUC 5102G - Educational Technology and Communication

    Technology can extend the ability of the instructor and students to communicate in educational settings. Multimedia elements of computer based instruction possess strengths and limitations as communication tools. This course examines various theories of communication and learning and their application to the multimedia world of instructional technology to traditional and non-traditional learning settings. Innovative ways of enhancing and improving educational communication are emphasized (three credits).

  • EDUC 5103G - Online Technology in Education

    This course explores the integration of online technology (e.g. synchronous and asynchronous communication, and learning management systems) into educational practice. The course focuses on issues such as the ways in which online technology enhances and inhibits learning, accessibility, reflection, social learning, cognitive processing, quality of discussion, role of educator, individual differences in use, and learning performance. Particular attention is given to the role technological developments have played in inviting educators to reconsider fundamental educational concepts (three credits).

  • EDUC 5104G - Analysis and Design of Web-Based Learning Tools

    This course allows students to investigate, analyze and design web-based learning tools. Key areas addressed include establishing an operational definition and categorization of web-based learning tools (WBLTs), exploring learning theories and instructional design principles that support the design of WBLTs, understanding the advantages and disadvantages of using WBLTs, analyzing and assessing qualities of effective WBLTs, and exploring strategies for using WBLTs. After developing a strong foundation of theory and design, students will create their own WBLTs (three credits).

  • EDUC 5105G - Technology Diffusion in Education

    In this course, technology diffusion in education is examined. Consideration is given to how teachers, learners and educational administrators promote, resist, adopt, transform, and repurpose technologies in education. The emphasis in this course is placed on information and learning technologies, but the particular case of education in the context of the general dynamics of technology diffusion, transfer and translation is considered. Information and communication technologies are understood in their broader context of use within modern society (three credits).

  • EDUC 5106G - Mental Health and Well-Being in the Digital Age
    This course will distinguish, articulate and critically assess theories and research related to mental health, well-being and technology, especially the intersection of these three areas. The primary purpose of this course is to explore mental health and well-being in the digital age by understanding the impacts of technology on mental health. This includes consideration for how we use technology to increase positive mental health, healthy development, effective education, positive social interactions, and inclusive communities. To accomplish this, the course will focus on critically examining research studies, as well as distinguishing between social myths, personal opinions and credible research. Students will explore such topics as self-identity, social relationships, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, self-regulation, stress and learning, resiliency, digital citizenship, and psychological disorders and problems (three credits).
  • EDUC 5107G - Teaching and Learning with Mobile Technologies
    More people now access the Internet via mobile devices than with traditional computers. Mobile devices are being used for entertainment and personal communication, as well as for accessing information, collaborating, and learning. Mobile learning, or mLearning, encompasses more than just delivering online learning opportunities via mobile technologies. This course will explore the definition of mobile learning, as well as its evolving roles in filling gaps in meeting formal and informal learning needs. Participants will examine issues surrounding the integration of mobile technologies and mobile learning strategies in formal education systems. They will also explore relationships between learning theories and approaches to instructional design for mobile learning, as well as a variety of available applications, and future trends in mobile learning technologies (three credits).
  • EDUC 5108G - Youth, Media and Popular Culture
    This course is positioned at the intersection of education, popular culture and youth experiences. It explores questions concerning the social construction of youth, parents and teachers; knowledge and power in schools and in media; representations of social identities; and access to particular media and technologies within social spaces. Students use theoretical and research texts to critically analyze popular media, including films, digital media (including games and music), and television shows. Inquiry will explore the complex relationships between identity, performance, representation, consumption, power, knowledge, authority and culture, with the objective of examining how schools can incorporate media and popular culture in ways that contribute to student success (three credits).

Electives: Leadership and Administration

  • EDUC 5201G - Foundations of Leadership

    Leading theorists and researchers, established and emerging theories, and trends of leadership will be examined from diverse perspectives, including critical theory perspectives. The course will focus on leadership positions and the problems, dilemmas and opportunities faced in educational, public and human-service organizations (three credits).

  • EDUC 5203G - Dynamics of Change

    This course explores major concepts that impact successful implementation of change, such as theories of change and models of change. Change theory and models, as well as components of change, will be applied to investigations of classroom, school, district and societal change. The role of culture and the roles of stakeholders will be central to this exploration. Graduate students will reflect on their roles within major educational changes. Other major concepts include the exploration of vision, mission, the institutionalization of change, and interference or resistance to change. Students will be encouraged to act as reflective practitioners and introduce materials and/or resources which connect theory, research and practice (three credits).

