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BA (ESDT) Adult Education and Digital Technology

 The faculty of Education offers a Bachelor of Arts in Educational Studies and Digital Technology with a specialization in  Adult Education and Digital Technology. This fully online pathways (advanced entry) program designed for students who have completed a two-year Ontario college diploma or equivalent.  Our unique online format uses virtual classrooms to maximize interaction, collaboration and community building. You may pursue this program on a part-time or full-time basis.   The key focus of this program is to explore digital lifelong learning and the design of engaging learning spaces. We invite you to explore our rich collection of courses.

As a graduate from our program, you will learn how to:

  • Apply theoretical and practical knowledge of educational planning, delivery and assessment across the life span.
  • Design learning strategies that focus on authentic, meaningful and workplace-applicable activities.
  • Analyze the social and psychological issues that shape learning in a digital era.
  • Critically evaluate how technology fits with modes of learning.
  • Develop specialized knowledge and competency in the use of digital technology to support lifelong learning.
The Adult Education and Digital Technology specialization:

  • Is conducted fully-online, using virtual classrooms to maximize interaction, collaboration and community building. This flexible format allows you to study from anywhere in the world and to pursue your studies part-time.
  • Prepares graduates for careers in human resources (HR) management, and for education and training in industrial, commercial, and non-profit and community sectors.
  • Leverages the potential of digital technology in a wide range of education contexts.
  • Provides an intensive study of educational theories and practices for those interested in kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education employment opportunities beyond the formal public educational system.
  • Capitalizes on the recent success of Pathways programs, allowing qualified students to obtain both a college diploma and a university degree while decreasing the time required for completion.
  • Offers adult educators in the corporate and government sectors opportunities for professional development and advancement in adult education and HR development.
What is the online course structure?

The Adult Education and Digital Technology specialization is offered fully online using virtual classrooms to maximize interaction, collaboration and community building. In each semester, one of the required courses will be offered. A typical 36-hour (three-credit) course is 12 weeks long and typically includes:

  • Two to three video clips per week, each of them six to eight minutes long, and associated readings available online.
  • Online synchronous tutorials in Adobe Connect (60 minutes) moderated by a teaching assistant or Instructor and drawing on the analysis and synthesis questions posed in the video clip as the starting point for discussion.
  • Online discussions in a learning management system such as Blackboard or other asynchronous tools.
  • Work on problem-based learning (PBL) with a collaborative team.

Each student is expected to actively participate in the tutorial sessions by using their webcam and microphone, since it is easier to understand the ideas communicated by others when their facial expressions and body language can be seen, rather than just listening to them.

How many courses do I need to complete the program?

If you are granted 60 credits from your previous diploma program, you will need to complete an additional 60 credits (20 courses) to obtain your Bachelor of Arts Degree. You may complete these courses on a part-time basis. Courses are scheduled to allow students to work and pursue their degrees.

What technology do I need to participate?

Students require access to a computer, preferably a laptop, with these minimum characteristics:

  • A combination headset/microphone (external speakers are not acceptable as they tend to cause feedback noise).
  • High-speed Internet access (download speed should be greater than 2.0mbps and upload speed should be greater than 0.6mbps).
  • Video capabilities with either a built-in or external compatible WebCam.
What software do I need to participate?

Your courses will make use of open-source software packages as much as possible. Each course instructor may also require the use of course-speaker software.

Basic software required includes:

  • Operating system: Windows 10 or newer, or MacOS X 10.6x or newer.
  • Web browser: Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Microsoft Edge.
  • Office software: Microsoft Office, Open Office or Google Docs (presentation application, spreadsheet capability and word processing).
How do I participate in the online virtual classroom?

You will also need to use Adobe Connect, a free browser-based video confering software. This program allows you to actively participate, real-time, in a virtual classroom.

What computer skills do I need?

Students must possess a minimum technical skill set that allows them to use the necessary technology used in their courses. All students should be comfortable with the use of their computer and the basic software listed above.

