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10 Instructional Design Training Courses

We’ve compiled a list of instructional design training courses that tackle topics such as story design, learning theories, design models, and the role of technology in learning. These courses are designed to help your instructional designers gain the knowledge and skills required to create elearning content.

Instructional Design Training Courses
Last published: 9th May 2024
SC Training (formerly EdApp) Instructional Design Training Course - Instructional Design

1. Instructional Design

SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Instructional Design course contains a helpful guide on the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation (ADDIE) model and other tips on creating course materials. Your instructional designers will learn about the key steps involved in each instructional design model’s phases. They’ll also get to explore how to develop training courses that give results and create learning maps that are suited to their learner’s training requirements. Some of the lessons even touch on how to create sample instructional materials.

One of the biggest perks of this free instructional design course is that your team can access and complete it on any device, allowing a more flexible and user-friendly training experience. And since SC Training (formerly EdApp) uses a gamification approach in its lessons, they can expect interactive games and mini quizzes that are sure to make learning fun and enjoyable. 

  • Cost: Free (up to 10 users)
  • Certification: Available (proof of learning only)
  • Scope: ADDIE model, key steps for ADDIE model phases, learning maps, creating sample instruction, training instructors

Created by SC Training (formerly EdApp)

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SC Training (formerly EdApp) Instructional Design Training Course - Story Design

2. Story Design

Second, on this list of instructional design online training courses, is the Story Design course by SC Training (formerly EdApp). It highlights the story design model, which is necessary to develop instructional design practices and create better training materials. It also talks about the importance of storytelling in learning and retaining knowledge. 

First, the course gives a story design example that will allow your instructional designers to think more critically about what goes into storytelling for elearning. It then discusses the main reasons why stories are perfect for training. Lastly, the course talks about the different story elements that every instructional designer should consider when designing a story, including relatable characters, strong conflict, and a desire for resolution. 

Overall, the course incorporates a microlearning approach that helps transform difficult topics into easily digestible lessons. And with the help of SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s performance and engagement reports, you can also track every training interaction automatically to see how your employees are progressing through this course.

  • Cost: Free (up to 10 users)
  • Certification: Available (proof of learning only)
  • Scope: Importance of storytelling in learning, story design model, design story elements, reasons why stories are perfect for training

Created by SC Training (formerly EdApp)

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Coursera Instructional Design Training Course - Instructional Design Foundations

3. Instructional Design Foundations and Applications

Hosted on Coursera, the Instructional Design Foundations and Applications course is offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as a foundational training program for aspiring instructional designers. It helps build the groundwork for good instructional design with conceptual, historical, and theoretical concepts. One of the lessons even talks about various analytical activities related to instructional design, including how they’re used to fine-tune the training process. 

By the end of this course, your instructional designers should be able to identify learning and instructional theories, understand the major concepts and models of instructional design, and describe its entire process. It usually takes approximately 13 hours to complete the entire course and upon passing the final assessment, your employees will have the opportunity to get a free instructional design certificate.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certification: Available
  • Scope: Conceptual and historical foundations of instructional design, theoretical foundations of instructional design, design models, instructional design analyses

Created by Coursera

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Association for Talent Development Instructional Design Training Course - Instructional Design Certificate

4. Instructional Design Certificate

If your instructional design team is interested in gaining a professional training certificate as proof of their understanding of instructional design practices, then this course by the Association for Talent Development is for them. The course will take them through different instructional design-related lessons, including training outcomes and objectives, needs assessment, course design process, design thinking, and rapid prototyping. 

Compared to other instructional design training courses, it will also help them learn about developing learner-centric materials and using subject matter experts (SMEs) in instructional design. But unlike a lot of online instructional design programs, this instructor-led course can only be taken during scheduled classes.

  • Cost: 1,695 USD for members & 1,945 USD for non-members
  • Certification: Available
  • Scope: Learning outcomes and objectives, needs assessment, course design process, design thinking, rapid prototyping, subject matter experts (SMEs) in instructional design

Created by Association for Talent Development

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OpenLearning Instructional Design Training Course - Learning design basics: pedagogy into practice

5. Learning design basics: pedagogy into practice

Learning design basics: pedagogy into practice is a comprehensive instructional design training course created by OpenLearning. In a nutshell, it aims to help instructional designers use the Constructivist theory of education in their instructional design processes and practice designing interactive learning experiences for their learners. 

As they go through the lessons, they’ll learn how to design an effective learning program structure and write measurable and attainable goals and learning objectives. They’ll also discover different ways to develop course content and evaluate the effectiveness of their learning program. 

To wrap up the course, each learner will be required to build their own instructional design project where they can apply all the lessons they’ve learned throughout the training program. OpenLearning’s course is free, but a certificate of completion is available for an additional fee of 50 AUD.

