Prof. Dr. Dianne Conrad

Career, Research Areas, and Projects

Dianne Conrad has been a practicing adult and distance educator for over 35 years. During this time, she has developed and taught undergraduate and graduate courses at several universities across Canada; coordinated and managed undergraduate and graduate programs in adult and distance education and communications; and, most recently, developed and directed the prior learning assessment process at Athabasca University in Canada. Until recently, Dianne was the co-editor of the International Review of Open and Distributed Learning for six years; currently, she serves on several international editorial boards in the ODL field. Additionally, she teaches in the masters and doctoral programs at AU.

Her research interests include the fields of distance, adult, continuing, professional, and online learning; open learning and OER; e-portfolios and the recognition and assessment of prior learning. Now officially retired, she has just published her first book, Engagement and Authenticity: Assessment Strategies for Online Learning with co-author Jason Openo.


Selected Publications

  • Conrad, D., & Openo, J. (2018).  Assessment Strategies for Online Learning: Engagement and Authenticity.  Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
  • McGreal, R., Anderson, T., & Conrad, D. (2016).  Open Education Resources in Canada. In F. Miao, S. Mishra & R. McGreal (Eds.).  Open Educational Resources: Policy, Costs and Transformation. Perspectives on open and distance learning (pp. 63-76).  Paris, France:  UNESCO and Burnaby, BC: COL.
  • Robertson, L., & Conrad, D. (2015). Considerations of self in recognizing prior learning and credentialing. In M. Childs, Keppell and Reushle (Eds.), Open Learning and Formal Credentialing in Higher Education: Curriculum Models and Institutional Policies. Toowooba, USQ.
  • Conrad, D. (2014). RPL in higher education: Past, present, and potential. In J. Harris & C. Wihak (Eds.), Handbook of RPL: Research into practice. (pp. 315-336).  Leicester, UK:  NIACE.  [Invited]
  • Conrad, D. (2014).  Interaction and communication in online learning communities: Toward an engaged and flexible future.  In O. Zawacki-Richter and T. Anderson (Eds.), Online Distance Education: Towards a Research Agenda (pp 381-402). Edmonton, AB:  Athabasca University Press. [Invited]
  • Conrad, D. (2013). [Invited]. Pondering change and the relationship of prior learning assessment to MOOCs and knowledge in higher education. Prior Learning Inside and Out (PLAIO), 2(1). Available at:
  • Conrad, D., Macintosh, W., McGreal, R., Murphy, A. & Witthaus, G. (2013). Assessment and accreditation of Learners using OER. Commonwealth of Learning: Vancouver. Available at:
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