How EdD Online Programs Are Adapting to the Changing Landscape of Education

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Many online EdD programs incorporate a variety of learning experiences, including in-person immersions and internships. In addition, they often feature course topics such as educational data analytics for leadership, fostering an academic community, and strategic change management.

These courses equip students with the skills they need to spearhead progressive change across their organizations or fields of work. Read more about how online EdD programs prepare students for these roles.

Personalized Learning Experiences

Personalized learning is broadly defined as various approaches to teaching and learning that tailor the experience to an individual student’s abilities, preferences, interests, and background. A broad trend emerged around a decade ago in response to broader changes to education, including the rise of technology and opposition to the factory model of standardized testing that many educators believe has made students feel like widgets inside the classroom.

The most prominent example of personalized learning has been the proliferation of adaptive software that adapts to an individual student’s skill level. But the trend is also evident in a range of other educational initiatives, from a focus on grouping students by interest to one that emphasizes social and emotional development alongside academic learning.

In online education, personalized learning translates into various digital tools and techniques that give students key opportunities to take control of their educational journeys. This could involve simply providing students with more flexible seating options or allowing them to work through the material at their own pace. Still, it may also be a deeper conversation about the student’s learning strengths and weaknesses and how they prioritize content and progress through assignments.


A Doctor of Education (EdD) is a graduate degree that explores the theory and subject matter behind leadership, human development, and the use of educational tools to create positive change in organizations. It is typically geared towards experienced professionals who have worked in their field for several years and are looking to take the next step in their career.

Online programs allow students to work around professional and personal commitments while studying for an EdD. Many also offer the option to pursue a full-time course of study, helping graduates complete their degrees sooner.

In addition to offering the flexibility of online education, the best online EdD programs offer the opportunity for students to take part in on-campus residencies and internships that help them gain practical experience and apply advanced concepts learned in classes to real-world situations. These experiences can give students a competitive edge as they seek future leadership positions in the education and non-educational fields.

Real-World Learning Experiences

The EdD online program offers students a chance to gain real-world skills and experience that can be applied to the workforce. The curriculum for this degree combines foundational leadership courses with advanced research methods and culminates in a dissertation. Students also have the opportunity to engage in a doctoral practicum where they work directly with community partners to solve identified issues in education.

The degree provides a strong understanding of positively impacting society through education. The curriculum focuses on educational theory concerning psychology, motivation access, and equity. In addition, students will be able to explore policy at the local, state, and national levels and learn how to spearhead change across entire educational systems.

Moreover, this program is designed to support students’ career goals through a flexible learning model. The curriculum is structured to allow students to transfer credits from previous degree programs and complete their doctoral coursework in as little as 26 months. In addition, students can take advantage of a virtual brown bag series that features leaders who speak on various topics to enhance their professional development.

Ensure that a recognized accrediting body accredits the online education program. Accreditation ensures that the program meets specific quality standards and that employers and other institutions will recognize your degree.

Networking Opportunities

While earning an EdD, you may have the chance to connect with students from across the country—or even the world. This cross-cultural interaction can give you a new perspective and broaden your professional network.

Some online education doctorate programs offer additional ways for students to learn from and interact with one another. They might also use asynchronous learning methods, such as readings, assignments, and discussion forums, or incorporate a limited amount of live sessions into the curriculum.

In addition, some EdD programs require students to participate in on-campus residencies or internships. These are designed to allow students to apply advanced concepts learned in class to their professional environments and develop skills they will need as future leaders in educational systems.

At the college and university levels, graduates with a Ph.D. in education can pursue roles such as dean, vice president, or provost. Other jobs available at school systems include superintendent, principal, and director of education. Additionally, PhD students can work as research and policy advisors or lobbyists in government-related fields. Salaries for those with a doctoral degree in education vary widely by position and geographic location. 

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