For people in the education sector that are already working full-time but wish to bolster their credentials in pursuit of career advancement, an online EdD might be the perfect option. An online EdD delivers top quality coursework and content through a blend of online interactions and real-world experiences.
The curriculum of an EdD, online or traditional, will significantly vary from program to program, and between specializations. You can expect a mix of core classes related to your education focus (leadership, curriculum planning, research/theory) and concentration courses around your specialization. Depending on the type of program you choose, not much should change from brick and mortar to online.
Featured Online Doctorate in Education Programs
Earn your EdD in organizational change and leadership online from USC Rossier
When searching for the best online EdD program for you, consider the type of program delivery, curriculum and class size.
The Online EdD Experience
A key difference between traditional and online EdD is the “classroom” experience. Depending on the program, your experience will vary, but shouldn’t require much: a built-in camera, a microphone, and a strong wifi connection. These are basic technologies that most people have access to, but cover almost all online classroom needs.
Many online EdD programs often feature the following elements:
Virtual Live Classes: your built-in camera and microphone enable you to participate in face-to-face online classes and discussions, which allow you to interact with your teacher and classmates in real time
Learning Management System: this is the central hub where you can access course materials, homework, live sessions, and forums or message boards
Interactive Course Content: bringing coursework alive means incorporating a variety of mixed media, including videos, readings, and question/answer segments
Access to Tech Support: a strong tech support team is a must when dealing with time-sensitive, tech-dependent assignments
Mobile Access: one of the major perks of online classes is being able to bring your courses with you anywhere you go, across multiple devices and platforms.
Like homework in a regular classroom, offline components support the online curriculum: you’ll be expected to have watched lectures and completed homework exercises before attending live sessions so you’re ready to participate in discussions and in-class activities.
While live sessions mimic traditional classrooms, there’s sometimes no replacement for the face to face networking and hands-on workshops that brick and mortar classrooms offer. To fill this need, many programs offer on-campus immersions, where students meet at regular intervals to network with each other and their teachers and may work on group projects together for credit hours.
Though class size varies greatly from program to program, those universities that offer live classroom experiences typically feature less students for a more concentrated experience. A good benchmark for a class size that promotes the best learning experience is around, or under, 15 students in one class. This ensures that each student receives attention and guidance from their professors and establishes relationships with their peers.
Credits, hours, requirements, class size, and on campus vs. online benefits will vary widely based on the program and technology platform being used.
Whatever your focus, common themes in a Doctor of Education degree often include:
Instruction technology and methodology
Policy making in education
Organizational change and leadership
Learning objectives in this field typically address the following:
Gaining the ability to see situations from different perspectives
Applying theory from your classes to solving real-world education problems
Using research to improve policy, programs, and practice in places of learning
Identifying discrimination/prejudice and advocating for social justice in educational institutions
It is important to remember that the above-mentioned program options are not available at every online EdD program, and different schools of education may offer varying EdD program concentrations. Contact your desired college or university for more information about their EdD program offerings.