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  • The doctoral program in Learning Technologies prepares graduates for dynamic roles in education and leadership in statewide, regional, national and international Learning Technologies communities. The doctoral program began as part of the Computer Education and Cognitive Systems area which is nationally and internationally known for preparing educators and technology professionals to advance knowledge of technology learning tools and their applications. Perhaps the single most distinctive feature of the program is its longevity at the forefront of Learning Technologies in the nation. Faculty in the program have been teaching doctoral courses and supervising dissertations in this area for more than 20 years, and three have been at the forefront of the field for more than 30 years. This long lineage of wisdom traces its roots back to one of the earliest National Learning Technologies Conferences held at UNT, in 1981.

    The PhD in Learning Technologies focuses on understanding and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. This program emphasizes the application of advanced technologies including computers and information technology to educational and instructional environments in the public and private sectors. The core of the program is the application of technologies within the learning process. Strong foundations in computing and information/cognitive science, in additional to learning theory and education, distinguish this program from many others.

    Graduates of the program will:

    • understand the relationship between human learning, technology intervention and instructional practices
    • have experience in laboratory and field-based research, internships and practicum, presenting papers at professional conferences and disseminating research through the traditional professional journals, through the Internet and other electronic media.

    Doctoral courses are designed to engender a sense of inquisitiveness in the students. Students are expected to engage in research and publish their efforts. Student research and publication are demonstrated in their doctoral portfolios. Each class requires that the students explore a topic related to the class and write the results of the investigation in a publishable format.

    Many of our graduates are prepared to accept appointments at universities and organizations whose mission is the creation and testing of innovative applications of technology to education and training. Currently, over 50% of graduating doctoral students have accepted appointments as tenure-track professors.

    Graduates work as faculty, instructors, teachers, instructional designers, directors of distance education, technology coordinators, trainers, and other positions in the instructional, educational, and learning technology fields. An eye toward a future career is very much a part of the doctoral mentoring process, including choice of dissertation topic.


    To continue to increase national recognition as a leading program in Learning Technologies which prepares scholars for careers in educational, corporate, and academic environments through a rigorous, collaborative, and technology infused curricula. The core of the program is the application of technologies within the learning process. The doctorate in Learning Technologies within the Computer Education and Cognitive Systems Program focuses on defining, understanding, and expanding the synergy of technology and learning/instructional systems theory. Towards this end, a successful doctoral candidate will demonstrate proficiency in both process and content areas. Process refers to the skills and knowledge that graduates use in the course of being contributing scholars/practitioners; whereas, content areas are the domain specific knowledge and skills which form the foundation of our discipline.


    Process Competencies

    Synthesize Knowledge

    The graduate will read and synthesize the literature related to his/her specific discipline; describe fundamental theories of human learning and the role of technology; and apply knowledge of human learning and technology to the solution of practical problems in his/her discipline.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by completing some of the following activities:

    • Write a critical literature review
    • Write a conference paper based on the standards of either a state, regional or national conference
    • Write a grant proposal based on published grant guidelines
    • Write a journal article based on the publication guidelines for a state or national journal
    • Write a project report based on a mini-research project
    • Actively participate in the design and implementation of a course or a workshop

    Create Knowledge

    The graduate will describe common research methods in his/her discipline, read and evaluate educational research, and apply research findings to the solution of practical problems in his/her discipline.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by completing some of the following activities:

    • Conduct a research project individually or collaboratively with peers or faculty
    • Apply appropriate models to "real world" projects
    • Develop instructional materials/projects based on research findings and/or theory

    Communicate Knowledge

    The graduate will communicate effectively in oral and written formats including the ability to communicate content from his/her discipline through the design and delivery of effective teaching/learning activities that integrate content and pedagogy, adapt instruction and support services to the needs of diverse learners, and assess appropriately learning outcomes.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by completing some of the following activities:

    • Present at a professional conference
    • Present the results of an independent study project at a seminar
    • Use inclusive and non-biased language in written and oral communication
    • Discuss the application of instructional design models and procedures
    • Develop instructional materials that communicate information to diverse end users

    Think Critically and Reflectively

    The graduate will develop a personal vision of inclusive educational practice, identify the relationship of his/her discipline to the broader field of education, and critically evaluate theory and practice.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by completing some of the following activities:

    • Prepare a critical and reflective paper on scholarly topics in Learning Technologies
    • Prepare a constructive critique of a research design
    • Prepare a constructive critique of a current research theory in education technology
    • Write a reflective paper

    Engage in Professional Development

    The graduate will demonstrate the disposition for life-long learning and continuous professional development.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by participating in workshops and professional conferences related to instructional or information technology.

    Participate Actively in Their Profession

    The graduate will identify communities of practice within his/her discipline and participate within these communities.

