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Instructional Design

The Study of Instructional Design for the Workplace

A subset of the study of performance technology, instructional design courses provide students with processes and means to:

  • Determine when training will close gaps between existing and desired performance.
  • Design performance-based skills training that will help learners perform their jobs more like the organization’s best – and in ways that meet business goals.

Organizations value good instructional designers. Why? Because even though challenges often appear to be training issues, a savvy instructional designer asks questions, specifies a performance gap worth closing, identifies the causes of the gap, and then designs training and other targeted solutions to close the gap.

Organizations value that type of reflective pushback and collaborative approach because it usually produces better solutions to the real problems that keep clients and their bosses up at night.

When training is the answer, the reflective instructional designer keeps three key principles in mind:

  • Align the training across all the parts of the ID process.
    This means the performance assessment should be aligned with the objectives, which should be aligned with the task analysis, which should be aligned with the performance analysis.
  • Focus the objectives on how exemplary performers perform their jobs.
    The objectives specify the behaviors required to perform the job, conditions under which learners perform the job, and the criteria used to judge the on-the-job performance.
  • Make data-driven decisions.
    Collect relevant data from the field to guide your design decisions – rather than creating training by whim. Then use proven approaches, models, and tools to create the training itself.

Who Should Pursue a Workplace Instructional Design (WIDe) Certificate?

The individuals enrolled in our program include:

  • Emerging professionals wanting to break into the field, but have no prior job experience
    (15% of the student body)
  • Individuals that have worked in a related field, but need to acquire additional knowledge and skills specific to the field
    (15% of the student body)
  • Professionals with an average of 12 years experience in the field
    (70% of the student body)

People who are interested in contributing to the learning and development of an organization, as well as those looking to affect organizational development and performance improvement initiatives should pursue an instructional design certificate.

The Graduate Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design from OPWL
gives students the opportunity to:

  • develop an instructional design portfolio piece
  • focus on designing training for the workplace
  • experience collaborating as members of a virtual team on a real instructional design project for a real client

Instructional Design Resources

Course Project Example (PDF)

OPWL 537 Instructional Design Project
Difficult Conversations for Support Counselors

Instructional Design Course Webinar

Dr. Steve Villachica talks about instructional design, performance improvement and the organizational performance and workplace learning graduate program.

Instructional Design Webinar Resources A collection of our recorded OPWL webinars featuring faculty, students, graduates, and industry experts. They have been organized according to topic.

Instructional Design with OPWL

Admission into the Workplace Instructional Design graduate certificate provides the individual with focused study in instructional design and is intended to culminate with entry into the profession via internship or full-time employment. For individual already working in the profession, completion of the M.S. in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) provides upward mobility and the potential of increased income. If you are already working in the field, then consider our MS in OPWL!

Jo Ann Fenner photo

Contact Us!

Interested in discussing if this program is the best match for your professional goals? Academic advisor Jo Ann Fenner has been guiding applicants for 25 years. Give her a call or email her to make an appointment at a time convenient for you.

Jo Ann Fenner
Academic Advisor
(208) 426-2489