Quinnipiac student Kyanna Joseph, pursuing her graduate MAT degree in elementary education, works with Bridgeport first-grade students Thursday, July 13, 2017 in the School of Education on Quinnipiac's North Haven Campus.

MS in Instructional Design (online)

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Advances in technology have drastically changed the way we learn. Quinnipiac’s online MS in Instructional Design teaches students the skills necessary to thrive in these new and evolving learning paradigms and effectively deploy interactive educational materials in any professional environment.

Program Overview

Master the art of how people and organizations learn

The field of instructional design teaches us to use what we know about how people learn to guide the systematic development and implementation of educational materials in every field.

The MS in Instructional Design at Quinnipiac University provides you with hands-on expertise in the design, development and distribution of interactive educational materials. The focus in this program is on the development of digital learning environments, including websites, apps, online courses, videos and simulations.

Instructional designers work in diverse settings, including schools and universities, corporations and nonprofit organizations where they address a wide range of challenges through education and training. The online MS in Instructional Design offers three distinct specialization tracks to choose from based on your interests and career goals:

  • Design and Development of Online Learning
  • Technology for the K-12 Classroom
  • Instructional Design for Corporate or Nonprofit Environments

About Online Learning

Flexible scheduling meets world-class education

Online learning with Quinnipiac University delivers the guided educational experience of a traditional, instructor-led environment coupled with the schedule flexibility needed for adult learners to succeed. Innovative teaching methods and asynchronous classes enable students to work at their own pace, while also enjoying peer interaction and a collaborative learning experience to maximize their learning outcomes.

Curriculum and Requirements

MS in Instructional Design Curriculum

To earn the master's degree, students must complete 30 credits of coursework, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The sequence of courses is composed of required foundational courses, electives and the Capstone Experience.


15 credits (five courses), required for all candidates, focus on theoretical foundations of education and fundamentals of design. These courses include extensive exposure to research literature investigating the efficacy of media for educational applications, since it is the ability to understand and apply research that allows instructional designers to bridge the gap between theory and practice.


Individuals select an additional 12 credits (four courses), according to their own areas of interest. Topics include in-depth theoretical and practical aspects of producing educational resources (e.g., web design; design of online courses; video production; interactive digital media) with hands-on use of specific software applications. Other elective options explore the process of selecting, implementing and evaluating digital resources for instruction in a range of environments (K–12; higher education; industry and nonprofit organizations; informal learning, and creating accessible materials for individuals with diverse learning needs).

Capstone Experience

The required 3-credit (one course) capstone experience includes:

Career Exploration, including preparation of the resume and portfolio. Throughout their coursework, students select their best work to post on an electronic portfolio for critique; in the Capstone, they further refine the portfolio. Consistent with program objectives, this allows the student to demonstrate competence with a range of software applications and serves to present student work to prospective employers.

Introduction to Project Management. To develop effective instructional design projects, students need to understand the basics of project management. In some cases, instructional designers may even be asked to serve as project managers. This component of the Capstone explores the basics of project management and the terminology used in this field.

The Thesis Project. Each student chooses a topic of personal and/or professional interest, researches existing approaches to and resources for instruction on this topic, and prepares a proposal for the design of a learning resource. The proposal includes a needs analysis, design details and evaluation plan. The final step is the creation and presentation of a working prototype of the proposed resource. This project serves to demonstrate the candidate’s fluency with elements of an instructional design analysis as well as with the use of theory to inform design.

Required Foundation Courses
Theoretical Foundations of Education:
IDN 525Instructional Design for Digital Environments3
IDN 526Cognitive Science and Educational Design3
IDN 527Society, Culture and Learning3
Design Foundations:
IDN 528Collaborative Design of Digital Environments3
IDN 529Educational Media Design Lab3
Elective Courses
Production, Implementation & Evaluation:
Select 12 credits of the following:12
IDN 530
Web Design for Instruction (3 credits)
IDN 531
Design of Interactive Educational Environments (3 credits)
IDN 532
Design and Development of Online Learning (3 credits)
IDN 533
Producing Educational Video and Digital Training (3 credits)
IDN 534
Implementing Digital Media for Learning (3 credits)
IDN 535
New Directions in Digital Environments for Learning (3 credits)
IDN 536
Independent Study (3 credits)
IDN 537
Designing and Utilizing Assistive Learning Technologies
Capstone Experience
IDN 550Capstone Experience3
Total Credits30

Additional course details
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