Adopting a flexible attitude towards digital technologies is highly important for this program. If you don't know how to use a specific tool or affordance, use the situation as the basis for an independent problem-based learning opportunity to try to figure it out for yourself or work collaboratively with your peers. You sould also be able to find many resources on the Internet.

What teaching approach do you use?

Classes are highly interactive, collaborative and Inquiry Learning/Problem-Based Learning. IL/PBL is an approach to learning in which "students, working in small teams, examine a problem, situation and, through this exploration, are expected to locate the gaps in their own knowledge and skills in order to decide what information they need to acquire in order to resolve or manage the situation".

Integral to ESDT course will be the application of foundational educational principles to workplace/community-specific contexts and problems to ensure depth and breadth of understanding. Understanding is further enhanced through exposure to contexts beyond students' own intended work/life environments.

What courses do you offer?

Check out the "Courses" tab to explore our rich course selection.

How do I apply to the BA in Adult Education and Digital Technology program?

Please go to our College-to-University Transfer Application site to apply.

Second-year

Fall term
Winter term
Spring/Summer term 2022
Additional courses from the following list:

The Faculty of Education reserves the right to change the term or year in which specific courses may be offered.

Course Descriptions

AEDT1110U - Foundations of Adult Learning

The purpose of this course is to introduce the social, psychological and philosophical foundations of adult learning and adult education. Students will examine:

  • The role adult education plays in society.
  • The ways in which an adult's learning differs from a child's learning.
  • The approaches to teaching that best meet the needs of adult learners.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Characteristics of different types of adult learning.
  • Delivery systems for adult education (formal schooling, public and private colleges, employer training divisions, professional organizations, etc.).
  • Teaching methodologies used in adult education.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT1120U - Foundations of Digital Teaching and Learning Technologies

The purpose of this course is to introduce the technologies that underlie digital teaching and learning. Students will examine:

  • The history of computing.
  • The technological underpinnings of digital technologies (e.g., binary numbers, ASCII codes).
  • Programming concepts.
  • Early uses of computing in support of learning.
  • Computer-assisted instruction.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the impact of major technological developments on digital learning technologies, such as:

  • CRT displays
  • external memory devices
  • high-speed communications
  • pointing devices
  • transistors and miniaturization

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT1160U - Digital Communication Technologies

The purpose of this course is to examine the foundations and evolution of digital communications technologies. Students will:

  • Explore the shift from analogue to digital technologies.
  • Identify the range of digital communications technologies currently in use.
  • Analyze the impact of these technologies on commerce, the professions, education and society in general.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the social and environmental impact of digital technologies, including issues of equity and the digital divide.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT1170U - Psychological Foundations and Digital Technologies

The purpose of this course is to analyze human behaviour in the context of the design, use and evaluation of digital technologies for teaching and learning. Students will examine theories and principles of cognitive psychology and apply them to questions that pertain to the development and use of learning technologies. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • ergonomics issues
  • human-computer interaction
  • interface design
  • pointing devices
  • screen design

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT2120U - Culture and Digital Technologies

The purpose of this course is to characterize the various components of the interactions between culture and digital technologies, including the use of digital technologies in such established cultural industries as film, television and contemporary music. It will also be focusing on the emerging cultures of the Internet, such as social networking. Students will investigate media awareness and media criticism as a part of education and citizenship, as well as the place of digital technologies in fine arts such as literature, drama, dance and classical music. Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the relevance of these studies for general education, including public education in cultural venues like museums, libraries and symphonies.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT2130U - Graphic Design, Digital Technologies and Learning

The purpose of this course is to analyze the role of imagery in digital media. Students will apply the basic principles of visual design to critique and/or develop learning materials and they will get experience with a variety of image-production and post-production software. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of animation and video in educational media.
  • The use of interactive multimedia and websites with learners in a variety of formal and informal learning environments.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT2150U - Digital Technologies and Advanced Teaching Methods

The purpose of this course is to analyze the application of digital teaching and learning technologies to contemporary models of teaching that are used in education contexts, including:

  • active teaching
  • brain-based teaching
  • connectivist teaching
  • constructivist and social constructivist teaching

