What is Instructional Design?

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The field of Instructional Design focuses on using what we know about how people learn to guide the design, development and implementation of instructional materials. In particular, it addresses digital materials and environments such as websites and apps, videos and podcasts, social media networks, interactive simulations and games, and online courses.

Instructional design teaches a systematic approach to designing these learning resources. This includes:
  • analyzing a learning problem, the characteristics of the learner and the learning context
  • deciding on appropriate media and educational strategies
  • proposing a design
  • conducting or overseeing development, implementation, and evaluation
A good instructional designer has a strong foundation in both learning theory and design theory, including when and how to use specific learning strategies, specific presentation media or specific software applications.

He or she needs to be:
  • Able to use both theory and research to inform design
  • Well-grounded in practical technology competencies, for example how to take a website from concept to a plan to working prototype
  • Able to work with a team in developing a learning environment.
Instructional designers work in a range of contexts, from industry and non-profits to schools and universities, where they can be called upon to respond to a wide array of questions and problems dealing with education and training. The master of science program at Quinnipiac is designed to prepare candidates for professional work or advanced study in instructional design by developing a solid grounding in core knowledge areas.

No special technical or programming skills are required to enroll in the program.

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