Best Online Doctorate in Educational Technology 2021

by TBS Staff
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An Ed.D. in educational technology will give you the expertise to assess, develop, and implement technological learning tools to enhance students' learning and improve educational outcomes.

As the highest available degree for education professionals, a doctorate in education demonstrates expertise. An Ed.D. in educational technology prepares graduates for administrative roles within school districts and institutions of higher learning.

Doctoral programs in educational technology hone knowledge and skills related to both software and hardware used in learning. Students explore technology-based learning curricula, including how it can be used to help students learn more effectively.

The use of technology in education continues to increase, especially with online learning's growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With a doctorate in educational technology, graduates can meet the growing demand for technology professionals with education, training, and library backgrounds. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 5% growth in employment in these roles from 2019-2029.

The Best Online Educational Technology Doctorate

Andrews University true View School Profile Berrien Springs, MI 58% 40% 14% Andrews University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The school offers an online doctorate in curriculum and instruction that prepares students for a career in education. The program allows aspiring educators and administrators to expand their professional expertise, impact education, and share their passion.

It takes 61 credits to complete and can be completed in six years.

Students must obtain a master's degree from an accredited communication prior to applying for admission. Students must also submit official transcripts from all schools attended, a statement of purpose, and submit test scores from the GRE.

Duquesne University true View School Profile Pittsburgh, PA 80% 68% 18% Duquesne University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Founded in 1878, Duquesne enrolls nearly 8,900 students every year.

The school offers an online doctorate in educational technology that prepares students for a career in education.

The 54-credit program provides an advanced degree in technology-infused teaching and learning practices for academic, community, and corporate settings to working professionals.

The program takes three years to complete and students are required to take professional leadership in technology, cognition and instructional design, learning theories and instructional design, and foundations of instructional technology.

To apply for admission, applicants need a 3.0 GPA, a master's degree in Education or a related field from an accredited college or university, and an admissions application.

Indiana University-Bloomington true View School Profile $$ Bloomington, IN 78% 33% 18% Indiana University – Bloomington is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Founded in 1820, IU enrolls more than 43,000 students every year.

The school offers an online doctorate in instructional systems technology that teaches students how to apply research findings to build and test products, services, and processes to produce instructional materials for training, education, or performance improvements.

To apply for admission, students must have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 2.75 out of 4.0. Students must submit transcripts, a personal statement, two letters of recommendation, GRE scores, a resume (international students), and a minimum 79 TOEFL score or 6.5 IELTS score (international students).

Kansas State University true View School Profile $$$ Manhattan, KS 64% 46% 25% Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1858 as Bluemont Central College, K-State offers more than 250 undergraduate degree programs and 160 graduate degree programs.

The school offers an online doctorate in curriculum and instruction that allows students to develop an understanding of the historical, philosophical and societal basis of education and practice and teaches them how to apply research to practice.

The program takes 94 credits to complete and costs $495.50 per credit.

Prerequisite courses include research methods in education and another research course approved by the supervisory committee.

To complete the degree, students will have to take courses such as teaching and learning models, introduction to doctoral studies, history of American education, and contemporary issues in teaching and learning.

Liberty University true View School Profile Lynchburg, VA 50% 60% 90% Liberty University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1971, Liberty enrolls more than 100,000 students every year.

The school offers a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction that allows students to work 100 percent online. The program takes 60 credit hours to complete, which amounts to three years on average.

Students can expect to take courses like issues and trends in exceptionality, issues and trends in curriculum and instruction, curriculum theory, and research in curriculum design and development.

To apply for admission, students must submit and admission application (with the application fee), official college transcripts, and proof of English proficiency.

Old Dominion University View School Profile $$$ Norfolk, VA 52% 56% 51% Old Dominion University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

ODU began offering remote learning in the mid-80s prior to the internet. It enrolls 24,000 students every year and offers over 100 online degrees.

The school offers a 60-credit doctor of philosophy in education with a focus on instructional design and technology online that teaches students the fundamentals of instructional design, cognitive theory, research, and practical application. The program prepares students for careers in fields like human performance technology, distance education, evaluation and assessment, instructional design, and quantitative and qualitative research.

