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The MEd program offers courses in online and blended formats. Non-degree students are invited to select individual courses to meet their career development or other specialized needs; their enrollment in courses is on a space-available basis.
Core Courses (required)
The following eight (8) courses, required of all Masters degree seeking candidates, provide a foundation and a context for the instructional design process. The first two courses (INSDSG601 and 602) form the basis of the program and should be completed first.
- INSDSG601 Foundations in Instructional Design and Learning Technology
- INSDSG602 The Adult as Learner
- INSDSG604 Communication Theory and Practice
- INSDSG607 Using Primary Research in Evidence-based Practice
- INSDSG640 Planning, Design and Development of eLearning
- INSDSG642 Assessment and Evaluation in Instructional Design
- INSDSG684 Design and Instruction of Online Courses
- INSDSG690 Capstone Seminar*
Students choose four (4) electives to complete the requirements of the Masters of Education in instructional design. Current elective course offerings include:
- INSDSG605 Collaborative Learning Design
- INSDSG610 Video Principles for Instructional Design
- INSDSG616 The Design and Authoring of eLearning
- INSDSG634 Project Management in Instructional Design
- INSDSG646 Universal Course Design: Pathways to Mindful and Creative Adult Learning for All
- INSDSG655 Project in Multimedia
- INSDSG696 Independent Study**
- INSDSG697 Special Topics
- INSDSG698 Internship***
* INSDSG690 The Capstone or Thesis
An instructional design capstone or thesis is required of all degree candidates for the MEd. For additional information please consult the ID Program Office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
** INSDSG696 Independent Study
This option is available only with advanced permission of the program director.
*** INSDSG698 Internship
This option is available only with advanced permission of the program director.
In order to complete the 36-credit program, students may choose up to two (2) electives from a wide range of graduate offerings throughout the University. This option is available only with advanced permission of the program director.
Academic Advising and Course Selection
Upon matriculation, all students are assigned an Academic Advisor who assists with recommendations for the students’ Plan of Study (POS). Students are encouraged to connect with their faculty advisor each semester for prior approval of course selection.
The Master’s Program in Instructional Design invites applications from individuals with a variety of academic and experiential backgrounds who hold baccalaureate degrees from an accredited institution. Completed applications are due June 1st for the Fall and November 1st for the Spring. Please note: All Admissions Criteria should be completed by the stated deadlines.
Admission criteria include:
- A personal interview with the program faculty (call 617.287.5980 for appointment before applying);
- A statement of interests and intent (see requirements in Graduate Application);
- Two letters of recommendation from former teachers familiar with the applicant’s recent academic work, or from employers familiar with his or her professional ability;
- An updated resume;
- Official transcripts of all previous undergrad and graduate work.
- Graduate Application: Apply Online | Download pdf
Theory into Practice
Rather than relying on intuition and guesswork, instructional design professionals base their instructional solutions on theoretical bases and practical implications from research in the field. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Complete scholarly research including searching, locating, and analyzing literature in the field;
- Interpret practical learning principles and their applications from various landmark learning theories;
- Apply interdisciplinary research findings to the solution of performance problems;
- Critically assess reliable publications, literature, trends, theories, data, and tools used in the field of instructional design.
Instructional design professionals seek solutions, both instructional and systemic, which lead to performance goals. Understanding that, as with all design fields, instructional designers continually seek input and feedback from learners and systems to discover and meet needs and continually improve. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Seek multiple data and information points when conducting analysis;
- Apply tools of analysis including task and needs analysis;
- Analyze performance gaps;
- Identify causes of performance gaps;
- Use analysis to recommend instructional and non-instructional solutions;
- Report analysis and proposed solutions in a clear, concise manner so that others can understand and evaluate proposed solutions.
Instructional design professionals create effective interventions, choosing and using methods that meet the needs of the organization, while balancing ROI and usefulness of the selected methods. Throughout their careers, they continually seek to stay current in emerging methods so that they may be a resource for thoughtful and considered innovation. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Develop performance outcomes that are measurable, have a specific action, and have specific conditions stated;
- Use evidence-based instructional strategies to maximize learning;
- Design appropriate multimodal instructional delivery, including face-to-face, online, blended, and emerging modes;
- Develop formative and summative learner assessments;
- Draw on a range of instructional design models to craft effective instructional interventions;
- Design effective formal and informal learning solutions.
In the development phase, instructional design professionals select and create learning materials, oftentimes in collaboration with other professionals. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Evaluate the relevancy and effectiveness of the instructional materials to help learners attain learning objectives;
- Demonstrate competency using a range of current and emerging technologies to build learning solutions;
- Develop learning materials that are accessible to diverse audiences;
- Apply visual literacy concepts and principles in the planning, layout, and design of learning materials;
- Create rapid prototypes and mock-ups that developers can use to create learning products;
- Develop learning materials based on sound cognitive research findings.
Instructional design professionals successfully implement learning solutions using multiple modalities. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Develop implementation plans, taking into consideration social, organizational, and technical implications;
- Facilitate instruction using multiple delivery modes including face-to-face and distance learning;
- Apply effective practices that encourage learner interaction, engagement, and learning;
- Stay current with emerging trends in delivery modes and their related technologies;
- Manage the implementation process.
Instructional designers artfully incorporate formative and summative evaluation for continual improvement of instruction, learning, and program effectiveness. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Evaluate instructional materials for usability and effectiveness;
- Use learner assessment data to improve instructional solutions;
- Accurately measure targeted performance outcomes identified by stakeholders;
- Produce a comprehensive report of evaluation findings to aid in future program improvement.
Instructional designers apply basic principles of reflective practice, that is, the capacity to reflect on and learn from professional experience and action, to develop personal insight and continuous professional improvement. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Act in ethically sound ways while executing all duties;
- Act mindfully and advocate on behalf of the learner;
- Distinguish process from content issues and determine how process can block or enhance group effectiveness;
- Communicate clearly, collegially, and credibly in written and verbal discourse;
- Engage respectfully, fairly, and cooperatively as part of a team;
- Consider connections between instructional design and other disciplines to inform the instructional design process.
Instructional designers that work at the graduate level provide leadership in their professional positions and in the field. In order to do this, graduates of the Instructional Design program will be able to:
- Justify the need for specific educational and training programs;
- Practice collaborative and team work strategies that build rapport and trust, mediate and resolve conflicts, and influence people;
- Implement processes to effectively manage people and projects;
- Manage change initiatives in an effective and supportive way;
- Document all phases of the instructional design process in a professional manner;
- Provide leadership throughout different functions and levels of an organization.
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