  • Cost: Free
  • Certification: Available (for an additional 50 AUD)
  • Scope: Designing a learning program structure, writing measurable learning outcomes, developing a learning program's content, evaluating the effectiveness of a learning program

Created by OpenLearning

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FutureLearn Instructional Design Training Course - Instructional Design: Course Development

6. Instructional Design: Course Development

Designed by the University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education, this FutureLearn course helps instructional designers gain the skills needed to create courses using learning management systems (LMSs) and other external tools. First, it takes learners through course planning basics like course mapping and resource selection. 

As instructional designers progress through the 3-week course, they’ll also learn about the foundational elements of an LMS and how they can be used to align with learning needs. They’ll also gain a better understanding of the importance of using style guides and course templates and the perks of using external apps to enhance learning. 

The last few lessons focus more on quality metrics and important e learning standards used to design effective course materials. There’s also an activity where designers will learn how to do quality reviews that make sure online course design standards are met. If they want to get a digital certificate of completion from FutureLearn, they can either buy the course for 79 USD or subscribe to their paid plan, which starts at 27.99 USD per month.

  • Cost: Free trial, paid plan starts at 27.99 USD or one-off course payment for 79 USD
  • Certification: Digital certificate
  • Scope: Course planning basics, course materials and tasks, LMS comparison, templates and style guides, external apps, and LTI tools

Created by FutureLearn

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ISFET Instructional Design Training Course - Online Instructional Design Certificate

7. Online Instructional Design Certificate

The International Society for Educational Technology or ISFET created the Online Instructional Design Certificate with a simple purpose in mind: help instructional designers develop effective learning materials and hone their online teaching skills. The first few lessons give them an overview of their responsibilities as well as a deeper understanding of the instructional design process. 

The course also touches on the ADDIE model and the different ways that designers can plan out their courses, including finalizing instructional strategies, outlining, and storyboarding. The last part highlights the benefits of group work, discussion boards, and accessibility tools such as font size, captioning, and alternative text.

  • Cost: 99 USD
  • Certification: Available
  • Scope: Overview of what an instructional designer does, ADDIE model, instructional design process, outlining a course, using storyboards in course design, accessibility

Created by International Society for Educational Technology

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edX Instructional Design Training Course - Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories

8. Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories

Offered on edX for free, Instructional Design and Technology: Learning Theories discusses fundamental interactive technologies and learning theories that are needed to create engaging learning environments. It tackles topics such as behaviorism, constructivism, cognitivism, and andragogy. It also explores more complex learning theories like experiential learning, project-based learning, service learning, and gamification. 

Lastly, the course delves into the role that technology plays in learning and development. By the end of the training program, learners will be able to have a solid foundation in design thinking. They’ll also know how to apply the different learning theories in their work as instructional designers.

  • Cost: Free (Optional upgrade)
  • Certification: Available (Only with upgraded plans)
  • Scope: Learning environment, learning theories like behaviorism, constructivism, and cognitivism, complex learning theories like experiential learning, project-based learning, and gamification

Created by edX

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Coursera Instructional Design Training Course - Online education

9. Online education: The foundations of online teaching

Hosted on Coursera, the Online education: The foundations of online teaching course is offered by Macquarie University as part of their 3-part Online Learning Design for Educators Specialization program. Its main goals are to help learning and development professionals improve their teaching skills and hone their ability to design online learning content. This way, they’ll be able to create a constructive learning environment for their learners and develop training materials with confidence in their skills. 

Some of the lessons also discuss ways to build the digital learning skills of learners and create online learning communities through discussion forums. Overall, this instructional design training course will take learners approximately 21 hours to complete.

  • Cost: Free 
  • Certification: Available
  • Scope: The evolution of online course design, delivering effective online content, building the digital learning skills of learners, building online learning communities

Created by Coursera

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Skillshare Instructional Design Training Course - Online Course Creation

10. Online Course Creation: Introduction to Instructional Design

Skillshare’s Online Course Creation: Introduction to Instructional Design highlights the basic online teaching principles, including pedagogies, elearning, authoring tools, and storytelling. It guides your instructional designers through quantifying learning styles and ways to immerse their learners in different learning experiences. Some of the lessons also go into more detail about important instructional design topics like storyboarding, quality checking, ROI measurement, content curation, and standardization. 

The full course has a total of 48 video lessons that your team can complete in two hours. But unfortunately, this lengthy training program can be difficult to get through if they struggle with a shorter attention span.

  • Cost: 32 USD per month
  • Certification: Not available
  • Scope: What is instructional design, pedagogy, blending pedagogies, authoring tools, action mapping, measuring ROI, storyboarding, style guides

Created by Skillshare

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Boost the course-creation skills of your instructional designers with instructional design training courses

Instructional designers are responsible for not only teaching and creating learning content but also making sure that they’re effective and able to address the needs of their learners. The role may sound simple in writing but there’s a lot that goes into it. First, they must be able to understand and apply learning theories to their online courses. They’ll also need to learn how to handle different types of online authoring tools and learning management systems to design learning materials. The best way for you to hone the skills of your instructional designers is to give them proper training through instructional design training courses. Nowadays, there’s a wide selection of them available online. To help make choosing easier, we’ve listed our top picks above.

And the best part? Your team can complete courses anytime, anywhere, on any device.

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