Finding The Best Instructional Design PhD Degree: 6 Selection Criteria

6 Selection Criteria To Consider When Searching For The Best Instructional Design PhD Degree

You’ve spent years earning your Instructional Design degrees and now it’s time to search for the PhD program that will offer you the opportunity to pursue a high-level career in the world of online education. But how do you find the best Instructional Design PhD Degree that offers you the benefits and outcomes you’re looking for? Below you’ll find a variety of tips that can help you choose the ideal for you Instructional Design PhD program.

  1. Research the program’s structure.
    As PhD programs offer a more advanced and in depth education, they often involve a number of different components. Residencies, thesis or dissertations and end-of-term exams are just a few of the most common curriculum elements you should expect. However, every program has different requirements. As such, you should speak with the admissions coordinator to find out about the program’s structure, as well as how the online courses are delivered.  Will you be receiving your instruction primarily through virtual lectures and online videos, or are there a number of live online classes you will be expected to attend? You need to ensure that the structure of the eLearning course is in-line with your preferred learning style, and that it won’t conflict with other commitments of yours. For instance, if you work full-time and have a busy schedule, you may want to opt for an asynchronous eLearning program that requires very little face-to-face instruction or internships.
  2. Inquire about the residency requirements.
    Although Online Instructional Design PhD programs are supposed to be held at a distance, certain online Instructional Design PhD programs may also require that you complete a residency, which involves face-to-face classes that are held periodically. While some may ask you to attend in-person classes once every semester, others can make it mandatory to come in every month. This can be a major consideration when choosing the best online Instructional Design PhD program for you, especially if you don’t live near the university’s physical location. Therefore, you should inquire about the residency requirements, where the events are held, how often, and if there are any alternatives ways to skip them, such as online chats or virtual classroom sessions. In addition to the program’s residency requirements, you may also want to look into their internship opportunities. Verify whether you will get the chance to gain real world experience by interning, how long the internship will be and where it will be held.
  3. Verify whether there is a thesis component to the program.
    Most of the Instructional Design PhD programs have a thesis or dissertation component. If the program you have in mind does require a thesis, find out what exactly it consists of and how it will be reviewed. Given that a thesis or dissertation is often a prerequisite for graduating, you will probably want to ask about the thesis requirements up front so that you can prepare in time.
  4. Look up reviews and online references for faculty members.
    Most candidates who are pursuing their Instructional Design PhD degrees will look up reviews and ratings for the academic institution under consideration, but searching for references about faculty members can offer a great deal of insight into your search. Find out if they have been published in any notable journals or magazines, and whether they have any areas of expertise that may be in-line with your career objectives. See if there are reviews about them left by past program participants in order to determine if they can offer you the experience and guidance to help you achieve your academic goals.
  5. Seek out accredited schools.
    When employers are looking at your resume, a PhD earned from an accredited school will typically carry more weight than one that is not. Choosing an accredited school also ensures that you are more likely to get a high quality education that meets all academic standards. There are three different types of accreditation: regional, national and specialized. If you are unsure about whether an academic institution on your list is accredited, ask the admissions coordinator or do some online research to check if the university is listed on any accreditation databases.
  6. Determine whether the particular program is going to prepare you for desired career outcomes.
    The education you will be receiving during the PhD program must have practical, real world application, or else it really doesn’t hold any value. As such, it’s important to find a program that is going to prepare you for your desired career path. Regardless of whether you want eventually become a Dean of distance education at a prestigious university or a VP of eLearning for K-12 programs, the program you choose should provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to achieve your goal.

To get the best possible education, ensure that every aspect of the program offers you the experience you need to achieve your career outcome. The faculty members, online curriculum and eLearning course structure are all pivotal to not only receiving your PhD degree, but also landing the job that you’ve always wanted. After all, you’ve worked so hard to take your Instructional Design education to the highest level and enrolling in a program that prepares you for real world challenges and situations, can help to ensure your future success.

These tips can help you to find the best Instructional Design PhD program that broadens your understanding of eLearning methodologies and technologies. Whether you are pursuing a career in Instructional Design research or as a Director of Education at an online university, earning a PhD opens up a wealth of opportunities in the eLearning industry.

Read the article How To Choose The Right PhD Program to find out more tips about how to choose the most suitable for you Ph.D. You will also find a list of some of the Universities you may want to consider.

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