Students must have completed a master's degree program prior to admission. The program costs $551 per credit for in-state residents and $595 for out-of-state students.

Regent University View School Profile Virginia Beach, VA 59% 80% 91% Regent University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1978, Regent enrolls nearly 11,000 students every year.

The school offers a 60-credit online doctorate in educational technology and online learning that helps students advanced the classroom through technology and facilitate improved performance through technological resources and processes.

Students should expect to study the principles of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and evaluation, and upon graduation, apply them to an online education setting with an emphasis on program development and management of online learning. The program equips students to work as university faculty, technology administrators, or online course designers.

Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile College Station, TX 82% 32% 8% Texas A&M University – College Station is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1876, Texas A&M enrolls more than 69,000 students every year.

The school offers a 30-credit doctor of education in curriculum and instruction that students have the option of completing fully online. Students must meet with an advisory committee comprised by the designated coordinator of the distance education in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture and the Department Head of that department.

Students must also complete two university-directed internships in a professional employment setting for at least 150 hours, at 10 to 40 hours per week.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago View School Profile Chicago, IL 6% The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior Colleges and University Commission (WSCUC).

Established in 1979, The Chicago School enrolls 5,600 students every year.

The school offers an online doctorate in educational psychology and technology that prepares students to become experts in the field of learning technology. The program takes three years to complete. Students must choose one of three concentrations: higher education learning and technology, K-12 education learning and technology, or instructional design.

Courses include cognition across the lifespan and technology's impact, proseminar in technology and education, and integrating technology in learning systems.

Students must possess a master's degree prior to admission.

The University of West Florida View School Profile Pensacola, FL 44% 64% 63% The University of West Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1963, UWF has awarded over 100,000 degrees.

The school offers a doctorate degree in instructional design and technology degree teaches professionals how to effectively apply research and theory to achieve educational goals and improve performance in a range of settings.

Students must possess a graduate degree prior wiht a GPA of 3.5 or higher prior to admission.

University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL 88% 24% 50% University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1858, UF enrolls 52,000 students every year.

The school offers an online doctorate in educational technology that focuses on professionals who conduct research related to educational technology in educational environments.

The program requires three campus-based experiences — a 2-day orientation in the first semester and 4-day summer sessions at the end of the first and second year. Students must complete the first two years online as a cohort and take qualifying exams at the end of the second year. Then, students must work on dissertations under the guidance of full-time faculty.

University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA 44% 40% 34% University of Louisiana at Monroe is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1931, ULM enrolled nearly 9,000 students annually.

The school offers a doctorate in education, curriculum, and instruction online that provides students with practical opportunities to relate theoretical foundations to curricular and instructional issues faced in real-world settings. Students must examine research-based theories, learn quantitative and qualitative methods, and explore the intellectual, moral, societal, and political foundations of education through multiple theoretical lenses.

The program prepares students for careers as university professors, education administrators, instructional coordinators, and superintendents.

University of South Carolina-Columbia View School Profile $$$$ Columbia, SC 77% 46% 28% University of South Carolina is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established more than 200 years ago, UofSC enrolls 35,000 students every year.

The school offers an online doctor of education in curriculum studies that prepares students to provide social justice in diverse communities through education. The program prepares students for work as a curriculum specialist in PK-12, higher education, or the private sector.

Sample courses include introduction to diversity and the curriculum, advanced study of diversity and curriculum, applications of learning principles, and educational policy analysis.

The program costs $515 per credit for South Carolina certified teachers and $572.25 for all other applicants.

University of Toledo View School Profile $$$ Toledo, OH 47% 48% 40% University of Toledo is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Established in 1872, UT enrolls more than 16,000 undergraduate students and 4,200 graduate students.

The school offers a doctorate in curriculum and instruction – special education online that prepares students for a career teaching special education. The program prepares special education professionals to take leadership positions in the field.

The program takes 60 credits to complete, which takes about four to five years. Students should expect advanced coursework and professional seminars in special education and early intervention. Students must also complete virtual internships that prepare them for roles in a variety of educational settings.

Valdosta State University View School Profile $$ Valdosta, GA 42% 62% 51% Valdosta State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Established in 1913, VSU enrolls more than 11,000 students every year.