Students will analyze the research as it applies to different technologies in various modes and examines its design, construction and effect. Topics will include, but are not limited to, research on the effectiveness of both digital technologies and contemporary models of teaching.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT2160U - Online Learning: Theory and Research

The purpose of this course is to examine the growing body of theory and research related to online learning. The students will learn to distinguish between a wide variety of theoretical positions, such as:

  • community of inquiry approach
  • connectivist theory
  • view of learning developed specifically to describe networked learning

Topics will include, but are not limited to, meta-analytic studies of online learning, as well as earlier meta-analyses of distance learning. The highest priority will be given to recent research, especially research focused on adult learning,

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT3110U - Information Literacy

The purpose of this course is to analyze the processes of inquiry in the context of digital technologies, including an examination of online resources available through academic and public libraries. Other Internet-based information sources will also be examined, including:

  • books
  • dictionaries
  • encyclopedias
  • film and video collections
  • journals
  • magazines

Students will learn to:

  • Define and refine questions.
  • Select and evaluate information sources.
  • Assess the accuracy and utility of information retrieved.
  • Organize, analyze, and report the results of research.

Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • information literacy research
  • information literacy skills
  • multiliteracies

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT3120U - Workplace Learning

The purpose of this course is to examine the wide range of workplace learning programs and their social and personal impact. Students will explore adult learning as it occurs in:

  • apprenticeships
  • formal training
  • informal learning

Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Benefits of workplace learning to workers.
  • Government-sponsored programs.
  • System demands resulting from the knowledge economy and technological change.
  • Workplace learning as an agent of social change.
  • Workplace learning designed to serve the needs of the employer.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT3130U - Financial Management of Online Learning

The purpose of this course is to develop expertise with fiscally responsible approaches to the establishment and management of online learning initiatives. The following contexts, conditions and constraints will be considered:

  • funding source (public, private, mixed)
  • instructional model (teacher-driven, student-centred, materials-based or content-driven)
  • learning environment (informal versus formal)
  • target population (adult, Kindergarten to 12, higher education)
  • technologies used (synchronous versus asynchronous; digital versus analogue)

Students will analyze:

  • Current and emerging financing models.
  • Ways financing decisions are made.
  • Examples of various models in use.
  • Implications for learning, accountability and scalability.

Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Components of public and private sector financial models.
  • Economic characteristics of online versus face-to-face learning.
  • Market forces analysis.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT3140U - Creating Digital Tools

The purpose of this course is to examine the possible combinations of multimedia tools and their delivery via the Internet as they have created a completely new environment for 21st-century education. Students will create digital content using a wide variety of development environments, ranging from simple documents to sophisticated authoring tools. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • digital photography
  • digital tools for learning
  • digital video
  • digital voice and music
  • e-books

All of these will be explored in the context of an increasingly wide variety of delivery devices.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4110U - Assessment for Learning

The purpose of this course is to examine the principles and practices of educational assessment as they apply to education in the context of digital technologies. Students will select, build and analyze assessment tools appropriate to specific learning goals and teaching strategies. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Traditional assessment concepts and procedures:
    • reliability
    • test design
    • validity
  • Contemporary practices:
    • authentic assessment
    • classroom observation
    • performance assessment
    • portfolio assessment
    • rubrics
  • Ways in which digital technologies can improve assessment practices:
    • computer-adaptive testing
    • computer markbooks
    • data collection and analysis
    • electronic portfolios

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4120U - Serious Gaming and Simulations

The purpose of this course is to examine the history and current status of educational games and their use in learning. Students will analyze a variety of game types, including:

  • classroom games
  • computer games and simulations
  • online games

Students will identify the principles of game design and animation. Topics will include, but are not limited to, research dealing with the effects of the use of games and simulations in the context of learning for all ages.

Prerequisite: EDUC4703U - Problem-based Learning | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4130U - Social Justice Issues in Education

The purpose of this course is to examine the role of adult education in meeting social goals related to justice and equity. Students will explore the influence of key concepts like Paolo Freire’s conceptions of critical pedagogy and conscientization. They will also explore the politics of education as a vehicle for addressing issues of unemployment, immigration and identity. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Effects of learning technologies on education.
  • Research evidence about education’s success as a means of achieving greater equity.

