Trends and Issues in Instructional Design

Learn instructional design theory, application, and technologies with a graduate certificate.
In this Section

Our 8-week instructional design course includes:

an introduction to learning theory, instructional design models, and the instructional design and development process.

Whether you are in health care, education, business, software development, or a trainer in any other industry, this online course will help you analyze, design, and develop instruction.

Register now to reserve a spot. There is no registration fee to reserve a class. No transcripts are required.

Fall: August 26 - October 18, 2024
Tuition: $476 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,428 for a three-credit course)
Fall Tuition Due: TBA

Your projects focus on solving an instructional need in your work, volunteer, or community organization.

NOTE: Throughout the instructional design certificate courses, you will create portfolio quality products. For this course, you will create a design document and develop a unit or module of instruction/training.

You will study variables that affect adult learning, techniques for stimulating and sustaining learner motivation, and how to reinforce learning.

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development.

Online Course
3 semester hours of graduate credit
Instructors:  Kevin Bowersox-Johnson

We invite you to enroll in our instructional design course to meet your professional development goals if you seek a career change, graduate credits, or just a refresher course.

This course is an approved elective in the Master of Science in Education online degree program.

Our students include:

  • health educators pursuing a career in education settings in hospitals, dental programs, clinics, long-term care facilities, retirement/assisted living facilities, in-home healthcare, or other professionals who deliver instruction or continuing education to health professionals, including computer-based learning;
  • continuing education and outreach facilitators in museums, government, professional associations, and nonprofit organizations and military settings;
  • web developers, software designers, and computer support personnel who develop reference materials, documentation, and customer support tutorials;
  • instructional designers for textbook or e-learning companies;
  • K-12 teachers, curriculum coordinators, professional development coordinators, and continuing education professionals who want to update or expand their knowledge in curriculum development, assessment, and revitalize their teaching and learning strategies or shift their career in a different direction;
  • Instructional/educational technologists who support educators in redesigning courses.
How do I register?

Complete the Online Registration Form.

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development.

When is the registration deadline?

Reserve your spot now. This program is very popular, and courses fill well before the start date. This course is offered three times each year (spring, summer, and fall).

This is one of the required courses for individuals pursuing the Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design.

This course is an approved elective in the Master of Science in Education online degree program.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, if you are enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Stout Master of Science in Education program and enrolled in a minimum of five (5) credits.
NOTE: Tuition for students enrolled in a Masters degree program at UW-Stout will be billed at the degree program credit hour rate.

Textbook to Purchase

Purchase the following paperback used from or another online book source.

Mager, R.F. Preparing instructional objectives: A critical tool in the development of effective instruction (3rd ed.). Center for Effective Performance. 
ISBN: 978-1879618039 

You will be provided a second book as an e-textbook. When you login to the course, you will access the e-textbook to read online from your tablet, laptop or desktop. The e-textbook software is compatible with an iPad, Kindle Fire or fully internet capable device. It is not compatible with a Kindle Reader. 

If you prefer to read a hard copy instead of via your computer or tablet, you may purchase the book used or new from an online book source such as or the publisher.

Morrison, R. G., Ross, M. S., Morrison, J. R., & Kalman, H.K. (2019). Designing effective instruction (8th ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 9781119465935 

Additional recommended web-based articles will be available via the course modules.

What Does an Instructional Designer Do?

Instructional Design Jobs

"... completing a certificate can be the most direct path to career success."
~ from Complete College of America, Certificates Count: An Analysis of Sub-Baccalaureate Certificates

What Our Students Say...

"I thoroughly enjoyed my first ID class with Ms. Stone.  WHAT A GREAT INSTRUCTOR!  I loved our optional Saturday morning calls, and she provided robust feedback on all project work."~
Ellen Mathein, Business Management Instructor

"This was an enjoyable and informative course. I appreciate all of your energy, expertise, and generosity with your time and advice."
~ Emily Pines, Head of Content and Product Development for a Training Company

"I feel that the interview went very well, particularly the portion with the ID team. I have already found a ton of value from this online program from my experience interviewing for only one position. I should also mention that the training manager and one of the Instructional Designers are graduates of this program, and both spoke very highly of it, further reinforcing my choice to enroll."
~ Ian Carter

"This course not only helped me internalize the theoretical foundations of Instructional Design but enabled me to speak the language of the profession, which made all the difference at my job interview. Ultimately, this program provided the launchpad for my career as an Instructional Designer."
~ Gini Gorlinski, Arts and Culture Editor at Britannica

"After taking Trends & Issues in Instructional Design, I was able to change fields from education to instructional design successfully. Nicholle took the time to talk to me on the phone to give me some pointers and to answer my questions on multiple occasions, both about course content and my interview progress during my job hunt."
~ Teacher transitioning to Instructional Designer 

"I am inspired! Then there is the part about the instructor as a person that I enjoyed... his sense of humor, attentiveness, and encouragement throughout our learning. This combination of good things made my experience of taking EDUC 765 valuable and even enjoyable."
~ Julie Zaloudek Program Director, Human Development and Family Studies

No travel to campus - 100% Online
  • Participate 24/7 from your home or work computer during hours that are best for your work and family schedule.
  • The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component.
  • All discussion postings, projects, and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and Dropbox.
  • Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week.
  • There are no required "live" chat sessions.
  • This is not a self-paced class.