Master of Science in Instructional Design Degree

Master of Science in Instructional Design

Offered By: College of Education

Equip yourself to make an impact through instructional design. The Master of Science in Instructional Design can prepare you to support organizations or educational environments and is designed for professionals who wish to further their skills in instructional design and curriculum development in both educational institutions and corporate training environments.

What Is Instructional Design?

The field of instructional design encompasses many aspects of education, including the use of emerging technologies for teaching, evaluation of learning interventions and the application of effective instructional interventions to improve learning outcomes. The degree goes beyond the scope of academic education, additionally equipping graduates with teaching and training skills that can be used to improve performance of a variety of institutions and organizations.

GCU’s MS in Instructional Design prepares students with a wide breadth of knowledge, from the history of instructional design to emerging methods for instructional delivery. Upon completion of the program, students will have gained the experience necessary for a career in professional instructional design.

Improve Your Curriculum Development Skills

The degree is designed to equip learners with applicable skills and to fully prepare them for implementation upon graduation. Students in the program develop a foundational understanding of the theoretical groundwork of instructional design.

Throughout program courses, students will learn to apply these theories and combine them with skills such as research, analysis and problem-solving in order to solve a great variety of instructional issues. Coursework allows students to build up their research skills and enables them to analyze and interpret appropriate data to make evidence-driven design decisions.

Graduates will also develop a deep background incorporating technology into instructional design. Throughout the program students prepare to collaborate in organizations through the use of digital tools and to incorporate multimedia tools, informed by multimedia learning principles and visual graphics guidelines. Students additionally gain hands-on experience creating, assessing and managing training materials using technology and multimedia tools. Classes include first-hand training in Adobe Captivate, an instructional design software.

Skills covered in the program include:

  • Consultative problem solving
  • Analysis of educational, organizational or training needs
  • Design and development of instructional methods
  • Implementation and measurement of outcomes
  • Collaboration with subject-matter experts

Benefits of an MS in Instructional Design Degree Online

The combination of skills gained throughout the MS in Instructional Design program will help students to identify learning needs, determine desired outcomes and create effective learning interventions within both educational institutions and corporate training environments. This program does not lead to licensure.

Courses are taught by experts in their respective fields, who bring with them years of experience in many areas of instructional design. Additionally, GCU’s program uniquely enables students to model principles of the Christian worldview by making ethical and empathetic design decisions that align with biblical values and create inclusive educational interventions.

This 100 percent online program encourages the recognition of cultural diversity and global awareness to promote instructional design that accommodates the needs of all learners, regardless of background, limitations, learning setting or geographical location.

At the end of the program, students complete a capstone course designed to culminate what they have accomplished throughout the program. In this capstone, are able to put their degree into action and develop a professional portfolio that demonstrates their abilities to future employers.

Instructional Design Jobs

Graduates of this program are prepared to work in educational institutions at the K-12 or college level. Students who choose to go this route can design academic curriculum for a variety of students across many areas of study. Job titles in this area could include:

  • Curriculum developers
  • Instructional designers
  • District curriculum designer
  • Educational support specialist
  • Instructional material designer

By completing this Master’s in Instructional Design program, students are additionally qualified to move into the business setting, designing training materials for companies and organizations. Job titles in this area could include:

  • Corporate instructional designer
  • Training and development manager
  • Corporate instructional trainer
  • Learning strategies director
  • Organizational training consultant
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TOTAL PROGRAM CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 32
Online: 6 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
PROGRAM TUITION RATE:
Online: $572 per credit [More Info]

Course List

Major:
32 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
32 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the College of Education. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course focuses on brain research (from neuroscience to the behavioral and cognitive sciences) that relates to teaching and learning and suggests ways that brain research can be translated into instructional practices within organizational settings. Candidates will examine the inner workings of the brain and the effect on learning, memory, and transfer. Specifically, the course explores the body of knowledge that represents the application of brain research to instructional practice, and how knowledge about the human brain can affect the curricular, instructional, and assessment decisions that the candidates make every day. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to applied research in education across the major quantitative, qualitative, and action research traditions. Coursework focuses on understanding the research process and its integrated components and evaluating published research reports from the perspective of a critical consumer. Scientific reasoning and research design are also explored.

