Instructional design courses vary depending on various factors such as the particular university and the focus of study (i.e. concentration). Most institutions prepare students for graduate level programs in instructional design and technology only. I.e. instructional design masters and instructional design PhD degree programs. These disciplines are Master of Science (MSc.) Master of Arts (MA), Master of Education (M.Ed), Educational specialist (Ed.S), Doctor of Education (Ed .D), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Only a few programs have undergraduate or bachelors degrees but some programs have a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology Online. Below is a sample of typical instructional design classes that you can expect from various programs, depending on their focus. Names or titles will vary by program.
Educational Technology Training and Education
Instructional design courses are based on learning theories and instructional design models such as ADDIE. Coursework varies depending on the actual degree program. For example, some programs may have more of a teacher education focus, while others may cater to corporate instructional design, a Human Performance Technology (HPT) or training.
Additionally some of the courses will be required or mandatory but students would have some electives to choose from. Again, this will vary from school to school and program to program, and whether they are masters or doctoral level. In some cases some of the colleges offer instructional design certification. The important thing to ensure is that the college or university is accredited.
Typical Instructional Design Courses
These courses listed below are generic names but typically they form the core, foundational, or cognate area. Actual names may vary by the degree program offerings.
- Trends and Issues/Survey of Instructional Design
- Foundations of Instructional Design and Technology
- Technology-Based Instruction
- Computer-based Instruction
- Needs assessment/Needs Analysis
- Media production and development
- Instructional simulations and gaming
- Instructional Theories and Models
- Design of Performance and Instructional Systems
- Instructional Design Consulting
- Human Performance Technology
- Training Intervention
- Managing Instructional Projects (Project Management)
- Analysis of Instructional Systems
- Authoring Technologies
- Evaluation of Instructional Systems
- Educational psychology
- Research Methods
The following courses vary depending on the individual program. Typically, students select a few classes and some of these may be repeatable.
- Special Topics in Instructional Design and Technology
- Readings in Instructional Design and Technology
- Research in Instructional Design and Technology
- Directed Studies in Instructional Design and Technology
- Scholarly Project or Research Project
- Independent Study
- Educational psychology
- Research methods
* Note that these will vary by individual department or college and structure of the program as well. Specific names or titles will also vary.
Instructional Design Careers
Instructional technologists help to enhance their own teaching, in addition to helping other educators and trainers learn about current technology trends. Many professionals who become experts in instructional technology are already involved in the area of training and education, and they then go on to gain educational technology expertise.
Some educational technologists who gain expertise in instructional technology work in library and media resources as well technology administrators and corporate trainers, and e-learning experts. Instructional design careers include working as a technical writer, senior instructional designer, project manager, multimedia specialist, and elearning specialist, to mention a few.
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