Instructional systems design (ISD) is an term used interchangeably with the term instructional design. This graduate program may be a good option for those who enjoy working with learners in a technology-based environment whether face-to-face or virtually. It is the “process of designing and developing instructional courses or materials that bring greater efficiency and effectiveness to acquiring knowledge or skills for learners.” While graduate certificate programs at also available by college, undergraduate degree programs are less common.
ISD Training and Education
It is important to get your degree from an accredited program because it enhances your career mobility and provides greater flexibility in the types of jobs that you can apply for. Many employers require a degree from an accredited university.
It is important to enroll in an accredited program for the purposes of transferring credits or joining another degree, for example a Ph.D. Again, most schools will not accept credits from an unaccredited institution and you will have wasted your money and time. Some colleges and universities offer Masters in Instructional Design while others offer a PhD in Instructional Design and other related degrees.
Prospective students in masters in instructional design and technology degree programs should consider several factors when choosing between different instructional design degree programs. For example, future career plans, interest and expertise in various specializations, geographic mobility, distance learning opportunities, and financial resources. These guidelines suggest some information gathering techniques to assist prospective students in choosing a program. Different schools use different names for their programs, for example:
- Computer Education and Technology
- Educational Technology
- Educational Multimedia
- Educational Technology
- Instructional Design and Development
- Instructional Technology
- Instructional Systems
- Instructional Systems Technology
- Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation
- Instructional Design and Technology
- Instructional and Performance Technology
- Learning Technologies
Related to degrees in instructional design are Adult Education and Training and Performance Improvement degrees and concentrations, as well as instructional design certification programs. Below is a summary that is intended to help you figure out the options that best suite your needs. Contact individual universities you may be interested for in-depth information regarding their programs, course offerings, distance education programs, admissions, financial aid, and degrees.
If possible, visiting the schools that offer the instructional design degree program, and/or talking to faculty members can help you select the program that best meets your goals. Also take time to examine facilities such as computer and library resources, affordability, housing, and extra-curricular activities, possibilities of employments and internships are some issues that you should examine.
Generally, instructional design masters degree programs require a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (often higher) on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent, e.g., B average). Many programs in the United States require the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)Test scores. Some accept the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Some instructional design programs have no entry test requirements.
Students from outside the United States may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Most programs request that students provide letters of recommendation and a statement of educational and professional objectives. Some programs, especially Ph.D. programs may also require a personal interview. In some programs, new students may be required to demonstrate computer skills early in the program.
Instructional Systems Masters Programs
Given the areas of emphasis listed above, there may be considerable variations in the curricula offered by the programs, such as the number and types of required courses. The number of academic credit hours required for a master’s degree averages about 36 semester hours or 72 quarter hours. Some programs offer full-time programs, while others may have more students attending on a part time basis. For this reason, many instructional design degree programs that have on-campus courses offer evening classes. Depending on the school you may work toward a Master of Science (M. Sc.), Master of Arts (M.A.), or Master of Education (M.Ed).
Examples of Instructional Design Courses
While these may vary from program to program common I.D. courses include: Educational psychlogy, instructional design foundations, learner analysis, adult learning theory, Analysis of Performance Systems, Project Management, and Evaluation of Instructional Systems. Of course the names of the courses will vary by school but in essence, the goal is to cover various aspects of ADDIE (Analysis Design Develop Implement, Evaluate).
Difference Between Instructional Design PhD and Ed.D Degrees
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Education (Ed .D) degrees both take longer to complete. Although these also vary from program to program, the main difference between major Ph.D. and Ed .D degrees is the design and intent of the programs.
An EdD instructional design degree program generally prepares practitioners. A program would include coursework, internships, and independent work in learning and direction, staff development, supervising, evaluation, and research synthesis. After graduating from instructional design degree programs, many people chose to work in school settings and universities. The Ph.D. program is a research degree and includes coursework, internships, and independent work in research designing, data analysis, and instructional theory.
