Online Instructional Design Certificate

Become an Instructional Designer

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


When can I start and how do I register online?

Register online now to reserve your spot in the first course that begins on May 5, 2014. There is no registration fee.

This program is very popular; courses fill early and registration closes before the course start date. 

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 unless you are beginning the Master of Science in Education degree program at University of Wisconsin-Stout. 

When is the registration deadline?

Registration is available until each session is filled or two weeks before the course begins.

Tuition and Financial Aid Options

How much will it cost?

Tuition is the same fee for in-state, out-of-state and international participants.

2014-2015: $415 per semester hour graduate credit ($1245 per course)
Tuition for the May and July classes will be due in mid-July.

Free e-textbooks will be provided in three of the courses.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, if you are enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Stout Master of Science in Education degree program and enrolled in a minimum of five (5) credits.
NOTE: Tuition for students enrolled in a Masters degree program at UW-Stout will be billed at the degree program credit hour rate.

Payment options: e-check, check, money order, employer purchase order, or credit card.

Will I need to purchase software?

No software purchase is required. 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 over night, you will gain hands-on experience with industry leading software to develop computer-based training, learning objects, and eLearning products.

How will I create an ePortfolio?

Students may use Weebly, Wix, Google Sites, WordPress or other 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.

Is there a fee to apply to the certificate program?


Online Course Sequence

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

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. Register early to reserve a spot in one of the next sessions as courses fill very quickly.

Begin May 2014 and complete the certificate in 8 months.
EDUC 765 May 5 - June 27, 2014
EDUC 766 June 30 - August 22, 2014
EDUC 767 August 25 - October 17, 2014
EDUC 768 October 20 - December 12, 2014

Begin August  2014 and complete the certificate in 8 months.
EDUC 765 August 25 - October 17, 2014
EDUC 766 October 20 - December 12, 2014
EDUc 767 January 5 - February 27, 2015
EDUC 768 March 2 - April 24, 2015

It's possible to skip a term or two between courses if that works better than taking the courses back to back every term. Each course is offered three times per year.

Participation Expectations

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.

You may complete instructional design courses for professional development or continuing education or as a specialization area in University of Wisconsin-Stout's online Master of Science in Education degree.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.

Share your certificate projects in an online ePortfolio showcasing your knowledge, expertise and competencies.

"... for students balancing the jobs they must have with 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, you can work online from anywhere in the world. 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.

Job Opportunities

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.

What can I do with the Instructional Design (ID) Certificate?

You might work as a member of an instructional design team or as a professional development coordinator, instructional designer for textbook or e-learning company, web developer, software consultant or designer, or in continuing education positions working with curriculum development in education, healthcare, museum, nonprofit organization or military settings.

Instructional designers manage instructional development and assume leadership roles in an organization's learning initiatives including:

  • software designers and computer support personnel or human resource support personnel who develop reference materials, documentation, instruction, orientation or customer support tutorials in areas such as sales, customer service, compliance, technical maintenance, etc.;
  • K-12 educators, community college, technical college, or university instructors, curriculum coordinators, professional development coordinators, and continuing education professionals who want to update or expand their knowledge in instructional design, assessment, and project management;
  • training and development professionals and instructional/educational technologists who support schools or corporations in redesigning courses or designing web-based resources;
  • healthcare educators pursuing a career in educational or service settings in hospitals, dental programs, clinics, long term care facilities, retirement/assisted living facilities, in-home healthcare or other professionals who deliver instruction or continuing education to health professionals including computer-based training;
  • continuing education and outreach facilitators in museums, government, professional associations, and nonprofit organizations.
  • self-employed consultants in instructional design

Instructional Design Jobs and Job Search Strategies

Where can I find networking tips, hiring trends, resume and eportfolio suggestions, volunteer opportunities and freelancing advice?

Visit our online University of Wisconsin-Stout Instructional Design Career Center.

What does an instructional designer do?

A common question from students who are new to the ID field is "What does an ID do?" or "What are the competencies needed to be an ID?"

Interviews with Instructional Designers

Job Outlook

2014 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation (Infographic PDF)

2014 Global eLearning Salary & Compensation Report 

The Worldwide Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis

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 currently practicing instructional designers
  • Credits may be applied as electives in the Master of Science in Education graduate degree program
  • Regional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges & Schools (NCA)

For More Information...

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

Browse Courses

Register Now button


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

#‎UWStoutIDCert‬ is the ‪#‎hashtag‬ for UW-Stout's Instructional Design certificate program.

Request More Information

First Name

Last Name  


City and State/Country  



Our Students Say...

"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




Read More