Become an Instructional Designer

Graduate certificate designed for professionals interested in enhancing their skills, developing focused competency in instructional design or switching careers.

Tuition and Financial Aid

How much will it cost?

Fall 2016 - $435 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,305 per course)
Tuition Due Date - October 12, 2016

There is no registration fee and no program application.

E-textbooks are provided in the first three courses.
Tuition is the same for Wisconsin residents, out-of-state and international students.


Do I need to apply for admission to the university's graduate program?

No, students who are enrolling for professional development and continuing education do not need to apply for graduate admission to the university.

Is financial aid available?

No financial aid is available for students who are enrolling in the certificate program only.

If you plan to apply the certificate graduate credits as electives for your specialization area in the Master of Science in Education graduate degree or as electives in the Master of Science in Career and Technical Education (MSCTE) degree, then you are required to complete an application to the Graduate School. 

You may qualify for financial assistance if you are enrolled in a graduate degree program and registered for a minimum of five (5) credits per term.


How do I apply online?

Register online now to reserve your spot in the first course that begins on August 22, 2016. There is no registration fee and no application fee. 

When is the registration deadline?

The May session is full. This program is very popular; courses fill early.

Registration closes when the enrollment maximum is reached, and you may request that your name is placed on a waiting list.

Online Course Sequence

Prerequisite: Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution

Each course is the prerequisite for the next course. 

Successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each course within the certificate course sequence is required for registration in the next class.

Course 1: EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design

Course 2: EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods

Course 3: EDUC 767 Designing Computer-Based Training (CBT)

Course 4: EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development

How long does it take to complete the instructional design certificate?

Each course is 8 weeks.

It is possible to skip a term or two between courses if that works better than taking the courses back to back every term. However, the courses must be taken in sequence.

Begin in August 2016 and complete the certificate in 8 months.
EDUC 765 Trends and Issues in Instructional Design August 22 - October 14, 2016
EDUC 766 Instructional Strategies and Assessment Methods October 24 - December 16, 2016
EDUC 767 Designing Computer-based Training (CBT) January 2 - February 24, 2017
EDUC 768 Project Management for Instructional Development February 27 - April 21, 2017

Participation Expectations

How will I create an ePortfolio?

Students may use Weebly, Google Sites, WordPress or another method to showcase their skills and knowledge. The ePortfolio is a major asset during the job search process. Students are encouraged to provide a link to their ePortfolio in the cover letter and at the beginning of the resume.

Will I receive a certificate document to include with my resume?

Yes, upon completion of all four online courses, you will receive an official certificate from the university, in addition to the 12 graduate credits on your University of Wisconsin-Stout transcript.

Job Opportunities

Where can I find instructional design job listings and hiring trends?

Visit our online University of Wisconsin-Stout Instructional Design Career Center to review job search strategies, networking tips, resume and eportfolio suggestions, volunteer opportunities and freelancing advice.

Job Outlook

eLearning Guild 2016 US eLearning Salary and Compensation Report

2015 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report

2015 Salary & Compensation Infographic

The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2011-2016 Forecast and Analysis (PDF)

Does UW-Stout provide a professional network for instructional design students?

Yes, all instructional design students who are currently enrolled or recently graduated are invited to join our LinkedIn E-learning and Instructional Design Group.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to purchase software?

No software purchase is required. The software is available for every experience level as free 30-day downloads.

For your portfolio project, you will use SCORM compliant multimedia software that you download or have used previously or that your organization uses such as Udutu, Captivate, or Articulate Storyline.

While no one can become a multimedia developer overnight, you will gain hands-on experience with industry-leading software to develop computer-based training, learning objects and eLearning products.

How will a certificate help me?

You may include your ID certificate courses on your resume and LinkedIn profile as an indication of your commitment to upgrading skill sets, acquiring new skills and extending your knowledge. Your online ePortfolio will showcase your certificate projects demonstrating your instructional design knowledge, expertise and competencies.

"... for students balancing the jobs they must have and the advanced education they desire – a situation faced by most students today – completing a certificate can be the most direct path to career success."
~ The Certificate Solution

Are online courses open to veterans and military service members?

Yes, we encourage Department of Defense staff, veterans, military service members, and retired military  working at the graduate level to join our program. UW-Stout was selected as a Military Friendly School, and this honor places us in the top 15 percent of all schools nationwide.

Contact our Veteran Services staff with questions about educational benefits.

What is instructional design?

Instructional Design (ID) is the systematic approach to determining the need for instruction, designing and developing objectives, content, and assessments around that need, and evaluating the effectiveness of your design in relationship to instruction.

