What Is Instructional Design?

Instructional design is the art and science of designing curricula and training to teach people new knowledge and skills effectively. Read on to learn more about this field and its educational options. Schools offering Instructional Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Instructional Design

The field of instructional design integrates psychology, communications and education to assess learning needs and develop plans and courses to meet them. Many educators earn graduate certificates, master's degrees or doctoral degrees in instructional design at university graduate schools or online.

Important Facts About Instructional Coordinators

Median Salary (2014) $61,550
Entry-level Education Master's degree
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 7%
Work Environment Elementary and secondary schools, universities, governmental agencies and offices

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment in Instructional Design

Those who study instructional design often seek employment as instructional coordinators. These individuals measure the effectiveness of educational programs and techniques by observing teachers, interviewing faculty and staff, and suggest changes if necessary. They may also lead training sessions for teachers. Instructional coordinators are also known as curriculum specialists, instructional coaches or assistant superintendents of instruction. Career specializations include special education or English as a second language. Those who work in public schools may have to acquire a license. Several years of experience is often preferred by employers; this can be gained by working as teacher or principal.

Educational Programs in Instructional Design

Instructional design certificate programs are shorter than degree programs. These programs can prepare workplace trainers and other adult teachers to use interactive media, computer-mediated instruction and educational planning software. Some certificate programs specialize within the field of instructional design in areas like instructional technology, which focuses on computer-assisted learning and multimedia, or distance learning, which focuses on effective online education.

Teachers often earn graduate degrees in this field to stay current with the latest teaching methods and technologies or advance in their teaching careers. Administrators may choose this degree to increase curriculum planning skills or initiate online learning programs. Curricula for graduate degrees in instructional design can include learning needs assessment, instructional material design, outcomes evaluation, curriculum development, computing and instructional technology and multimedia. Graduate degree programs in this field can also offer specialization options, such as K-12, corporate or web-based instruction.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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