New Instructional Design and Technology Certificate Created at Pitt School of Education

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education will offer a new online graduate certificate in instructional design and technology for students who want to create innovative and effective instructional practices across all learning environments. 

Scheduled to begin in spring 2024, the 12-credit program will provide students with knowledge of instructional design theories and introduce strategies for creating learning experiences that are grounded in critical pedagogy and design justice principles. 

“Instructional design is a fast-growing field that encompasses the behind-the-scenes activities that go into planning instruction,” says Tinukwa Boulder, associate professor, director of innovative technologies and online learning, and associate chair of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Leading at Pitt Education. “It’s about understanding the theories that guide how students learn and the best ways to engage them.” 

The Pitt certificate will consist of four seven-week courses that are fully online and asynchronous, giving students the flexibility to learn on their schedule. 

“Instructional design is a field in transition,” says Boulder. “The courses in our program provide opportunities for students to interrogate and discuss established instructional design paradigms and study how critical theory and design justice frameworks transform instructional design practices.”

Pitt’s instructional design and technology certificate is for people who are interested in beginning or further growing their careers as instructional designers, learning designers, and user experience designers. Boulder says the certificate can benefit educators and curriculum developers across a variety of industries, including K-12 education, higher education, and corporations that use training modules and e-learning content.

“Instructional design is a growth area because there’s a need for it in academia and in other industries,” says Boulder. “There are many folks who never thought about designing instruction in this way, but with the rise of remote work and instruction during the pandemic, they are now needing to design training materials, learning content, and other online resources.”

According to a market research analysis conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Library System, there were more than 287,000 job postings nationwide for instructional design-related jobs between September 2016 and January 2022. The demand for instructional designers is expected to rise, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimating the need for training and development managers to grow 7% by 2031.

In addition to the job prospects, Boulder says there are a lot of other benefits to careers in instructional design.

“I think the joy of instructional design is that it is never boring,” says Boulder. “You get to work with so many different types of people across varied academic disciplines; you are always learning and you get to be creative and solve problems. You have to be dedicated to designing quality learning that supports faculty and students”.

Learn More

The Instructional Design and Technology graduate certificate is now accepting applications for a spring 2024 start. Learn more and apply today!