Skip to main content

Diploma - Designing Adult Learning for the Digital Age

The Diploma in Designing Adult Learning for the Digital Age is a fully online, six-course program designed for students with a post-secondary 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. This program emphasizes real-world inquiry/problem-based learning to provide you with the best opportunities to develop job-ready skills in training and instruction using digital technology in early childhood education fields.

As a graduate from our program, you will learn:

  • Digital age skills such as collaboration, leadership, online facilitation, professional and ethical behaviour, time management and virtual teamwork.
  • Critical, creative and problem-based thinking.
  • How to design and facilitate adult learning.
  • Social advocacy in digital media environments.
  • Technical practices and digital epistemologies.
The Diploma in Adult Learning for the Digital Age:

  • 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.
  • Affords careers in human resources management and training in the industrial, commercial and various other sectors
  • Leverages the potential of digital technology affordances in adult education contexts.
  • Offers adult educators in the corporate and government sectors opportunities for professional development and advancement in adult education and human resource development.
  • Situates graduates as college educators, military trainers, health educators (both for professional development and public education), as well as education bureaucrats and public educators in other service areas.

The Designing Adult Learning for the Digital Age diploma 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.

You need to complete 6 courses (18 credits) to obtain a diploma in Adult Learning for the Digital Age.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Fall term

Winter term


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 that 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.

Pre-requisite: 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

Pre-requisite: 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. These tools 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:

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

All of this will be presented in the context of an increasingly wide variety of delivery devices.

Pre-requisite: None | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


AEDT4110U - Assessment for Learning

This purpose of this course is to examine 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, validity, test design)
  • Contemporary practices (classroom observation, rubrics, authentic assessment, portfolio assessment, performance assessment)
  • The ways in which digital technologies can improve assessment practices (computer adaptive testing, electronic portfolios, computer markbooks, and data collection and analysis).

Pre-requisite: 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

They 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.
  • Simulations in the context of learning for all ages.

Pre-requisite: EDUC4703U - Problem-based Learning | Credits: 3.0 | Hours: 36


EDUC 4703U - Problem and Inquiry-Based Learning

This 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 kinds of ill-defined problems that face professionals in their work. They will also learn to use these activities as the basis for promoting self-directed inquiry.

Pre-requisite: 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