The school offers a doctor of education in curriculum and instruction that prepares students for advanced careers in education.

To apply, students must submit an admissions application, official transcripts from a master's degree-granting institution and from any graduate coursework, scores from the GRE exam, and three letters of recommendation. Students must also submit a doctor of education biographical career goal statement, a resume, and a valid teaching certificate.

Best Online Doctorate

Online Educational Technology Doctorate Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Our Methodology

Here at TheBestSchools.org, we take the trust and welfare of our readers very seriously. When making our school and program rankings, our top priority is ensuring that our readers get accurate, unbiased information that can help them make informed decisions about online education. That's why we've developed a rigorous ranking methodology that keeps the needs of our readers front and center.

Our proprietary, multi-criteria ranking algorithm analyzes key data indicators — as collected by the federal government — for each school or program. What data we use depends on the focus of each specific ranking, but in all cases, our ranking methodology is impartial: Schools cannot buy better rankings at TBS.

While specific criteria under consideration can vary by ranking, there are a few data points that we value most highly. They are affordability, academic quality, and online enrollment. Below, we break down our algorithm to help you understand what you're getting when you use one of our rankings.

  • Academics
  • Affordability
  • Online Enrollment

Data Sources

The data used in TBS rankings comes primarily from the federal government, and much of it is provided by the schools themselves. We aggregate and analyze this data to build our rankings.

The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) is our primary source. Its data comes from annual surveys conducted by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Every college, university, or technical school with access to federal financial aid must participate in these surveys, which include questions about enrollment, graduation rates, finances, and faculty qualifications. This is publicly available data, which you can access yourself through the College Navigator.

Additionally, because we value a personal touch and the professional experience of our staff and Academic Advisory Board, we vet all results and adjust rankings as necessary based on our collected knowledge of schools and degree programs. Depending on the ranking, we may obtain additional input from AcademicInfluence.com, subject matter experts, prior TBS ranking lists, or other sources we deem relevant to a particular ranking.

Breakdown of Our Rankings Methodology

About Our Ranking Factors

Here at TBS, we value what you value: quality education, affordability, and the accessibility of online education. These factors guide all of our program rankings.

Each of these factors are further broken down into weighted subfactors. For example, retention rates are weighted more heavily than availability of program options because they are a better indicator of student success.

We chose the following factors for our rankings because of their influence on learning experiences and graduate outcomes. However, students should always balance our rankings against their personal priorities. For instance, a learner who needs a fully online program may prioritize online flexibility more than our rankings do. Our rankings are designed to help you make a decision — not to make a decision for you.

Academics - 75%
Affordability - 15%
Online Enrollment - 10%

In all our school rankings and recommendations, we work for objectivity and balance. We carefully research and compile each ranking list, and as stated in our advertising disclosure, we do NOT permit financial incentives to influence rankings. Our articles never promote or disregard a school for financial gain.

If you have questions about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through contact page.

We thank you for your readership and trust.

Featured Online Educational Technology Doctorates

What Is an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology?

Most doctoral programs in educational technology require a master's degree in education or a similar field. Applicants need experience working in education-related settings and typically must submit letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and a resume for consideration.

Educational technology doctorates vary in specific coursework, but most curricula blend courses in both research and practice. Core classes introduce students to leadership, global and cultural perspectives, and writing in educational technology.

Research coursework trains learners to conduct qualitative and quantitative data gathering and assessment, while technology and media classes teach students how to use modern technologies in the classroom. With access to virtual and augmented reality systems, digital toy and game design tools, and artificial intelligence technology, individuals gain practical experience innovating the use of technology in the classroom.

The length of an Ed.D. in educational technology differs between programs. Online educational technology doctorates may allow learners to earn degrees on an accelerated timeline or take classes part-time over five years or more. Synchronous programs with cohorts of students usually span a predetermined number of semesters.

What's the Difference Between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D.?

A doctorate of education and a doctorate of philosophy in education differ in focus and outcome. An Ed.D. offers a pathway for practicing education professionals to advance to leadership roles, while a Ph.D. in education emphasizes research.