  • EDUC 5205G - Leadership and Technology*

    This course will explore and apply significant educational leadership principles, models in the use of technology, and the influence of information and communication technology on educational leadership. Course topics include common vision; analysis of needs; development; access and security; integration into instruction; assessment and evaluation; professional development; and infrastructure of the school system, including administrative software, community relationships, ethical legal issues and other educational policy implications. The result will be a plan of significant value to the master’s candidates’ educational technology leadership role (three credits).

    *May be counted as a Cluster 1 course.

  • EDUC 5207G - Law and Order (EDU): Legal, Ethics and Policy Issues in a Digital World

    Who owns massive open online course (MOOC) and lecture content developed by instructors? Can educators share published digital work with students? What happens when social media content is used against teachers, stripping them of their ability to teach? Who wins and who loses when Internet content is free to all? When students create Internet content, what are their rights and obligations? What happens when classroom activity is digitally recorded and shared with people outside a class? These are just a few of the contentious ethical, legal and policy issues that this course will address. Structured in a seminar format, students will participate in both identification of current and timely legal, ethical and policy issues related to digital technology, and lead seminars that unpack tensions between law/policy and ethics related to technology use in educational contexts (three credits).

Electives: Curriculum

  • EDUC 5301G - Foundations of Curriculum for the 21st Century

    The aim of this course is to research and explore the historical and theoretical aspects of curriculum for the 21st century. Students will review the major curricular themes in the literature (both past and present), explore a framework for thinking about curriculum change for the 21st century, and develop critical and analytical skills appropriate to the scholarly discussion of curriculum. Students will also apply informed theory to their own contexts of practice. The course is participatory and practice-based (entailing critical reflection on curriculum practice), responsive and collaborative (focusing on the particular contexts and interests of participants) and critical (entailing constructive critique of education and other values and assumptions that inform curriculum policy, organization and practice) (three credits).

  • EDUC 5302G - Curriculum Planning and Implementation

    This course defines and illustrates practical methods for completing important curriculum development tasks such as identifying appropriate course and unit objectives; developing useful growth schemes; developing effective teaching techniques; and constructing practical assessment strategies. Particular attention is given to problem-solving skills. Instructional changes associated with elementary and secondary school reform are examined. Examples will be negotiated and may include such innovations as curriculum integration, teaching for deep understanding, reciprocal teaching, authentic assessment, co-operative learning, self-directed learning, and computer-mediated instruction. Theoretical foundations, research findings, implementation issues, and implications for other reform dimensions (restructuring, re-culturing, and retiming) are explored for each approach selected (three credits).

  • EDUC 5303G - Technology and the Curriculum*

    This course involves an examination of the theoretical underpinnings and practical questions concerning the educational use of technology in a constructivist learning environment. The pedagogical application of technology includes the implementation of computers and other instructional technologies for teaching and learning such as video and audio multimedia (e.g. film, audio recordings, television). The focus is on developing a critical perspective regarding the use of technology in educational contexts that relates and looks forward to the articulation of an ethics of teaching practice. Topics representative of technology and education issues are selected from the following theories and definitions of technology: implications of various modes of technology contexts for models of teaching and learning practice; evaluating the use of multimedia resources for educational contexts (e.g., Internet, software, video and audio recordings, and television); technology, diversity, and educational equity; articulating an ethics of teaching practice with respect to the educational use of technology, computer-mediated learning, telecommunications and multimedia resources; online teaching and learning; the use of virtual environments for educational purposes; problems of classroom integration; and computer support for professional development and administration (three credits). 

    *May be counted as a Cluster 1 course.

  • EDUC 5304G - Digital Literacy: Theory, Practice, and Research*

    Postmodern literacies have proliferated in response to the rapid expansion of digital technologies and network interconnectivity in the 21st century. The kinds of texts produced for and by the current knowledge economy are artifacts of digital rather than industrial technologies; these technologies have had considerable impact on how people read and write. This course examines what we have learned about the impact of digital technologies to this point with a view to understanding what it means to be literate in a digital age. We consider the continuing overlap of pre-print, print and post-print forms within the larger history of literacy artifacts. We consider the effect of word processors, hypermedia, and the Web 2.0 on writing and reading practices, and we experiment with emerging web-based social software such as wikis and weblogs. From legal boundaries of who owns what words in cyberspace to recognizing new orthographies, new identities, new contexts for learning and new poetics in digital contexts, we explore the various socio-political and educational aspects of digital communications technologies (three credits).

    *May be counted as a Cluster 1 course.

