Doctoral degree programs in instructional technology and related fields are not typically offered entirely online. Most schools offer hybrid doctoral programs in instructional technology with distance education coursework and on-campus residency requirements, which can consist of multiple summer experiences spent at the school. However, there are some schools that do offer fully online instructional technology doctorate programs to students. Additional majors in the field include educational technology or learning technology. Applicants to the program will need a master's degree.
Possible areas of specialization include distance education teaching, multimedia production and K-12 education. The program can prepare graduates to apply for instructional coordination jobs at elementary, secondary or postsecondary schools.
Instructional Technology Doctorate
Most online doctorate programs in instructional technology award a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.). The program may also award an ED.D. in Educational Technology or Learning Technology. Some programs pair instructional technology with educational psychology. Study in this area can prepare graduates to help plan technological curriculum at many levels of education.
Program Information and Requirements
Many schools require entering students to have a master's degree in instructional technology or a similar field. Schools may also ask students to submit a statement of intent and letters of recommendation. It takes three to five years to complete the doctorate program. Research culminates in a dissertation.
Students communicate with professors and fellow students through Internet chats, online discussion forums and e-mail. Students should have consistent access to a high-speed Internet connection. Some schools require students to have Microsoft Office or equivalent software. Updated operating systems and browsing software is recommended.
List of Common Instructional Technology Courses
Students take courses in educational psychology, educational theory and teaching methodology in an online instructional technology program. The curriculum also includes technical courses that explore types of technology and how they can be applied to education. Students learn to evaluate and select learning technology as effective directors of instruction.
Computer Interface and User Interaction
In this course, students learn about the history of computer function and its development in response to human experience and social needs. The class explores how people use computers in order to make them more effective tools. Students complete interactive design projects to examine the process of development.
This course shows educators how to design a systematic process for integrating educational technology into class. Students implement learning theories to create and assess efficient curriculum and learning environments. This class examines a variety of educational situations, including primary schools, universities and military training.
The Internet and Education
This class trains future educators to effectively utilize the Internet in the physical classroom. The course also outlines the process of online teaching and the educational use of social communication technology such as social networking sites, wikis and blogs. Students learn how to conduct and supervise effective Internet research.
Instructional technology experts are part of a class of professionals called instructional coordinators. Directors of instructional media develop curricula and select electronic equipment based on education goals. These coordinators also train teachers and other educators to integrate computers, software and multimedia into their learning plans. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), instructional coordinators had an average annual wage of $64,870 in May 2015. The BLS predicts that job openings in the field will increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024.
Online instructional technology doctoral degree programs train students in how to incorporate technology into educational instruction, as well as how to train others to do it too. Most graduates will find work as instructional coordinators or instructional technology experts.