Our program models best practices in the field by teaching learners how to design effective instruction for instructor led or web-based delivery through the alignment of appropriate instructional strategies and assessments.

This process can be helpful whether you are starting from scratch or redesigning (improving) existing instruction.

The program also introduces strategies for developing computer-mediated training and matching technology tools to instructional problems. Finally, students learn skills for managing the instructional design process whether they are responsible for one project or multiple.

Program Benefits

In this four-course online program, you will learn the skills necessary to develop self-paced e-learning products, print materials, computer-based training, courses, workshops, webinars, orientations, and tutorials ... or redesign (improve) existing curriculum and instruction for just-in-time delivery and electronic performance support systems (EPSS).

  • Eight-week online courses
  • Apply project management skills to instructional development
  • Focus on real-world projects and build your e-portfolio to aid in job searches
  • Career Services offers current students and alumni access to job preparation services
  • Taught by experienced, currently practicing instructional designers
  • Credits may apply as electives in the Master of Science in Education or the Master of Science in Career and Technical Education (MSCTE) graduate degrees at University of Wisconsin-Stout.
  • Accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools (NCA) and the  United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)

For More Information...

Request Information Online
Contact Us: School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-642-0209

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Nicholle Stone, Program Advisor
Office Phone: 715/642-0209

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Our Students Say...

"This was such a well-built program. It inspired me to start thinking about shaping my future online courses in the same way. The instructors went out of their way to encourage, support and help us succeed."
~ Monica Kar, St. Charles, Missouri


"Working at Google is awesome! I have been so happy with the ID education I received from Stout as I can see I was prepared for this job. Going through the entire process in a case study in the Project Management course gave me so much insight into what we are doing in my current position. We do a lot of ILT and soon blended learning courses using all documents covering ADDIE. Thank you so much for helping me prepare for this!"
~ Kathleen Bagmanov, San Francisco, California


"I really have to thank you for prepping me for the interviews. I have been hired by Aurora Health Care System as an Instructional Designer in the area of medical coding."
~ Karen Pizur, Muskego, Wisconsin


"What a great experience! Although I am in my same job, I have been able to take on some additional responsibilities related to instructional design. I know my new project would not have come my way without this certificate program. Right now, I am actually leading the training initiative that my company is rolling out in January. I am in the midst of developing training guides, webinar sessions, and videos to help educate the field, who are spread all across the nation."
~Amy DeMage, Lees Summit, Missouri


"I feel like a sweepstakes winner after completing this certificate. I received not only a promotion, a bump in pay, and I've been tasked to change our Computer Education group (2 people) into an instructional design group that creates training sessions for staff, faculty and graduate students. I would not have been able to achieve this without the four courses in this certificate program."
~ Keith Thompson, Taunton, MA


" I did a lot of research comparing different ID programs across the country, and I am grateful that I found this program. It truly has been a rewarding experience, and everything that I have learned is so relevant."
~ Nicole Michelon, Norfolk, Virginia


"At the beginning, I had no clear idea of how time-consuming and high-quality an online course could be. Now I can tell you that I am very glad to have been part of this program."
~Carolina Borges, Belo Horizonte, Brazil


"Within 60 days of finishing the program, I had three interviews for ID positions. I have accepted and started one of the positions."

"In my recent meeting with (Subject Matter Experts) SMEs, I knew what questions to ask regarding learning objectives and desired outcomes and was also able to provide some initial resources and answer SME questions regarding possible activities/design and setting dates for piloting course, etc.

At an industrial meeting, I was the only one in the group that was able to calculate correctly the length of time needed to complete a project and its various aspects in a test simulation."

"I felt very well-prepared for both meetings due to my UW-Stout training."
~ Julie Kling, Ed.D. Lakeside Marblehead, Ohio


"I just want to say a big THANK YOU for this wonderful series of courses that you have designed. They are so incredibly helpful. I feel far more confident and sure of what I am designing."
~- Beverly Vaillancourt, La Valle, Wisconsin

"These eight months just flew by. You are great teachers, and I would like to wish the UW-Stout ID Certificate program many good years and many great students – from Russia, too, as I will obviously recommend and promote you. I have learned ALL THAT I HAD HOPED TO LEARN in this program, and I am off to new heights now!"
~ Mikhail Morozov, St. Petersburg, Russia

USDLA Certification

University of Wisconsin - Stout is proud to be the first university in Wisconsin to be certified for excellence in distance education practices.

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