Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

The Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Learning Technologies is a comprehensive program that provides knowledge and skills in areas such as:

  • instructional systems design,
  • learning and instructional theories,
  • instructional materials development,
  • design of learning environments using various emerging technology-based systems and tools. 

Graduates from our program assume academic, administrative, and other leadership positions. Academic positions include professors; technologists or directors at the school district level. Many students also go on to work in the private sector as designers, managers, and researchers at companies, as well as instructional evaluators.

Minimum Coursework Total (including minimum 6 hours of dissertation): 69 hours

Department Requirements (Minimum 21 hours)

Foundations Requirements (9 hours)

  • EDC 380F  Sociocultural Foundations
  • EDC 381F  Introduction to Teaching & Teacher Education
  • EDC 383F  Curriculum Theory

Research Methodology Requirements (12 hours)

To be taken in sequence:

  1. EDC 381R  Intro to Systems of Human Inquiry
  2. The following two courses (6 hours), in any order:
    • EDC 385R  Intro To Quantitative Research 
    • EDC 386R  Intro To Qualitative Research
  3. One more advanced and specialized research methods course (either quantitative, qualitative or mixed) such as:
    • EDC 385G  Mixed Methods Design Based Research
    • EDC 387R  Survey Research
    • EDC 388R  Case Study
    • EDC 388R Discourse Analysis
    • EDC 388R  Ethnographic and Qualitative Research methods
    • EDC 388R  Narrative and Oral Tradition
    • EDP 380P  1-Measurement and Evaluation
    • EDP 380P  4-Evaluation Models and Techniques
    • EDP 382K  2-Correlation and Regression Methods
    • EDP 382K 3-Factor Analysis
    • EDP 382K  6-Structural Equation Modeling
    • EDP 482K  1-Experimental Design and Statistical Inference
    • EDP 384  4-Introduction to Survey Research
    • EDP 384  16-Hierarchical Linear Modeling
    • SOC 380L  Social Statistics: Dynamic Models and Longitudinal Data Analyses
    • SOC 384J  Structural equation modeling
    • SOC 385K  Social Statistics: Discrete Multivariate Models
    • SOC 385L  Social Statistics: Linear Models and Structural Equation Systems

Directed Research Requirements (Minimum 12 hours)

All students in the doctoral program will take the following:

EDC 396  Doctoral Seminar: Learning Technologies (3 hours)
This course is designed for doctoral students enrolled in the Learning Technologies Program who have completed a certain amount of the coursework. Its goal is to help you proactively plan for timely completion of L.T. program coursework, program reviews, candidacy exams, formation of your dissertation committee, and your dissertation research area of inquiry.

EDC 396T  Directed Research in Curriculum & Instruction* (9 hours)
*EDC 396T can be taken more than once for credit.

Specialization Requirements (Minimum 30 hours)

Students who have already taken courses similar to the required ones listed below and need course substitution should discuss with their assigned coursework advisor and then seek approval from the LT Program Area Advisor. In general, course substitutions are discouraged.

*Online and blended with a few face-to-face meetings
** Completely online

Required Courses (12 hours)

EDC 390T  Instructional Systems Design*
This course provides an overview of the theoretical frameworks, current trends, and common concerns associated with the design and development of instructional materials. Students will investigate the theoretical, practical, and critical perspectives on instructional design as it is applied in a variety of educational contexts (i.e. K-12, higher education, and corporate training) and modes (i.e. face-to-face, hybrid, and online). Through reading, discussions, real-world design, practical application, and interactions with instructional design experts, students will become designers of effective and engaging learning experiences.

EDC 390T Foundations of Learning Technology**
This course is designed to introduce you to the field of learning technology by learning its history as well as the learning theories, paradigms, thought leaders, trends and issues that have shaped the field.  The course is primarily online and involves both individual and collaborative work. Online class meetings will be held every 2-3 weeks to facilitate real-time discussions on the readings as well as opportunities for interaction with visiting experts in the field.

EDC 385G  Interactive Multimedia Design and Production*
In this hands-on course, students will learn various new media-based technology tools to create a Web-based application on a topic of their choice. Students will engage in the design and production process and work with a client in developing an interactive Web-based application; and industry standard technology tools on graphics, video, audio, animation, and Web development will be used in this course. By taking this course, students will not only develop and advance their technical skills, but also acquire the experience of engaging in the entire development process from a concept to a product in a real-world setting.

EDC 395T  Humanizing Pedagogy & Technology Integration**
This course immerses K-12 educators in theoretical and applied practices of teaching and learning in today’s K-12 classroom, as informed by research and best practices. Through immersion in authentic projects, educators will acquire the framing, applied knowledge and design thinking needed to transform curriculum using technology integration and connected learning strategies. Educators will consider authentic learning problems and devise teaching and classroom solutions that promote student learning, humanize pedagogy and minimize the reproduction of inequity in schools.

