Instructional Design and Technology Certificate

Our Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology prepares you to create engaging and interactive learning experiences grounded in critical pedagogy, design justice principles, and digital media.

Through our project-based approach, you are equipped with both the theoretical foundation and the practical skills to become an innovative instructional designer in the field. This program is ideal for aspiring or current instructional design professionals who want to gain a credential that prepares them to work in the K-12, higher education, government, corporate, and nonprofit sectors.


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Program Facts

Program Type

Graduate Certificate

Enrollment Term

Fall, Spring, or Summer





Application Deadline

Rolling Admissions

Admissions Requirements

No GRE required


Three Terms (Spring, Summer, or Fall)

Time Commitment


Program Overview

Demand is growing nationwide for instructional designers who can create effective learning experiences that are inclusive and integrate the latest tools in online learning and digital technology.

Fully Online

Our program is 100% online in an asynchronous format. You never have to log on at a specific time for a live lecture.

Flexible Schedule

Our students take one course at a time, which allows them to manage their life outside of school.

Equity & Justice

Our program is grounded in design-justice principles that center the voices and experiences of people frequently marginalized in the instructional design process.

Expansive Preparation

We prepare our students for many different roles in instructional design including e-learning developers, curriculum development, and training specialists.

Portfolio Builder

Students complete a project-based course in which a small team designs, creates, and implements a real-world instructional-design project.

  • Completion of all courses, including a project capstone that will develop a student’s portfolio in instructional design.

The certificate includes four courses that will be taught by highly qualified faculty with broad expertise in the intersections of technology and digital media integration, instructional design, learning sciences, pedagogy and praxis.


The graduate certificate in Instructional Design and Technology is 12 credits. Students take three courses (9 credits) from the School of Education and one course (3 credits) from Pitt’s School of Computing and Information.


Instructional design is the systematic planning, creating, delivering, and evaluating of instructional activities, products, environments, and modules / courses. Instructional design can be used in face-to-face or digital settings, but typically involves the use of educational technologies to enhance learning. For information professionals, instructional design is a growing area that enables new ways of connecting with and educating the community in a scalable and sustainable manner. I look forward to working with you as we consider how ID can be used in libraries, archives, and museums, along with the limitations of ID.

We will critically examine and discuss online pedagogical theories that inform instructional design, planning, activities, and assessment strategies. We will explore and discuss instructional design (ID) models and current shifts in the field toward criticality, equity, and justice-oriented praxes. We will ask critical questions about the role of instructional design (ID) in liberatory pedagogy and praxis and examine and reflect on different online engagement strategies. We use online pedagogies to guide the design and creation of online content using digital media and critically reflect on our creations.

EDUC 2302 Digital Literacies, Schooling, and Identity 

This course will examine the relationship between digital literacies, schooling, and identity in relation to an evolving digital media landscape. We will consider what it means to read and write, the world and the word, in a digitally constructed reality. We will collaboratively explore the deictic, participatory, networked, global, and multimodal nature of digital literacies and the implications for classrooms and other educational contexts. To do so, we will critically examine how literacies are situated and how these socio-cultural understandings illuminate issues of power and privilege. This course will be grounded in critical praxis, and therefore you will learn to compose and deconstruct a range of digital artifacts (e.g., digital stories, games, podcasts), engage in critical analysis of digital artifacts, and think about how to design digital experiences to nurture learning and literacy.

EDUC 2300 Digital Media for Learning  

This course provides opportunities for graduate learners to explore, examine, reflect, and discuss critical learning theories that inform how we select and use digital media and technology. Through discussion and reflection, students will explore different digital integration models. It enables you to consider digital media based on four guiding principles “place, pedagogy, praxis, and possibility” (Bell, 2021). We will examine the digital media application and equity, accessibility, and criticality. You will have the opportunity to disseminate your strategies and experiences using digital media and technology. You will create content using select digital media and technology, receive feedback from instructors and colleagues, and reflect on how you could revise your creations.

The project-based instructional design course explores project management strategies and tools to plan, coordinate, and monitor collaborative instructional design projects. Students will work in small teams to develop a project management plan accounting for planning, scheduling, setting goals and milestones, allocating support and resources, budgeting, monitoring progress and completion, and considering pedagogical factors. Students will apply and integrate justice principles and instructional design (ID) strategies to inform their peer-led ID projects. The course will use case studies and scenarios to facilitate student learning. An important aspect of instructional design is building relationships and trust; students will work with their peers to build relationships with their team members. This course embraces creativity and active collaborative learning rooted in equity and justice commitments. Students will move through the project design, development, and implementation phases, using peer-led constructive formative feedback and multiple iterations to complete their ID projects.

Learning Outcomes

The program will enable you to develop the following knowledges, skills, and strategies in Instructional Design:

  • Interrogate and discuss historical, contemporary, and emerging Instructional Design theories and models
  • Explore, discuss, and apply critical pedagogy to Instructional Design practices
  • Examine how to design justice principles and apply them to Instructional Design practices
  • Select the appropriate technology and digital media that best support meaningful learning experiences
  • Create instructional design artifacts grounded in critical pedagogy and design-justice principles
  • Use project management strategies to coordinate and complete Instructional Design projects


  • No previous instructional design experience or web development skills are required.
  • All academic backgrounds are welcome, although our applicants tend to have an undergraduate degree in education, information sciences, business, or the humanities.

Career Pathways

Many job opportunities exist in Instructional Design. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for training and development specialists is expected to grow by 8% faster than average through 2031 and the median pay in 2021 was $62,000 per year.

Position Titles:

  • Instructional Designer
  • e-Learning Developer
  • Curriculum Designer
  • Corporate Training Specialist
  • Learning Architect
  • Learning Designer
  • User Experience Designer


  • K-12 schools
  • Higher education institutions
  • Corporate and industry
  • Government
  • Nonprofits