Course description

This course will explore how learning theory and motivation can be applied to the instructional process to make it more engaging and practical for diverse learning audiences. The focus of the course is on two areas: 

  1. The theoretical principles that have contributed to the field of Instructional Design (ID), and 
  2. How those principles can be applied within practical settings of select professional settings

In today’s interconnected world, online education has exploded with engaging learning experiences infused with interactive digital tools, digital media, and collaborative projects designed to engage dispersed learners. These highly engaging and effective courses are not created by chance - they are created by instructional designers using a careful and systematic design process.

In this online course, we will look at the history and evolution of online learning. You will explore traditional instructional design models and the progression of the learning design approach to creating online learning experiences. During the instructional design process, it’s important to collaborate and work with the many stakeholders involved in the planning and design, especially subject matter experts.

Key learning goals

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze contributions of selected learning theories to the field of instructional design
  • Describe the basic components within various motivational theories and their impact upon the learning process
  • Select appropriate principles derived from given theories and apply those within practical learning situations

What you'll learn

  • How to apply instructional design models to develop online learning experiences
  • How to collaborate with a subject matter expert
  • How to create a design document to guide the online course development process

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to Instructional Design and Technology: Design Methods

    • Instructional Design Models Course Objectives
    • Welcome (Overview)
    • Honor Code
    • Help with the Course
    • Basic Course Navigation
    • Technology Requirements
    • How to Use This Course
  • 2

    Module 1: Learning Design

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 1 Introduction
    • An Introduction
    • Learning Timeline
    • Module 1 Readings
    • Course Project (Optional)
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
  • 3

    Module 2: ADDIE Design Model

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 2 Introduction
    • Module 2 Readings
    • Optional Assignment: ADDIE Concept Map
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 4

    Module 3: Dick and Carey Design Model

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 3 Introduction
    • Dick and Carey (Slides)
    • Dick and Carey
    • Readings
    • Optional Assignment: Dick & Carey Podcast
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 5

    Module 4: Understanding by Design (Backward Design)

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 4 Introduction
    • Understanding by Design
    • Understanding by Design with Grant Wiggins 1
    • Understanding by Design with Grant Wiggins 2
    • Module 4 Readings
    • Optional Assignment: Understanding by Design Scenario
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 6

    Module 5: Rapid eLearning Design

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 5 Introduction
    • Rapid Learning Advantages
    • Rapid Learning Disadvantages
    • Rapid Learning and the Instructional Designer
    • Summary
    • Module 5 Readings
    • Optional Assignment: Rapid Resolution Plan
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 7

    Module 6: Instructional Systems Development

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 6 Introduction
    • ISD-Industry Expert Podcast
    • Instructional Systems Design
    • Summary
    • Module 6 Readings
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 8

    Module 7: Learning Objectives

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 7 Introduction
    • Developing Learning Objectives – Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Writing Objectives
    • Developing Learning Objectives: Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
    • Module 7 Readings
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy
    • Adaptation of Bloom’s Taxonomy Verb List
    • Writing Objectives
    • Alignment
    • Optional Assignment: Subject Matter Expert
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 9

    Module 8: Adaptive Learning

    • Overview and Objectives
    • Module 8 Introduction
    • Short History of Artificial Intelligence: The Path to Adaptive Technology
    • Role of Learning Science in Adaptive Learning
    • Designing Adaptive Learning Modules
    • Module 8 Readings
    • Collaboration: Best Practices, Resources, and Experiences (Optional)
    • Knowledge Check
  • 10

    Final Module

    • Congratulations
    • Course Project (Optional)
    • Certificates

What we offer

  • Learn at your pace

    We know you're busy. Our online classroom allows you 24/7 access to complete your coursework when and where it's convenient for you.

  • Expert instruction

    You learn from experienced instructors. This course is developed and taught by Dr. Ed Forest who holds a PhD in Education.

  • Surrounded by support

    Asking for help can be a hard thing. But there's no need to worry: We're friendly and we've got you covered at every step.

Time involved in the course

This course is taught entirely online. There is no set time frame, you can do the activities when it suits you best. The modules are self-paced.

These modules self-paced, meaning there are no deadlines and the materials will be available indefinitely for you to work through on your own schedule. The eight modules can be completed in any order and should serve as a resource for you during the creation of your online course.

Certificate of course completion

Once you complete this course, you will receive a ‘Certificate of Completion’ that you can print, frame, and use to enrich your resume/CV.

This Certificate is also available to put within your LinkedIn profile & achievements section for other professionals to see!


Edmund Forest, PhD

Edmund Forest, PhD


I hold a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.S. in Elementary Education from Purdue University – West Lafayette. I have published several research articles in various scholarly journals. My current research focus is on student-centered interactive learning capabilities through the integration of technology. I have taught a variety of instructional design courses in diverse settings (undergraduate, graduate, and K-12) and formats (online, hybrid, and face-to-face).


  • When does the course start and finish?

    This course is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish. You can access the course site from your work computer, home computer, tablet, smart phone or any other device with an internet connection. The course site remembers your progress, so you can pick up right where you left off on any device. That means you can watch a few videos at work, then continue right where you left off on your home computer.​

  • How long do I have access to the course?

    After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.

  • What if I am unhappy with the course?

    We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 7 days and we will give you a full refund.

  • I have more questions...

    If you have any other questions, please email us at

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