Ph.D. graduates tend to work in universities and research-based environments. Therefore a Ph.D. is based on original research while a Ed .D is practice oriented. Even with full time studies few people complete a program of study in less than four years, and part time students can take up to seven years. As with the masters degree be sure not to take too long to or you will start to lose credit hours. Doctorate programs require the completion of residency requirements (each school will define their residency requirements). Candidates are also required to work on a dissertation after completion of the coursework. This phase of the program is often referred to as ABD (all but dissertation.
Plan a program of study based on an assessment of your past experiences, education, personal strengths and interests, geographic mobility, intended career path, and future plans. During your time in the instructional design degree programs, you should be aware of job market opportunities but you should not necessarily let them dictate your choice to specialize.
Faculty advisors in instructional design degree programs can help you in the process of developing a program of study that fits your needs. The programs have required courses to provide general preparation to practice in the profession. Some programs also offer specialized tracks or courses that permit or encourage concentration in a specific area as listed above. The opportunity to specialize in instructional design degree programs depends on the availability of relevant courses, on focused class projects. If you are interested in a certificate in instructional technology.
Instructional Systems Careers
Graduates work in a variety of different settings in corporations, schools, universities, government, military, and non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) just to name a few areas.
Areas of Specialization
Programs offer different areas of specialization to prepare their students. Instructional designers, instructional technologist, or e-learning specialists work in a variety of different settings in corporations, schools, universities, government, military, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and in the medical professions. Many students enter a master’s program knowing what they want to do when they graduate, some have not made a decision, and some see their interests shift once they are exposed to the wide variety of types and settings in which they can work.
Instructional Design and Related Programs
- Education programs include BA in Education Studies, BA in Child Development, and MA in Education.
- Students can specialize in areas such as Education and Public Policy, Instructional Design, and Early Childhood Education.
- Courses cover concepts such as phonics, curriculum development, instruction for English language learners, and more.
- Flexible, online courses allow students to pursue a degree on their own schedule.
- BA/Instructional Design
- MA/Education - Curriculum & Instruction
- MA/Teaching and Learning with Technology
- And more...
- 100% online degrees include Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and more.
- Students and faculty are encouraged to engage in a collaborative learning environment that promotes personal and professional growth.
- All faculty are professionals in the field of education, with PhD or EdD qualifications.
- Programs are designed to help educators at every level sharpen their teaching skills.
- MS in Education - Educational Psychology
- MS in Education in Instructional Technology - Adult Learning-Organizations
- MS in Instructional Technology (K-12)
- And more...
- One of the first fully online M.Ed. programs to be accredited by TEAC (Teacher Education Accreditation Council)
- Courses within 6 distinct education specializations use real-world deliverables aligned with industry-specific objectives
- Specializations include elementary education, secondary education instructional design and technology and more
- AIU’s M.Ed. uses a proprietary adaptive learning engine to provide individualized content delivery not available at this scale in other online programs at this time.
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Curriculum and Instruction for Educators
- Master's (M.Ed.) - Instructional Design and Technology
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- B.S. in Educational Studies (Does Not Lead to Teacher Licensure)
- Southern New Hampshire University believes in your right to affordable access to higher education.
- Private. Nonprofit. Accredited. And one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation.
- We believe you can succeed. We will be with you every step of the way. Find your program today at Snhu.edu.
- Education and Teaching Doctoral Degree
- Education and Teaching Certificate
- Education and Teaching Associate's Degree
- And more...
- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
- In a university-sponsored survey, 4 out of 5 alumni reported being satisfied with their experience.
- #1 Online School for military veterans according to Military Times.
- 75,000+ graduates across all industries offer extensive networking opportunities.
- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
- Smartphone app available for on-the-go learning.
- Doctor of Management Higher Education Teaching and Learning
- Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
- Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
- Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
- Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
- 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education*
- Instructional Design & Technology
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Environmental Education
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Career and Technical Education (CTE)
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Teacher Leadership
- And more...
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Curriculum and Teaching - Master of Education
- Instructional Leadership - Doctor of Education
- Instructional Leadership - PhD in Education
- And more...