Contemplating a Certificate in Instructional Design

Tina Sibley is the Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College and in this post she recaps some information she has gathered on certificate programs in instructional design.

I do a lot of library instruction sessions both face-to-face and online, and over the past 18 months I’ve been mulling over the possibility of completing a certificate program in instructional design for e-learning.  Since I’m located in Yuma, I’d need a web-based program and that’s what I focused on in my investigation.  Also, I’ll mention that I’ve already had a small amount of exposure to ID, while working as a corporate training manager prior to my library career, so that influenced my research and how I viewed what each program offered for my needs.

ACRL has a variety of web-based classes, including one specifically about instructional design.  Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning.  Additionally they also offer a class focused on learning objects, Learning “To Go”: Using the Learning Object Model to Develop Online Instruction.  Both of these are about a month long and look like useful introductions.

Looking at certificate programs, I came across university offerings which varied from several months to about a year and a half. Some result in a certificate with CEUs and others earn graduate units. Some also let you apply the graduate units to a Masters program if you decide to pursue that.

The University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Studies department offers a Certificate in E-Learning Design and Development.  There are 4 courses to complete and the program takes 9 months to complete.  This certificate earns 17 CEUs.  One thing that caught my eye as I looked at this program was that there is a librarian on the advisory board.  This program does includes some perspective on managing e-learning programs which may not be something most librarians get involved with, but I personally could see a benefit to having had some insight to the big picture decision making process as the librarian engages with the rest of e-learning community on campus.

At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, they offer a five course certificate in E-Learning and Online Teaching which takes 10-19 months, depending upon whether you take one or two classes at a time. The certificate earns 15 graduate credits and they can be applied to the Masters program. This program is fully focused on teaching in the online environment. They also offer an Instructional Design certificate which is not focused on e-learning environments.

Through the University of Colorado- Denver you can complete a certificate of Designing eLearning Environments . This program is focused on instructional design incorporating multimedia and social-networking tools. There are three courses to complete over 18 months.  These graduate units can also be applied to their MA in eLearning Design and Implementation.

At California State University- East Bay, they offer through their Continuing Education department a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning. This is focused on the pedagogy of online teaching and learning. There are 4 courses and each one is 5 weeks long.  The certificate takes a minimum of 4 months to complete and the classes also satisfy the initial course requirements for their M.S. in Education with an Option in Online Teaching and Learning.

Another possibilities for learning about instructional design is to take a two-day workshop  marketed towards corporate trainers. See this certificate program listed on the web site of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).
These are just a few avenues to gain some understanding of and skill in instructional design.

Have you taken a class or seminar recently? Write up a summary and send it to culd@gmail.

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