How to Choose the Right Online Instructional Design Certificate Program
Without a doubt, the eLearning industry is showing no signs of slowing in terms of overall growth (Top 10 eLearning Stats for 2014). More and more organizations are utilizing eLearning Software to deliver employee training, while individual learners are turning to eLearning courses to build upon and acquire new skills. As a result, Instructional Designers are increasingly in demand, in both professional and educational environments.
What's Involved in an Instructional Design Certification Program?
A variety of schools now offer online instructional design certificate programs that typically include 15 credit hours (but this may vary from school to school). Given that many of these online Instructional Design Certification programs allow you to go at your own pace, you can usually complete the courses at your own discretion and the time it takes you to obtain the certification greatly depends upon your own availability (and commitment to learning the concepts, of course).The information offered in each Online Instructional Design Certification program typically varies, but there are a number of concepts and ideas that are usually covered. For example, many online instruction design certificate programs offer information on how to effectively develop e-learning courses, how to use instructional technology to develop curriculum that motivates and engages the learner, as well as how to apply instructional design theories or models.
7 Tips for Choosing the Right Instructional Design Certificate Program.
When searching for the ID certification program that's a good fit for you, it may be helpful to keep the following tips in mind:
- Research the topics that are going to be covered and how the information will be delivered.
Read the syllabus carefully and research the school's offerings via their site. Do they offer the tools and information you're looking for? Will they provide you with the resources you're going to need? How do they provide coursework and lessons...is it through online modules, software, live chats?
- Look for a program that offers exactly what you need and helps you to achieve your ultimate goal.
Take the time to go over your personal and professional objectives in order to determine if the school's a good match. To do this, you must first ask yourself what you really want to do once you receive your certificate. Do you want to teach, design courses, or carry out educational research? You may want to read the Top 10 Instructional Designer Skills and/or What an Instructional Designer Does?
- Consider which type of design theory the school utilizes.
Different programs focus on different design theories. For example, while one school may take a behaviorist approach, another may rely upon the cognitive theory. Knowing this will allow you to select a program that enables you to design and instruct more effectively. In essence, it provides you with the opportunity to learn about instructional design theories that you are actually going to use in the real world to create meaningful and high quality educational experiences for learners. I highly encourage you to check the Instructional Design Models and Theories.
- Make sure the school offers real world experience.
A vast majority of the time, employers won't necessarily be focusing on a certificate or degree, but what you actually learned. They'll want to know if you know how to apply your instructional design knowledge in the real world. So, be sure to ask whether the school offers real life scenarios or course work that will enable you to gather experience that you will put to good use when designing courses or teaching. You may want to read How To Get A Job As An Instructional Designer.
- Research the faculty and/or staff.
When trying to find instructional design programs that may be right for you, you'll also want to look at who will be teaching you or designing the courses you will be using. See if the school's staff has written any articles or books or look online to get an idea of their qualifications. In many cases, it's their experience you'll be benefiting from, so you'll want to find a program that offers the most experience for your money.
- Cost of courses and learning materials.
Though cost shouldn't be the most important factor, it is definitely something that impacts your decision. As such, you should ask about any fees that are associated with the program and what those fees cover. Will there be any books that you need to purchase? Are there add-on modules that you can buy in order to get more out of your educational experience?
- Look at reviews for the school's ID program.
There are so many instructional design certification programs online today that it may be a bit overwhelming to choose the school that's a good fit for you. However, one of the best ways to determine if a school is on the “up-and-up” or if it is worth the investment is to look for online reviews or to check its status. Do they have a good reputation? Have past students been pleased with the education they received?
18 Online Instructional Design Certificate Programs to Consider
There are a number of instructional design certificate programs online today. Here are just a few that you may want to add to your list of schools to consider:
- Boise State University - Workplace eLearning and Performance Support
- Boise State University - Workplace Instructional Design
- Colorado State University - Global Campus - Organizational Training and Instructional Design Graduate Certificate of Completion
- Florida State University - Certificate in Online Instructional Development
- George Mason University - E-Learning Graduate Certificate
- George Washington University - E-Learning Graduate Certificate
- George Washington University - Instructional Design Graduate Certificate
- George Washington University - Training and Educational Technology Graduate Certificate
- Indiana University - Instructional Systems Technology Certificate
- Jones International University - e-Learning Technology and Design: Instructional Design ibstpi®
- Kaplan University - Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design for Organizations
- La Salle University - Instructional Technology Management Certificate
- North Carolina State University - Graduate Certificate in E-Learning
- Rio Salado College - eLearning Design Specialist Certificate
- The University of Arizona South - Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology
- University of California, Irvine - eLearning Instructional Design Certificate
- University of Wisconsin Stout - Online Instructional Design Certificate
- Walden University - Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology