Instructional Design Certificate

Instructional Design Certificate

At the intersection of education and technology lies instructional design; one of today’s fastest growing career areas.

As learning through social media and mobile technologies become more mainstream and demand for online training and education grows, the need for instructional designers will continue to heat up the job market.

This non-credit certificate will provide you with an introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in instructional design. You’ll learn about careers in instructional design, adult education and cognitive learning theory, as well as instructional design frameworks including ADDIE and AGILE/SAM. You’ll also learn about curriculum design, learning management systems, authoring tools and common technologies used to enhance learning.

Instructional designers interact with others frequently, so you’ll also learn how to work with subject matter experts (SME’s) and conduct a needs analysis. You’ll gain skills required to design for accessibility and use assessments and diagnostics. Finally, you’ll polish everything off with a review of critical business skills specific to instructional designers such as working in teams and project management.

A final capstone project will incorporate all learning objectives in a real-life design project. Guest speakers and plenty of time to conceptualize, develop and create will round out this certificate program.

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This certificate will prepare you to do the following:

  • Use the fundamental principles of brain science and evidence-based practice to create effective learning experiences
  • Create learning designs that maximize retention and behavioral transfer
  • Judge when and how to use game design principles to enhance training effectiveness
  • Adapt design strategies for different types of content
  • Blend multiple modalities into an effective overall training solution
  • Follow sound project management principles in order to maximize design/development efficiency
    • Program length: 8 weeks / students attend classes 2 nights a week from 6pm – 9pm.

      Total hours of instruction: 54

      Format: Classes are held in an in-person format with experienced instructors from local organizations.

      Location: Classes will typically be held at the Continuing Education campus at 540 Arapeen Drive or on the main U of U campus.

      Certificate offered: fall / spring

      Pre-requisites: Well prepared students will have a good comfort level working with cloud-based software and working on computers. Experience with instructional design not necessary.

      Equipment requirements: some work-from-home is needed for this class so students will need to have access to a laptop computer. This class is not held in a computer lab.

      Attendance requirements: Attendance is required for certificate completion. Students may miss up to one class as long as supplemental reading and/or make-up activity is completed. Make-up assignments and deadlines will be given by the Certificate Director. It is the student’s responsibility to get in contact with the Certificate Director when missing a class. Drop Policy: More information including drop policy here.

      Capstone Project Description –

      Practicing each element of instructional design in context will give you deeper insight into the ID process. Likewise, it will help you demonstrate your competence with a sample of what you can do.

      To accomplish this, you will design training around a set of objectives—just as you would in a professional setting. You will go through the analysis, design, and development phases in service of your project objectives, and you will develop concrete outputs in each phase. These will form the beginning of a professional portfolio that will aid in landing work.

      For your capstone, you will do these activities:

      • Conduct a needs analysis:
        • Generate the necessary insight and content
        • Gather theoretical background to inform and support for your approach
        • Develop appropriate activities
      • Document your analysis (in a design document)
      • Develop and document your designs (in a design document)
      • Develop your instructional materials
        • Web-based course
        • Instructor-led activity guide
      • Present your analysis, design, and instructional materials to the group
      • Present your rationale

Week #1

  • What is Instructional Design, and how can it be used to make a difference? Review of applications for today’s learners.
  • Career opportunities in Instructional Design

Week # 2

  • How to create learning designs that maximize retention and behavioral transfer
  • Adult learning theory
  • What does science tell us about how people learn?

Week #3

  • Frameworks to judge when and how to use game design principles to enhance training effectiveness
  • How do games help people learn?
  • How can gamification of training make it more fun and more effective?

Week #4

  • How to adapt design strategies for different types of content
  • Techniques for designing effective training
  • Designing for accessibility

Week #5

  • Tools and techniques to blend multiple modalities into an effective overall training solution
  • Using authoring tools

Week #6

  • How to follow sound project management principles in order to maximize design/development efficiency

Week #7

  • Working with subject matter experts
  • Introduction to capstone project

Week #8

  • Capstone project – building a strong portfolio

Certificate Completion Requirements

  • To receive a “S” or Satisfactory grade, students must complete all assignments, attend all classes (exception noted above) and present a capstone project.

How is my accomplishment recognized?

  • A certificate is awarded upon satisfactory completion of all required assignments
  • The completed certificate will appear on University of Utah official transcripts
  • Students will be awarded a University of Utah digital credential (badge)


Data analysis

Those completing this certificate will earn a Data Analysis for the Modern Workforce Digital Badge that can be shared on social media sites. Click on this badge to see the metadata behind your badge.

Find out more about Digital Badges and how they can have a positive impact on your career development here.

Certificate Director - Keith Harten


Keith Harten

Keith Harten is the Instructional Designer at Extra Space Storage where he specializes in custom training solutions for the company’s national workforce. Prior to his career with Extra Space, Keith was an instructional design consultant with Allen Communication in Salt Lake City. There, he created instructor-led and web-based courses for clients including AIG, Deutsche Bank, EBay, Dominos and the American Heart Association. Keith’s background includes two years of university-level teaching as well as writing for the Sundance Film Festival.

Keith is attracted to the discipline of instructional design because it marries the science of human psychology with the art of human development. Keith received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Brigham Young University.

Certificate Instructors


Eric Stokes

Eric StokessEric has lead teams of instructional designers, programmers, graphic and motion artists, and writers to create effective and engaging training for Fortune 500 clients. Not only focused on effective designs but also performing project management duties to ensure projects are completed on time and within budget. Eric often consults with clients and project teams to solve business challenges through creative design solutions. Eric has worked at Southwest Research Institute, Allen Communications, and the LDS Church.




Josiah Brower

Josiah BowerJosiah Brower has worked as a professional Software Engineer for the last six years. His first five years were spent working as a Sr. Developer and Technical Lead at Allen Communications, where he helped develop technical strategies and create development tools to build revolutionary corporate training. More recently he has been working at Progressive Leasing, helping build software that has, and will continue to change the financial industry. He has also done consulting work for companies such as Domo and Nickel & Suede to help streamline their processes, and develop applications to better their business. When he isn't developing software he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, serving as a scout leader and trying to become a better person.

Megan Gutierrez

Megan GutierrezMegan specializes in implementing innovative and award-winning solutions that systematically enable learners and organizations to accomplish their goals. Megan’s vast experience encompasses consulting with organizations such as Morgan Stanley, CEB, HP, and Land O’Lakes (to name a few), targeting a wide variety of topics including sales, customer service, on-boarding, manufacturing, compliance, management, software, and soft skills. Currently, Megan is the Learning Experience Manager at Academy Mortgage. She holds a Master of Education degree in Instructional Design and serves on the local Association for Talent Development (ATD) board. In addition to being passionate about learning and education, Megan is a proud mama of 2 girls, a writer, and an avid theater patron.


Ben Miller

Ben MillerBenjamin Miller is an award-winning educational content creator and learning experience designer with expertise in corporate training and customer-facing education. He has designed innovative learning solutions in a variety of formats for clients across numerous industries. In his current role as Curriculum Development Manager at Investools from TD Ameritrade, Benjamin manages a team that creates educational content to help everyday people learn to invest. Benjamin is passionate about integrating instructional design and other design disciplines to create exceptional learning experiences.

Return on Investment Comes in Many Forms

Keeping certificates affordable and within reach for our students is extremely important to us. Certificates are priced competitively and offer opportunities for financial assistance and installment payments.

Adding targeted skills to your resume not only helps you stand out in a crowd of applicants but can also provide the power to negotiate a higher starting salary. And, the benefits only begin with getting the position you want. With your upgraded skill set, you’ll be able to quickly provide value to your employer resulting in rapid opportunities for advancement.