Both an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in education focus on educational technology, incorporating coursework in principles and policies as they apply to the topic. However, an Ed.D. trains students to incorporate that information into practical settings. An individual with an Ed.D. in educational technology can pursue employment as an academic provost or school district administrator, among other options.

Meanwhile, a Ph.D. in educational technology or instructional technology emphasizes research and analysis. As such, individuals with edcational technology Ph.D.s pursue careers as college professors, instructional technology directors, and training and development managers.

Choosing an Online Doctoral Educational Technology Program

Students should take multiple factors into consideration when choosing online doctorates in educational technology, including program length, course delivery format, and degree requirements. Tuition, fees, and eligibility can also influence the choice of an educational technology doctorate program.

While a Ph.D. in educational technology may take more than five years to complete, a degree-seeker can complete an online Ed.D. in educational technology in as little as three years. Programs vary in practical and research requirements, both of which Ed.D. students can complete within their current workplaces.

Candidates should also research accreditation status of their prospective schools and programs.

Accreditation for Online Educational Technology Degree Programs

When choosing an online educational technology program, students should take the regional or national accreditation status of a college or university into consideration. Accreditation attests to the quality and credibility of an institution, and regional accreditation indicates a school offers rigorous academic programs rather than vocational ones. Regionally and nationally accredited institutions also differ in admission requirements, costs, transfer opportunities, and financial aid options.

Programmatic accreditation is awarded through specialized or professional agencies. An education student should research whether their prospective Ed.D. in educational technology holds accreditation through an agency like the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation.

What Else Can I Expect From an Ed.D. in Educational Technology Program?

Common courses for an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in educational technology focus on trends, tools, and techniques for using technology in educational settings. An Ed.D. in educational technology emphasizes pedagogical theory, instructional design, and information technology.

An Ed.D. trains educational technology leaders to become innovative creators while simultaneously meeting the social and cultural demands of students and instructors. Enrollees also explore various aspects of information technology, such as online learning, data mining, games and simulations, and mobile technologies.

Common Courses for an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology

  • Emerging Trends in Educational Technology: By exploring industry literature and best practices in the field, students identify and discuss the practical applications of modern technology in education.
  • Leadership in Educational Technology: This course explores contemporary, innovative modes of leadership used in the field, emphasizing the models, processes, and theories that drive programs and projects in educational technology. Learners build teamwork, human resources, and organizational psychology skills.
  • Global and Cultural Perspectives in Educational Technology: This course takes a global approach to educational technology, exploring various international communications systems.
  • Statistics for Educational Technology: This course introduces students to concepts like confidence intervals, chi-square, analysis of variance, central tendency and variability, and one and two-sample tests, all with the aim of helping them understand how statistics apply to education.
  • Research in Educational Technology: Students focus on quantitative and qualitative methods as the primary mode of conducting educational technology research. The course also covers the building blocks of doctoral research and the use of case studies.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Doctorate in Educational Technology Program?

Online doctorates in educational technology vary in length. Earning a Ph.D. in educational technology or a Ph.D. in instructional technology may take five years or more, but an Ed.D. often features a shorter timeline.

Working professionals can pursue online Ed.D. degrees while still tending to personal and professional commitments. Students can even complete programs with asynchronous coursework on accelerated timelines to earn their degrees in just three years. By contrast, cohort-based, synchronous doctoral programs in educational technology follow a specific curriculum across a predetermined number of semesters.

Other factors that affect program length include prerequisites, research requirements, and practical activities. Individuals who need to make up coursework at the beginning of a doctoral program often take longer to graduate, and conducting research and completing internships or practica may also add to the length of the degree.

Educational Technology Jobs

Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology become prepared for advanced careers in IT, education, and instructional design. Candidates holding terminal degrees in educational technology qualify for top jobs in computer science, instructional research, and higher education. Some of the most common careers for educational technologists are listed below.

true Computer and Information Systems Manager $146,360 10%

Computer and Information Systems Managerscoordinate and oversee all computerized operations within a school or educational organization. They typically help organizations identify and implement the high-functioning computer systems needed to facilitate learning programs. Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology may qualify for advanced positions, including chief information officer or chief technology officer.