Prerequisites:

  • AEDT2120U - Culture and Digital Technologies

Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4140U - Instructional Design

The purpose of this course is to examine the instructional design from its origins in the development of educational and training materials for the U.S. military in World War II to the current constructivist, social constructivist and connectivist design theories. Students will learn to recognize and explain both traditional approaches to instructional design rooted in behavioural theories of learning and current practices based on constructivist, constructionist and social constructivist thinking. Topics will include, but are not limited to:

  • Analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation (ADDIE) model promoted by Dick and Carey.
  • Robert Gagne’s Conditions of Learning.
  • Work of curriculum theorist Ralph Tyler.

Prerequisites:

  • AEDT2130U - Graphic Design, Digital Technologies and Learning
  • AEDT3140U - Creating Digital Tools

Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4200U: Thesis I

This mixed-mode (fully online but partly synchronous and partly asynchronous) course is intended to provide Bachelor of Arts undergraduate students with hands-on experience in the 'doing' of qualitative and quantitative research as a practical, ethically regulated engagement in "knowing, doing and being" (De Castell, 2008).

The course is structured around the completion of a mini-research project. Each student will propose, design and carry out an individual study. Course activities are designed to provide a guided apprenticeship into basic research practices, including:

  • observations
  • peer-review
  • ethical review (Research Ethics Board)
  • field notes
  • interviews
  • data interpretation
  • analysis
  • reporting
  • presentation
  • writeup

To support, extend and deepen their practical work, students will read exemplary research studies. They will ask questions such as:

  • What kind of story does this research tell?
  • Whose story is told, how, by whom, and for whose benefit?
  • How can qualitative research claim validity?

These questions will guide an inquiry into contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, methods and processes.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4201U: Thesis II

This mixed-mode (fully online but partly synchronous and partly asynchronous) course is intended to provide Bachelor of Arts undergraduate students with hands-on experience in the 'doing' of qualitative and quantitative research as a practical, ethically regulated engagement in "knowing, doing and being" (De Castell, 2008).

The course is structured around the completion of a mini-research project. It is a continuation of AEDT4200U. Each student will propose, design and carry out an individual study. Course activities are designed to provide a guided apprenticeship into basic research practices, including:

  • observations
  • peer review
  • ethical review (Research Ethics Board)
  • field notes
  • interviews
  • data interpretations
  • analysis
  • reporting
  • presentation
  • writeup

To support, extend and deepen their practical work, students will read exemplary research studies. They will ask questions such as:

  • What kind of story does this research tell?
  • Whose story is told, how, by whom, and for whose benefit?
  • How can qualitative research claim validity?

These questions will guide an inquiry into contemporary quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, methods and processes.

Prerequisite: AEDT4200U - Thesis I | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


EDUC1312U - Fundamentals of Professional Writing

This course introduces the elements of skilful professional writing:

  • clarity
  • coherence
  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • style

It will cover the fundamental principles of business, scientific, technical and scholarly writing. A series of writing projects will help students improve their writing skills.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


EDUC4703U - Problem and Inquiry-Based Learning

The course introduces an approach to teaching that focuses on the value of learning from real and meaningful activities. Students will learn to find and structure activities around the kind of ill-defined problems that face professionals in their work. They will learn to use these activities as the basis for promoting self-directed inquiry.

Prerequisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36

Please go to the College-to-University Transfer Application site to information about

  • Admission Requirements 
  • How to Apply
  • Important Dates
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Transfer Credits
  • Useful Links

For general inquiries, contact BAESDTinfo@ontariotechu.ca

Susan Snelling
Senior Academic Advisor
905.721.8668 ext. 2703
FEDadvising@ontariotechu.ca 

Roland van Oostveen, PhD
Program Director
905.721.8668 ext. 2657
roland.vanoostveen@ontariotechu.ca