Program costs - $1599

  • Tuition is due at the beginning of each course. Tuition listed above is for the 2019-2020 academic year and subject to change without advance notice.
  • Financial aid is not available for this noncredit certificate. Students are encouraged to inquire with their employers to determine if tuition assistance is available.
  • Installment plan options:

This certificate is eligible for University of Utah staff tuition benefit for qualified employees. Just note your status during registration and make sure to apply for the benefit through the human resources form to request tuition benefit)

  • "Getting a certificate in Instructional Design is the perfect introduction to this field. While gaining entry-level knowledge and skills that you can begin using in your current job or in other applications, you can decide whether you want to pursue a new career in this field or a full degree in ID."
  • "This format is so great - it allows you to think and learn in both short and long-term frames of mind. The 8 week course was long enough to cover all the material and build upon knowledge gained, but not so long as to make it seem unattainable. I enjoyed sharing experiences with my classmates, collaborating and getting to know them personally over the weeks. The class size was just right, too. I felt like I had the support of my peers and that we were all truly invested in each others' learning experience."
  • "learning the theories and best practices from experts in the field and then really pulling them all together in the capstone project. I really enjoyed the exercise in which Megan Gutierrez invited some friends of her to class, and we interviewed them as our subject matter experts and developed a training plan on the spot - so real life!"
  • "The Degree Plus certificate is a great way to add skills to your resume in a field that is rapidly growing. I appreciated the chance to get a flavor for a new career path without the time and financial commitment of pursuing another degree. In addition to the great information I learned, I really valued the chance to expand my network - a lot of new friendships and professional contacts emerged from the class."
  • "This is a great certificate program! The instructors have real world knowledge that translates into a well-organized and thought provoking 8 week course. 3 hours in the evening twice a week seemed daunting to me at first but the time fly by because we were learning so much and enjoying the content. I would recommend this program to anyone that is considering a career in Instructional Design."
  • "Keith was a great instructor. His knowledge of the instructional design field was incredibly helpful and he was able to clear up students' misconceptions about instructional design and help everyone gain a firm understanding of the field within the first couple weeks of the course. Keith’s insight to the industry allowed him to share personal experiences and stories related to the lessons, helping solidify the concepts in my mind."
  • "If you've ever felt that your profs knew their field but didn't know how to teach it, then you will be in for a superior learning experience. These career professionals know their stuff and know how to teach you. You will learn the theory behind the design principles, and you will learn how to apply it. If only grad school had been like this!"
  • "The instructors are AMAZING! Each one brought a new, refreshing element to the learning process. Each class was engaging and added value to our understanding of the Instructional Design process."

We get it… once you’ve got your degree, life comes at you fast.

To stay ahead, you need a program that can help you run at this quick pace. Our certificates are designed to be fast and focused. Courses are oriented towards specific skills that are in demand in the job market. Most certificates can be completed within 8 weeks, keeping the cost down and your career in the fast lane.

Why choose the University of Utah?

We understand that you have a choice when it comes to taking professional development courses and we work hard to earn your trust with each and every class!

By selecting the University of Utah, you’ll enjoy the following benefits whether you’re coming to us as someone new to the job market, a career changer, a seasoned professional or a lifelong learner.

Resume Power - Benefit from the University of Utah reputation for credibility and quality. Choosing the University of Utah for your certificate program makes a clear statement about your commitment to excellence.

Instructor Excellence – Our certificate programs are led by local experts; working professionals by day, instructors by night. You’ll learn from an experienced crew and gain real-time insights and networking opportunities from the front lines. Each certificate has its own director who makes it a priority to keep the curriculum in line with the skills currently in demand in the market. They are also a source of encouragement as you move through the program and prepare for your next step.

Quality - we’re accredited. We have a long history of academic excellence. Choosing the University of Utah for your certificate program makes a clear statement about your commitment to excellence.

The Power of the U Network – Students have access to a valuable University of Utah peer and faculty network.

Networking – Meet and network with other students pursuing or working in the industry.

Student Support – Count on the ongoing support of a dedicated student services staff that will assist you every step of the way

Andrea Miller
Director Professional Education
801 585 1780
anrdrea.l.miller@utah.edu



For more information about our Veterans/Military Programs, please contact us at proed@continue.utah.edu or 801-585-1780.