Instructional designers are sometimes called instructional coordinators, professional development specialists, instructional coaches or curriculum specialists. These individuals are trained to help develop classroom curricula and materials for teachers. They also learn how to implement new technology and programs.
A master's degree program in instructional design is available for graduates, and most master's programs accept credits earned for an instructional design certificate. The certificate program is generally geared toward people who are currently working as teachers and have earned their bachelor's degree and teaching credential.
Instructional Designer Certificate
Students will be provided with hands-on experience. They are given the opportunity to work with new technologies and learning theories. Students are also afforded the opportunity to design teaching materials. Most programs encourage participants to apply the experience they are gaining in their courses for use in their own programs. They are also encouraged to develop curricula and materials for personal use as well as create the opportunity for school wide implementation of the new strategies and skills learned. Coursework will include the following:
- Computer applications
- Instructional media
- Web design and management
- Multimedia education
- Special needs assessment
- Instructional systems design
- Distance education
- Learning theories
- Web-based training
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The area of instructional design was expected to grow at an average rate of 7% from 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median salary reported for instructional coordinators was $62,270 as of May 2015.
Some educational professionals may choose to earn a master's or doctoral level degree in education, including an emphasis in curriculum design. Each state has different requirements for instructional design specialists, so it is important to check with an individual state's department of education to see what the specific requirements are.
A certificate in instructional design can afford teachers greater understanding of modern teaching methods and tools, and allows for more effective teaching in their classrooms.