true Computer and Information Research Scientist $122,840 15%

Computer and Information Research Scientists design new learning technologies and update existing systems. These professionals also provide critical services to the science, medicine, and corporate business sectors. A computer scientist with at least a master's degree and advanced skills in data mining should remain in high demand over the next decade.

true Software Developer $107,510 22%

Software Developers create computer software and applications to meet the needs of students and educators in the digital landscape. While most entry-level software developer jobs do not need a doctoral degree, a candidate who earns a Ph.D. in educational technology online may qualify for high-level jobs like IT project manager, overseeing the development of new learning tools.

true Computer Systems Analyst $90,920 7%

Computer Systems Analysts, sometimes called systems architects, evaluate school computer networks to ensure maximum efficiency, safety, and effectiveness, often implementing new or modified designs. Graduates of online doctorate programs in educational technology, especially those with considerable IT experience, are poised for significant advancement in this field.

true Postsecondary Teacher $79,540 9%

Postsecondary Teachers of education technology requires a terminal degree in the field. Graduates of online Ed.D. programs in educational technology can become professors of education technology or related subjects at colleges or universities. They may also conduct and publish graduate- and postgraduate-level research.

true Instructional Coordinator $66,290 6%

Instructional Coordinators oversee school curricula, monitoring teaching practices, and develop, implement, and assess educational materials. Instructional coordinators work closely with teachers and school administrators while adhering to district, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. Many instructional coordinators focus on specific grades, subjects, or types of students.

Educational Technology Professional Organizations

Sitting at the nexus of education, technology, and communication, professional organizations can help educational technologists network with other professionals, pursue continuing education opportunities, access field advocacy efforts, and engage in discourse about educational technology policy reform. Many professional organizations also offer affordable memberships and financial support through scholarships and awards.

Members can attend exclusive workshops and seminars, subscribe to member newsletters, and pursue job placements through career services. Some of the field's most visible organizations are listed below.

ISTE is an international organization that serves a diverse group of educators specializing in technology-based education. Member benefits include networking, publishing, and continuing education opportunities. SETDA connects educational technologists together in each state, engaging members in advocacy and policy reform events that affect each state's educational system. Through SETDA, educational technology professionals can attend webinars, conferences, and other public events that support the organization's four main priorities: equity of access, digital content, digital learning, and interoperability. AECT is the nation's premier organization for educational technologists and instructional designers, promoting values such as leadership, professional standards, sustainability, financial stability, and collaboration. The organization administers a system of standards for professional education programs and offers an endorsement for individuals without degrees through a certificate program. Formed to advance information technology in education, AACE also fosters e-learning research, development, and practice. AACE unites scholars, researchers, and practitioners through conferences and events, awards programs, and career development resources. Members receive access to its extensive learning and technology library, association publications, and discipline-specific updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Do With a Doctorate in Educational Technology? true

With a doctorate in educational technology, graduates can advance to leadership roles in educational settings. The degree prepares learners to develop, implement, and assess technological tools and techniques in learning environments.

What Is the Difference Between an Ed.D. and a Ph.D. in Education? true

An Ed.D. and Ph.D. in education both explore theory, practice, and policy in education. An Ed.D. focuses more on practical skills and leadership in educational settings, while a Ph.D. emphasizes research and analysis.

Is It Worth It to Get a Ph.D. in Education? true

A Ph.D. in education facilitates career advancement and earning potential. With a doctorate in education, professionals can demonstrate expertise to colleagues, peers, and students alike.

How Much Can You Make With a Ph.D. in Education? true

Education doctorate holders can take on roles as postsecondary educators, school administrators, and training and development managers. According to the BLS, postsecondary teachers earned a median salary of over $79,500 in 2019, while school administrators earned a median income of just under $96,000. Training and development managers took home a median salary exceeding $113,000 during the same period.

What Is Meant by "Instructional Technology?" true

Instructional technology refers to the design, development, implementation, and assessment of computer hardware and software in educational settings. The field blends educational theory with technology applications to optimize learning outcomes.

What Can You Do With a Degree in Instructional Technology? true

What Can You Do With a Degree in Instructional Technology? A degree in instructional technology opens career opportunities in instructional design, training analysis, and learning consultancy. Additional roles for individuals with degrees in instructional technology include instructional writer, instructional curriculum specialist, and academic director.

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