    The graduate will demonstrate this competency by completing some of the following activities:

    • Demonstrate understanding of and adherence to the discipline's professional code of ethics (e.g., cite sources, obey copyright law, follow human subject research protocols)
    • Present at a professional meeting
    • Participate actively in state, regional and national professional organizations
    • Provide volunteer service to community
    • Conduct in-service workshops in educational technology

    Content Competencies

    1. Describe the philosophical underpinnings of the use of computers in education including: why we are interested in this technology; what we hope to accomplish; intended and unintended changes that will occur by its use.
    2. Examine the underlying philosophical approaches to learning and the paradigms which guide instructional design.
    3. Describe how the use of computing and other technologies are enabled within each learning paradigm.
    4. Explain the challenges and opportunities of implementing emerging technologies in educational environments with emphasis on describing their use to meet educational needs and goals.
    5. Explain the principles linking instructional conditions and learning outcomes including motivation, perception, cognition, and attitude change.
    6. Identify the issues of successful technology implementation and the implications in educational environments through the use of classic and contemporary research.
    7. Describe the current and historical theory and practice of distance education including investigations in teaching and learning, systems design, implementation of instruction and provide an overview of major theorists.
    8. Plan, develop, implement and evaluate distance educational systems in educational environments.
    9. Identify research and applications of interactivity used in multimedia computer technologies in the design and production of interactive learning systems.
    10. Create an instructional interactive presentation that utilizes elements of interactive multimedia.
    11. Design and implement educational multimedia and hypermedia products utilizing strategies from message design, human factors research, learning theory and other theoretical and critical approaches.
    12. Explain the theoretical base of constructivist philosophy of learning and design or develop technology infused learning environments that keep students active, constructive, collaborative, intentional, complex, contextual, conversational, and reflective.
    13. Create a distributable electronic product for constructivist learning environments including interface and media design, and an evaluation component.
    14. Analyze facility design, organizational patterns, administrative strategies, and alternative structures for achieving and evaluating media-based instructional and production components. Analysis includes selection, procurement and control of hardware and software inventories and management tools including protection of intellectual property, security issues and budgeting strategies.
    15. Explain that the ideal grant is a match between the needs of an organization and the desires of a funding agency.
    16. Write effective grant proposals.
    17. Explain the relationship between a granting agency and its grant recipient.
    18. Students will analyze current research in learning technologies as a tool for understanding the unique characteristics of technology based research activities in educational environments. Special consideration will be given to strategies for separating influences in research designs that incorporate technology as tools and as variables in the design. Students will also identify potential dissertation research topics and prepare preliminary reports that will be critiqued in class in preparation for doing the dissertation.


    Admission to doctoral study in learning technologies is competitive within the capacity of the program faculty to mentor doctoral students. Each prospective student will be subjected to evaluation conducted by the Learning Technologies program graduate faculty each term/semester for a limited number of openings. The minimum requirements for admission include the following:

    Minimum requirements for admission

    1. Degree Requirement:
      1. A Masters degree from an accredited institution, with a grade point average of 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) or
      2. Under some circumstances a Bachelor’s degree with sufficient additional courses required to secure a Masters degree on the way to a Ph.D. A total grade point average of 3.0 or a grade point average of 3.5 over the last 60 hours (on a 4.0 scale)
    2. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores including verbal, quantitative and analytical writing must be on file at the time the application is reviewed or submissions of all of the following materials:
      1. A scholarly presentation at a professional conference related to Learning Technologies.
      2. Completion of 6 hours of graduate coursework in mathematics or statistics with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
      3. A scholarly publication in a respected, peer reviewed setting.
      4. or for international students that have completed the IELI program through level 6 and successfully completed the UNT Graduate Preparation Course (GPC), the GPC may be submitted in place of GRE scores.
    3. For international students, a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or successful completion of the UNT Intensive English Language Institute (IELI) through level 6.
    4. Degree Program Application (contact to request application).
    5. A personal resume that includes a summary of teaching, administrative, and/or training experience.
    6. Personal statement (500 – 1000 words) of career objectives, which may include doctoral research areas of interest; research, professional or community experiences that demonstrate motivation, commitment and potential for doctoral work; accomplishments; communications skills; technology skills; and contribution to the diversity of the field.
    7. Three letters of recommendation.
    8. One must be from a faculty member currently working at an academic institution. This letter must acknowledge the applicant's potential to successfully complete the program’s doctoral program.
    9. Interview with program faculty, which is not a requirement, but may be requested by the admission committee.

    Submission of Application

    Submit the following admission materials directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:

    1. completed application for admission (apply online at
    2. transcripts from previous colleges attended
    3. GRE or GMAT scores.

    These materials are processed by the Toulouse Graduate School and then forwarded to the program. Due to this processing time, it is imperative that you submit these materials well in advance of the program application deadline so that they are received by the program office before that date.

    Submit the following materials directly to the LTEC Program office (address below):

    1. personal resume
    2. personal statement
    3. letter of intent
    4. three letters of recommendation

    Submission Dates, Review of Application, and Semester Start upon Acceptance

    Residency Option

    LTEC Application Deadline Program Review Upon Acceptance to Residency Program Option
    March 1st on or about April 15th Summer Semester
    June 1st on or about July 15th Fall Semester
    October 1st on or about November 15th Spring Semester

    Online Option - US Students

    LTEC Application Deadline Program Review Upon Acceptance to Residency Program Option
    April 10th on or about April 30th Summer Semester of next Cohort Start

    Online Option - International Students

    LTEC Application Deadline Program Review Upon Acceptance to Residency Program Option
    January 15th on or about March 30th Summer Semester of next Cohort Start

    International students apply via the UNT International Office

    Completed application packets are then distributed to the program admissions committee for review. The review process begins after the posted due date and all on-time packets are reviewed at one time. If you have questions, please contact the LTEC office.

    Department of Learning Technologies
    3940 N. Elm, Suite G150
    Denton, Texas 76207
    Main Phone: (940) 565-2057
    Advising Phone: (940) 565-4470
    Advising Email: Fax: (940) 565-4194