  • EDUC 5305G - Authentic Assessment

    The ultimate goal of this course is to enable educators to help their students to be able to think about their own learning processes. Authentic assessment is not about final exams and bell curves. The focus of this course is to research, analyze, and apply a variety of assessment techniques and applications that are based on the notion that people learn most effectively when they are able to relate what they are learning to their previous knowledge. Assessment is defined within the context of simulating authentic life-related tasks. Young children and adolescents also need to understand their own thought processes through self and peer assessment if they are to see their own growth potential and develop self motivation and self-esteem. Graduate students in this course learn key principles of authentic assessment and how to differentiate among assessments (such as criterion-referenced and norm-referenced.) They apply theory to examine underlying issues concerning high stakes standardized testing. As they study how to create more effective rubrics and objective test items, they think critically about how to better assess their students’ academic development. By the end of the course, participants understand the differences between assessment for learning and assessment of learning (three credits).

Electives: Adult Education

  • EDUC 5401G - Introduction to Adult Education and Higher Education

    The purpose of this course is to survey fundamental concepts and issues in the field of adult education within the current digital context. Students will examine a variety of literature and engage in discussions that allow an exploration of broad topics in adult education and digital technology. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the adult learner in a digital age; contexts, problems, and issues in adult education; teaching in an adult learning environment; and the use of digital technologies in adult education (three credits).

  • EDUC 5402G - The Adult Learner in a Digital Age

    The purpose of this course is to explore the characteristics of the current adult learner and the general principles underlying adult learning in the digital age. Students will develop and demonstrate an understanding of major theories of adult learning. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the cognitive, social, and emotional makeup of the adult learner, the nature of self-directed and transformative learning experiences, the role of reflection in professional practice, and the challenges associated with using digital technologies (three credits).

  • EDUC 5404G - Teaching in an Adult Learning Environment

    The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of pedagogical approaches designed to meet the current and future needs of the adult learner. Students will analyze current models of teaching and adapt these strategies and approaches to specific topics, courses, and contexts that are relevant to the adult learner. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, case study analysis, scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education, and course planning and implementation (three credits). 

  • EDUC 5405G - Digital Technologies in Adult Education*

    The purpose of this course is to analyze and evaluate the potential of a variety of present and cutting edge digital technologies when used by adults for the purpose of learning. Students will challenge themselves to explore unfamiliar digital technologies and their application to learning outcomes for their professional and personal lives. Topics include, but are not limited to, the use of digital technologies for communication purposes, social interaction, collaboration, information access and creation, and information processing (three credits). 

    *May be counted as a Cluster 1 course.

Electives: Special Topics

  • EDUC 5199G - Critical Making

    As part of the “Maker Movement,” makerspaces and makerfaires have gained international popularity as places in which people can engage in informal learning, usually with digital technology. Originally developed in the spirit of anti-consumerist, hands-on production, the maker movement has mutated in to corporatized makerspaces and critical making movements. Critical Making involves investigating how hands-on productive work -- making -- can supplement and extend critical reflection on technology and society." In this course, students explore critical making as a form of digital pedagogy in formal and informal education settings. This course focuses on critical making, as digital pedagogy and applies “remix” as an analytic framework. Remixing may include (but is not limited to) prototyping, reverse-engineering, hardware hacking and circuit bending, design fiction, and policy or social analysis. The resulting "Zombie Media" resurrect and repurpose digital objects and remix practices to uncover novel connections and new meanings across sources.

    The course has three primary goals: 1) to critically explore the social issues inherent in critical making and constructionist pedagogies; 2) to acquaint students with some of the affordances and constraints of new physical and ubiquitous digital technologies; and 3) to help students develop basic skills in designing, making, and/or evaluating educational uses of these new pedagogies and technologies.

  • EDUC 5199G - Emerging Issues in Higher Education

    Emerging issues in higher education are active points of controversy, policy debate, change, stress, and development. Studying emerging issues helps us to understand the underlying structures, forces, and patterns within systems. In this course we will begin with some instructor defined issues, but the sequencing and the choice of some issues will consider student input. Potential issues in this course include: academic freedom, skills and the curriculum, learning outcomes, the differences and similarities between colleges and universities, the structural boundaries between colleges and universities, academic professions, casualization, teaching quality development at college and university, identity politics, managerialism, collegial governance, accountability, equity, and accessibility.