Elective Courses (12 hours)

EDC 390T  Advanced Instructional Systems Design*
Course includes advanced topics, theoretical frameworks, and strategies for the design of instructional systems. Students will work in teams to design and develop an instructional product for an authentic client such as a state agency, school system, university, corporation or museum that meets specified criteria for quality.

EDC 385G  Analysis of Research in Learning Technologies
The goal of this course is for students to get familiar with research in the field of technology for teaching and learning and develop one’s own research interest. Course activities include reading both major historic and contemporary topics in the field, evaluating emerging technology tools and learning environments to examine their potentials for teaching and learning, synthesizing selected research topics, and developing one’s own research topic that can be used for one’s dissertation.

EDC 385G  Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning*
Explore current research, theories, and strategies of computer-supported collaborative learning, Course includes Web-based activities focused on collaborative inquiry, collaborative writing, project-based learning and collaborative approaches to foreign language learning. Students design a collaborative learning activity using contemporary Web-based tools and environments.

EDC 385G  Current Issues in Learning Technologies

EDC 385G  Designs and Strategies for New Media*
This course is about human-computer interaction (HCI), and the emphasis is on examining and understanding the designs and strategies for new media through various evaluation and hands-on activities. We will examine the use of new media from the perspectives of information design, interaction design, and interface design and learn industry-standard new media tools to illustrate our understanding. Developing such design and practical knowledge will enable students to become effective designers for creating and working with interactive technology applications for use in various setting: online, face-to-face, and hybrid.

EDC 390T  Issues and Strategies For Technology Leaders
This course will examine the concept of a “technology leader” in the context of PK-12 schools. Topics include: standards, licensure, technology planning, leader preparation, and professional learning, data-driven decision making, technology integration, staff development, and types of leaders. Students will understand the roles, responsibilities, and knowledge required of technology leaders, interpret educational research on technology leadership and identify promising areas for new research, and develop one’s own technology leadership capabilities.

EDC 385G  Learning Technology Planning and Management*
The course is designed to help you understand the educational technology planning process and to develop components of a technology strategic plan using authentic tools in an authentic context. The context for learning the principles and strategies for technology planning is a K-12 school district since almost everyone has had experience either as a student or professional in this setting.

EDC 385G  Motivation and Design of Learning Technologies

EDC 385G  Online Learning and the Future of Education**
This course is focused on the exploration, understanding, and critique of contemporary developments in online learning (including K-12, higher education, and corporate contexts). The course involves evaluating current and future trends in online education including online learning research, theory, and best practices. 

EDC 385G  Technology & Preservice Teacher Education
This course comprehensively examines the role technologies have played within teacher preservice preparation. Students will gain a historical view of technologies (e.g., radio, film, TV, computers, Internet); technological perspectives (e.g., instructional media, instructional design, computer-based teaching/learning, TPCK); and modalities (face-to-face, distance education, online learning) that have been included within teacher preparation in the last century. Students will examine subject-specific (e.g., mathematics, science, social studies, English, foreign languages, special education) approaches to technology integration, based on their interest areas.

EDC 385G  Technology, Teacher Learning & School Change
This course examines the complexity of the change process, especially in relation to the introduction of digital technologies in the PK-12 school context. Students learn about dimensions of educational change, understand how innovations are adopted, adapted, and eventually diffused or rejected across organizations, and will be able to describe particular aspects and features of schools, school processes, and human elements that have led to successful/unsuccessful technology integration in classrooms and schools.

EDC 398P  Graduate Internship

Please note: Not all courses are offered every year. Other courses may be added. Please check the course schedule.

Special Interest (6 hours)

Two courses, selected with the assistance and approval of your advisor, that address a disciplinary or interdisciplinary interest area that relates directly to your research agenda or professional goals in Learning Technologies. These courses can be in or outside the department.

Outside Department Requirements (Minimum 6 hours*)

Coursework taken outside of the department (must not begin with EDC) and listed under the research course section or special interest section can fulfill this requirement.

*This is not an additional two-course requirement.

Dissertation (Minimum 6 hours)

Students are required to continuously register for at least three credits of dissertation once they have advanced to candidacy

You must register in X99W (399, 699 or 999W) in each semester of candidacy until you graduate.

Please Note: Students receiving fellowships, assistantships, or other financial aid, may be required to take 9 hours of dissertation credit each semester.

Additional Information

Forms and a program checklist are available on our wiki.