Instructional Design Courses & Programs

The OLC Institute for Professional Development offers online workshops, courses, and programs for everyone from new online faculty, educators, and instructional designers to experienced online instructors and advanced instructional/course designers. Explore a variety of options for learning, networking, choosing a career path. 

The Instructional Designer Certificate Program provides you the opportunity to establish and demonstrate your skills, competency, and expertise in creating and developing online courses and supporting online learning professionals and educators. 

The Instructional Design Mastery Series provides you with tools, methods, and research that enable you to assess and evaluate learning outcomes and ensure the quality and effectiveness of online courses and programs.

Project Management for Instructional Design
Woman planning instructional design project

Read more about choosing between these two programs.

Regardless of your level of experience or expertise, OLC provides many online courses you can use to enhance and expand your skills and to gain more specialized knowledge of specific topics in instructional design, including conducting research, ensuring quality, collaborating with faculty, incorporating new technologies, and more.  

We’ve grouped some of these courses into topics to help you choose: Getting Started, Specialized Courses, Gamification, AR and VR, Accessibility, Copyright and OER, and Communicating, Cooperating, & Engaging

For a full list of courses and programs, browse the institute schedule.

Getting Started:

New to Online: Essentials Part 1, Getting Started (7-day workshop): Explore the differences between learning online and face-to-face by taking an online course yourself.  

New to Online: Essentials Part 2, Converting Your Course (7-day workshop): Learn about the process of taking a course online.

Fundamentals: ADA & Web Accessibility (7-day workshop): Increase your awareness and learn the basics.

Introduction to Online Presentation Tools (7-day workshop): Explore online presentation tools to create more engaging, interactive content. 

Creating an Interactive Syllabus (3-day workshop): Grab your students’ attention and improve their ability to access the information.

Creating YouTube Videos for Teaching & Learning (7-day workshop):

Introduction to Screencasting Tools (7-day workshop):  Explore tools for creating personalized visual content to engage students.

Exploring Interactive Video Tools (3-day workshop): Explore free online video tools and easy-to-implement strategies for creating interactive video.

Creating Infographics for Learning (7-day workshop): Use visual data for enhanced cognition and communication.

Creating Effective Assessments (7-day workshop): Use theories and principles from game design to develop learning environments that motivate and engage students in a creative way.

Specialized Courses:

Research Methods for the Instructional Designer Community (4-week course): Identify various research designs, apply sound methodology to research problems, and collaborate in research environments.

Exploring Digital Storytelling (7-day workshop): Explore the elements of an effective digital story—including point-of-view, voice, sound, images, and pacing—and learn how to implement them to create effective learning experiences. 

Designing Courses with a Multimodal Approach (7-day workshop): Develop content in various formats by using visuals, audio and video to engage a diverse set of learners.

Introduction to Learner Experience (LX) Design Methods, Part 1 – Personas (7-day workshop): Get a basic overview of what LX Design is and how it can help you identify and resolve some of the difficulties your students may encounter in your course.

Introduction to Learner Experience (LX) Design Methods, Part 2 – Experience Mapping (7-day workshop): Learn basic methods for thinking about how your learners (and other stakeholders) make their way through your course or program, and how to design the best path for a successful experience.

Introduction to Learner Experience (LX) Design Methods, Part 3 – Prototyping (7-day workshop): Learn about basic methods for prototyping a course design, methods for getting learner feedback regarding usability and accessibility, and opportunities for iteration on your course design prototype. 

Exploring Competency-Based Education (7-day workshop): Learn how you can structure self-paced, learner-focused, outcomes-driven learning environments that measure student achievement of stated outcomes, rather than time spent on specific learning activities. 

Neuro, Cognitive and Learning Sciences, Part I: Bringing Theory to Practice (7-day workshop): Gain a foundation in the most relevant aspects of research on learning in the mind and brain, culminating in a journal of practice with plans for applying brain and cognitive science to teaching.

Neuro, Cognitive & Learning Sciences, Part II: Applying Theory to Practice (7-day workshop): Explore the elements of digital storytelling—including point-of-view, voice, sound, images and pacing—and learn how to use them for effective learning experiences.

Gamification, AR and VR:

Creating Augmented & Virtual Reality Course Content (7-day workshop): Discover and discuss best practices, suggestions, and lessons learned for incorporating AR/VR content in higher education institutions.

Designing Gamified Learning Environments (7-day workshop): Use theories and principles from game design to develop learning environments that motivate and engage students in a creative way.

Accessibility, Copyright and OER:

Designing with Accessibility in Mind (7-day workshop): Explore and utilize tools for creating more accessible course content, multimedia, and documents.

Applying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Principles to Online Courses to Increase Accessibility and Engagement (7-day workshop): Design with the flexibility to include and accommodate the variety of challenges faced by a diverse student population. 

Exploring Open Educational Resources Part 1 (3-day workshop): Use, share, and improve freely-available educational resources.

Implementing Open Educational Resources, Part 2 (7-day workshop): Implement open education resources and learn how to engage and support the faculty who use them.

Introduction to Copyright & Fair Use, Part 1 (2-day workshop): Explore the Six Rules for Course Design to avoid copyright infringement.

Introduction to Copyright & Fair Use, Part 2 (2-day workshop): Explore and understand the Best Practices in Fair Use and recognize the legal implications of copyright infringement.

Communicating, Cooperating, & Engaging:

Creating Useful Resources for Faculty (4-week course): Collect, evaluate, develop, and share resources for online faculty.

Project Management for Instructional Designers (4-week course): Manage multiple projects and successfully achieve project outcomes within the context of a team.

Facilitating Group Work Online (7-day workshop): Participate in a collaborative activity that models effective group work processes and develop your own group-based learning activity.

Fundamentals: Increasing Interaction & Engagement (7-day workshop): Explore theories and practices that foster student engagement in your own courses, including the use of multimedia feedback, discussion techniques, and group involvement.

Still not sure which program is right for you? Contact and one of our staff members will help you choose.