I considering going back to school for education technology, distance ed, instructional design, etc. with the intent to leave the elementary classroom and become an online college professor in education. Can anyone give me any advice on picking which program and at what schools? Are the online education phd degrees respected in the eLearning community? thanks.

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Hi Alex,

Have you checked the EdD program at Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology? It's a really good program and has a very good reputation. It's a blended program (60% online 40% face to face). Students come from all over the world.

One of the great things about the program is that there is an international trip to look at other educational systems and there is a week in D.C. where you brief Congressional leaders on EdTech issues.

Check it out!
I don't know if you've already done the Masters part of grad work, but Athabasca U - a university that deals entirely in distance education - offers Masters in Distance Ed via, well, distance ed. That would cover at least some of what you want without you having to relocate or quit your current job.
Thanks James, I do have a Masters. You are right about relocation and the ability to still work, online programs are very appealing
I believe they also offer an Ed.D program in Distance Education as well.


Also, you might want to check out the following web site:


It lists a bunch of online Master's programs in Education. Some schools offer Master's only, but a number of them also offer online Ed.D. and Ph.D. programs. Most Ph.D or Ed.D. programs will require you to be on-campus during a part of the program.

Hi, Alex. You might look into Nova Southeastern University's Instructional Technology and Distance Education Program.


Jerry Johnson
Thank you all for your help so far about schools. I have also heard good things about Walden and Univ Texas, does any know anything about them? Also could you tell me the names and the differences between the types of programs for example instructional design vs eLearning/on-line learning vs education technology? Thanks again for all your help getting me started on my research.
I ended up at Nova, thanks. Are you in the program? Or know any one who is in?
I have read that Walden was just ranked #1 online education program. Does anyone have any experience with them? Also Univ of North TX has come up?
I don't have experience with online programs, but I would recommend that you make sure the program you select is accredited by the appropriate agencies. If not, your degree may not be valued by some schools or programs.

I've been doing similar research lately (only Masters and Doctoral programs). My goals are different: I would like to produce and research the effectiveness of media designed with learning goals--videogames, animations, etc. My particular interest is foreign language education and creating immersion with virtual worlds. But I digress.

The Teachers College of Columbia has an entire Media and Technology department offering several different degrees, including an Ed. D. in Instructional Media Technology. That program will offer a fellowship for 2010.

Also, Indiana University Bloomington has a doctoral program in Instructional Systems Technology. They have several interesting research projects listed on their website.

As a good professor once told me, find out what faculty are researching and choose the school where you will have a good mentor for your personal career goals. Some of these programs are not in Education departments. You may want to check Communication programs, because many of these programs have faculty pursuing research in distance learning as well.

Hope that was helpful.
Hi, Alex. I am currently a student in the Instructional Design and Technology PhD program at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. I am pursuing a distance learning concentration and I take the program 100% at distance from my home in NJ with NO requirement to attend classes "on campus". I received my Masters in IST from Indiana University which offers a PhD program, but only for those willing and able to relocate to Bloomington, IN. For more information on the ODU program, see http://education.odu.edu/eci/idt/

From the ODU website:

"Old Dominion University offers graduate students in the Instructional Design and Technology department a unique distance learning option which blends the immediacy of face-to-face instruction with the flexibility of online education. Students who do not live near Old Dominion University's main campus in Norfolk, Virginia or a higher education center may wish to take classes via our distance learning option. Students from campus and students from around the world connect via a synchronous two-way audio and video system. Students on campus are in the distance learning studio with cameras and microphones while students at a distance are connected using their own computers, web conferencing software, web cameras, and headset microphones. Everyone engages in interactive and lively discussion with the faculty, the experienced students already involved in instructional design, and the students just beginning their journey in IDT. Tuition for distance students is at a special rate (TELETECHNET USA) that is very close to in-state tuition rates."

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