Course Description

This course introduces the field of instructional design, its history, research based structures, and practical strategies. This course prepares future Instructional Design professionals to advocate for the use of a systematic approach to meeting organizational learning needs. Students explore the instructional design life cycle through the ADDIE model, culminating in a design document that guides a training intervention. Specifically, students learn to write measurable objectives and instructionally aligned, meaningful assessments.

Course Description

Candidates will be introduced to current theories of learning and approaches to curriculum design. The emphasis will be on examining and identifying the concepts, principles, and models of curriculum design. Candidates will evaluate curriculum based on learning theories and approaches to curriculum.

Course Description

This course provides hands-on work with multimedia tools, informed by multimedia learning principles and visual graphics guidelines. Learners use an empathetic process to determine training needs, and assess the use of media products in meeting those needs. In the process of developing various multimedia eLearning modules, students investigate industry standards and emerging technologies. Technology Requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own Adobe Captivate software and a computer that meets the technical requirements to run the software. The version of Adobe Captivate should not be older than the 2019 release. Verify the University Technology Requirements and Programmatic Technology Requirements in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: EID-500.

Course Description

This course covers the theoretical underpinnings of instructional design. Students explore several instructional design models, as well as strategies for managing instructional design and development projects. Students use various systematic processes to design training interventions and present justifications for the design decisions they make. Technology Requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own Adobe Captivate software and a computer that meets the technical requirements to run the software. The version of Adobe Captivate should not be older than the 2019 release. Verify the University Technology Requirements and Programmatic Technology Requirements in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: EID-500. Prerequisite: EID-500.

Course Description

Designing effective instruction requires a focus on learner needs and outcomes. This course focuses on using an empathetic design process to prioritize and organize learning and organizational outcomes to create instructional strategies and sequences comprised of multiple mediums. Students practice leveraging the strengths of each medium to serve learner needs and scaffold desired outcomes. Technology Requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own Adobe Captivate software and a computer that meets the technical requirements to run the software. The version of Adobe Captivate should not be older than the 2019 release. Verify the University Technology Requirements and Programmatic Technology Requirements in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: EID-500.

Course Description

In the ever-evolving digital transformation age it is vital to understand a variety of people and design experiences that support what they need and want to do. In this course, students develop an experimental mindset as well as the basics of gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing a variety of evidence to inform design decisions and lay the ground work for evaluating effective instructional and learning experiences. Prerequisites: TCH-539 and EID-500.

Course Description

Organizations face obstacles, such as disruptive innovation which threaten their ability to stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market place. This course explores the latest skills and strategies instructional designers can use to influence vision and strategy and assist in creating a learning organization that tracks soft and technical skills development for organizational impact and return on investment. Technology Requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own Adobe Captivate software and a computer that meets the technical requirements to run the software. The version of Adobe Captivate should not be older than the 2019 release. Verify the University Technology Requirements and Programmatic Technology Requirements in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: EID-500.

Course Description

This course is a culmination of all instructional design knowledge and skills students have developed throughout the instructional design program. Students are stretched to demonstrate their ability to be a professional instructional designer. Students also develop a professional portfolio to show their preparation to work in the instructional design field. Technology Requirement: Students are responsible for providing their own Adobe Captivate software and a computer that meets the technical requirements to run the software. The version of Adobe Captivate should not be older than the 2019 release. Verify the University Technology Requirements and Programmatic Technology Requirements in the University Policy Handbook available on www.gcu.edu. Prerequisite: EID-500, EID-505, EID-510, EID-515, EID-520, EID-525.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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