  • EDUC 5199G - Equity and Access in Online Spaces
    In this course, we will interrogate our implicit and explicit assumptions about equity and access in online spaces. We will build an understanding of our own implicit biases and then use the framework of anti-deficit narratives to frame our analyses of the digital divide. Topics explored in this course include democracy, conscientization, and critical consciousness in the Age of Information; four dimensions of equity: access, achievement, identity and power; the digital divide; and digital activism with specific reference to social dialogue through social media as a special case of digital activism. We will anchor our interrogation in research and our own experiences.
  • EDUC 5199G - Digital Privacy Leadership and Policy

    This graduate course examines research, policy and educational practices surrounding digital privacy and online learning in education. As more students move online, and as education involves greater use of digital elements, more critical analysis of the digital privacy risks to students and educators is needed, as well as new policies and practices at the local, institutional and national levels. Students will critically analyze international research to gain awareness of how different jurisdictions are responding to issues such as the potential loss of privacy and control over their personal information. Students will employ critical policy analysis to examine legislative and policy responses to the issue of the protection of students’ and educators’ digital privacy when they are online and/or using cloud-based applications for educational purposes. Policy analysis involves the identification of an important issue and the examination of the roles that key stakeholders can play in determining the policy formation and implementation. Policy analysis can also be critical as it identifies policy gaps and assesses the implications of policies. This course will also include predictive elements to consider emerging privacy issues including digital futures, policy alternatives, evolving practices and directions that encourage digital leadership in education.

  • EDUC 5199G - Learning to Teach in an Online World

    Successfully teaching online requires more than just putting a course in an online environment. Educators must apply a range of knowledge and skills related to the use of technology to plan and facilitate learning. They must also carefully consider the contexts, constraints and needs of their learners, programs, organizations and broader stakeholder communities. Participants in this course will explore some of the theories, models, concepts and tools that form the current foundations of designing, teaching and learning in an online environment. Participants will then apply proven strategies, tools and techniques to develop and teach a short online module on a topic  of their choosing. A participant who successfully completes this course will be able to apply theories, models, strategies and tools towards the delivery of an online teaching module.

  • EDUC 5199G - Play, Language and Learning

    What is play? What is it for children? What role do adults have in children’s play? What is the relationship between play, inquiry and learning? These questions are central to this course and will be explored from the point of view of a variety of theorists like Piaget, Csikszentmihalyi, Vygotsky, Whitebread, and Fleer. We will examine different international perspectives where we compare regions and begin to make sense of play and culture. We will think about the relationship between play and inquiry and look specifically at play in relation to curricular topics such as literacy, mathematics and science. In addition, we will consider how to approach play, language and learning in an online world.

  • EDUC 5199G - Social Media and Education

    Social media has evolved and expanded over the past decade, and these remain popular connective, collaborative, and sharing platforms, especially among youth. The merging of technology into education has involved questioning if social media has a place in the classroom. There will be critical investigation around ideas related to pedagogical understanding of the platforms, along with further inquiry on youth’s use of social media and how it can cultivate skills. This course will explore social media specifically as it relates to global competencies and skills, also referred to as 21st Century Skills. Students will have opportunities to use social media and web-based platforms for experiential environments. The students will analyse and evaluate various ideas relating to social media in education, specifically the effects, the challenges, the benefits, and the possibilities for global citizenship. Reinforcement and learning will converge in academic readings, webinars, and online meetings, as well as on social media platforms. 

  • EDUC 5199G - Trauma Informed Education
    This graduate course focuses on the relationship between trauma and learning in educational institutions. Many students in Canada have or will experience trauma that directly affects their development, learning, and educational experiences (Mental Health Commission of Canada, 2014). It is important to understand the various forms of trauma people may experience such as domestic violence, war, injury, victimization, and even digital trauma such as cyberbullying or violent media exposure. Graduate students will explore current research related to how trauma effects the learning process, including impairments to memory, information processing, motivation, and self-efficacy.  With this foundational knowledge, students will then examine how to create trauma informed and responsive classrooms and teaching pedagogies. Trauma informed approaches in education seek to reduce re-traumatization, create a safe place for learning, and use effective teaching strategies to promote student success. A key theme explored in this course is how technologies can be used to create trauma responsive educational practices. The course takes a ‘research to practice’ approach whereby students are encouraged to pick a population of interest and design evidence based trauma informed practices for their setting. ​
  • EDUC 5199G - Writing for Academic Success

    This course covers major academic writing principles and techniques that enable student success in graduate studies as well as some professional writing skills. With a case-based instructional approach, this course critically analyzes, including but not limited to, academic perspective papers, research reports, research grant proposals, scholarship applications, curriculum content writing. A series of writing projects will help students improve their writing skills.

  • EDUC 5501G - Directed Studies

    Faculty permission may be given for supervised research projects, individual study or directed readings in a specialized area not covered in the regular course offerings. Students wishing to pursue a course of directed studies must, with a qualified faculty member who is willing to supervise such a course, formulate a proposal accurately describing the course title, learning goals, content, reading list, course activities and schedule; the intended method and extent of supervision; and the method by which work will be evaluated. This course may be only taken once (three credits).