Instructional design helps you create classes, trainings, and apps that people actually learn from. Here are online classes you can take to get better at it.

Instructional design courses and certificate programs

Instructional design

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Instructional Design Foundations and Applications (Coursera) 

This is the first course of the two-course MasterTrack certificate offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is an excellent foray into the world of instructional design. Taught by Dr. Eunjung Grace, this four-week course takes students through the conceptual and theoretical background of instructional design. Because it’s free to audit, taking this intro course is a good idea if you are considering enrolling in the full MasterTrack, as it will let you know what to expect and if this particular program is the right choice for you. You can read a full review of this MasterTrack here.


Become an Instructional Designer (LinkedIn Learning)

This is a series of nine videos on instructional design, perfect for anyone looking to learn more about the field of instructional design and gain foundational knowledge without committing to a longer certificate program. Available through LinkedIn Learning with a $29.99/month subscription, it will take you through the basics of instructional design, from storyboarding to assessing your work, and covers learning design for both corporate and educational environments. When you complete the learning path, LinkedIn will provide you with a certificate of completion to add to your LinkedIn profile.


Introduction to Instructional Design: Online Course Creation (Udemy)

This introductory course is a good choice for anyone interested in using instructional design to develop online courses. It’s taught by an instructional designer, whose goal is sharing everything he wished he knew when he was starting out in instructional design. Through video lectures and curated resources (including e-books and podcasts), this course takes you through the basics of instructional design theory and gives you the opportunity to apply your knowledge to an e-learning project. This is a short, self-directed course, with only about an hour and a half of total video content, so it’s a quick way to get a grasp of the field or to brush up on your instructional design knowledge.


The IDOL Academy

IDOL (Instructional Design and Online Learning) is an instructional design agency that offers courses for people specifically interested in corporate instructional design. IDOL offers an eight-week academy to get you started for $1,497 at the basic level and $2,497 for additional features. The academy is incredibly comprehensive, teaching students graphic design and animation skills alongside instructional design theory and e-learning processes. By the end of the course, you will have built a complete instructional design portfolio from scratch and will be completely ready to apply for instructional design jobs in the corporate world. This is one of the best choices out there if you’re serious about starting a career in corporate instructional design, but don’t want to pay for a master’s degree. 


E-Learning Instructional Design certificate (Association for Talent Development) 

This certificate program is for those who are not entirely new to instructional design and are interested in learning additional learning models for developing e-learning materials. This course is designed to be applicable for a range of instructional design applications, including HR specialists and curriculum designers. In this program, students are introduced to the Association for Talent Development’s very own e-learning design model and are given the opportunity to practice and apply the model. This course is $1,695 for non-ATD members.  


Instructional Designer Certificate Program (Online Learning Consortium) 

This certificate program, offered by the Online Learning Consortium, is the industry standard for those interested in working in online course development for schools and universities. The program is a series of four online courses, each one taking students through a different aspect of online learning design. The program is designed for people with some experience working in instructional design and are interested in strengthening their skills. The program costs $2000 for non-OLC members. 


Instructional Design and Technology (edX)

This program on instructional design and technology is a series of four courses that will take about eight months to complete. Priced at $1,076.40, you will receive an edX MicroMasters certificate from the University System of Maryland, which is very reasonable for the amount of instruction you’ll receive. Designed for those interested in developing online learning, this program will take you through learning theory and data analytics, while also providing hands-on practice in developing and publishing online courses. The program combines instructional design with training in e-learning technology and will prepare you for a career in online learning development.

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