Professional Certificate in Instructional Design

Gain the hands-on analytical skills to develop impactful learning solutions

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Course Dates


April 26, 2023

Course Duration


5 months, online
10–15 hours per week

Course Fee


US$5,500 US$4,895 or get US$550 off with a referral

Course Information Flexible payment available
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Design Learning Solutions with a Measurable Impact

Today’s professional development landscape looks radically different than it did a few years ago. Changes effected by the global pandemic have made online learning a mainstay in industry and education, with demand increasing across sectors to train a workforce that is increasingly hybrid or remote. If organizations have learned anything, it’s that successful online instruction requires more than just technology. It requires a well-researched road map and professionals with the knowledge and analytical skills to design learning solutions that can drive impact.

Developed by Emeritus, a world-class leader in online learning, the Professional Certificate in Instructional Design is a one-of-a-kind program that gives participants the opportunity to gain firsthand expertise in the principles and methodologies of the field, preparing them to create high-quality, impactful solutions that help people learn better.


HR leaders who said building critical employee skills and competencies is their #1 priority

Source: Gartner


Learning and development professionals who expect to spend more on online learning

Source: LinkedIn’s Workplace Learning Report


Average salary for instructional designers in the US in 2022 for professionals with 0-6 years of work experience in non-managerial positions

Source : Lightcast

The Emeritus Advantage

At Emeritus, instructional design is our forte. Leveraging the knowledge of our instructional design professionals, the Emeritus Instructional Design Institute, and our unique model that blends state-of-the-art technology, curriculum innovation, and hands-on instruction, our programs help individuals learn new skills and make a lasting impact on the greater global community. We are committed to teaching the skills of the future by making high-quality education accessible and affordable.

Positive Career Impact

94 percent of our learners report a positive impact on their career and professional development.

Our Global Learner Base

Emeritus's learner base spread across 153 countries, is a testament to the wide-reaching impact of our future-focused programs.

Renowned Partner Institutions

We collaborate with more than 50 top-tier universities across the United States, Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia, India, and China to make world-class education globally accessible.

Our Partners

We partner with world-renowned universities and leverage the insights and real-world knowledge from faculty who are world-leading practitioners in their fields.

Who Is This Program For?

Whether you develop instructional materials for an education system or a corporation, this program is designed to help you build a foundation in instructional analytics and design. At the end of this program, you will come away with hands-on skills to create impactful learning solutions that set learners up for success.

This program is ideal for:

  • K-12 teachers and educators who want to transition to instructional design to better identify knowledge or skill deficits and create impactful instructional solutions that help people learn
  • Recent graduates and early-career instructional design professionals looking to expand their knowledge of instructional design and launch or accelerate their career in this field
  • HR/learning development teams who have instructional design needs to develop skill or knowledge-based training programs and high-quality learning materials for employees
  • Professionals working in customer/sales enablement who want to learn and apply instructional design to identify performance gaps and help their teams improve their performance

This program will help you prepare for the following roles:

  • Course Developer
  • Instructional Designer
  • Learning Team Manager or Director
  • Learning Experience Designer (LXD)
  • Chief Learning Officer (CLO)

Key Takeaways

  • Cultivate the analytical skills necessary to identify performance problems, learning needs, and learning objectives.
  • Learn the fundamentals of instructional design, including scope of practice, key learning theories and design models, and your role in ensuring accessibility.
  • Design and create instructional materials such as guided practice, assessments, instructional inputs including video and audio lectures, readings, and other non-video assets, and identify the best format for delivery.
  • Develop and assemble instructional materials to create coherent instructional modules and module sequences for high-quality learner experiences, agnostic of the tool or platform.

Program Highlights

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Develop the core analytical skills necessary to develop high-impact learning solutions.

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Gain real-world insights from Emeritus' own industry experts, who bring first-hand knowledge and organizational best practices to the program.

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Create a professional portfolio highlighting a sample of your design work, along with supporting documentation, to share with potential employers.

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Learn with a global cohort of instructional design peers who you can source for ideas and networking.

Program Topics

This program is organized into six parts, all focused on the competencies needed to become proficient in designing instructional materials that engage learners and achieve targeted performance outcomes.

    Survey the fundamentals of instructional design and learning theory, and understand their applications.

    • Module 1: What Is Instructional Design?
    • Module 2: Theories of Learning
    • Module 3: Approaches to Instructional Design

    Dive into the key analytical methodologies of instructional design, and learn how to leverage them throughout the design process.

    • Module 4: Performance Analysis
    • Module 5: Task and Goal Analysis
    • Module 6: Target and Population Analysis
    • Module 7: Learning Outcomes
    • Module 8: Skills Hierarchies and Course Prerequisites

    Discover important elements to consider when developing instructional materials, and gain the essentials for piecing a course together.

    • Module 9: Instructional Design Accessibility
    • Module 10: Criterion Tests and Relevant Practice
    • Module 11: Content Derivation
    • Module 12: Module Development
    • Module 13: Sequencing
    • Module 14: Tryout

    Develop a thorough understanding of how to execute a course, and learn how to make improvements to create enduring instruction.

    • Module 15: Course Procedures
    • Module 16: Presentation and Filming
    • Module 17: Course Improvement

    Discover the various components needed for production, and gain best practices for communication, collaboration, and more.

    • Module 18: Instructional Design Technology
    • Module 19: Soft Skills
    • Module 20: Visual Design and Data Visualization

    Combine the modules you have designed throughout the program into a deliverable course. Then, build out one of your modules using an integrated learning platform, and annotate your process to highlight significant design components.

Get a complimentary 1-year subscription worth $299 to the Emeritus Insights app when you enroll in this program

What does Emeritus Insights offer?

  • Access to a state-of-the-art library of over 5,000 condensed lessons and short lectures
  • Exploration of complex disciplines such as Data Science, Marketing, Leadership, Strategy, Business Communication, and more
  • Exclusive access to information and learnings from Harvard Business Review

Career Preparation and Guidance

Success in instructional design requires both hard and soft skills. This program offers you guidance for navigating your career path, from crafting your elevator pitch to perfecting your interview skills. The program support team includes program leaders who help you reach your learning goals. The primary goal is to give you the skills necessary to be prepared for a job in this field; however, job placement is not guaranteed.

Career preparation you will receive in this program includes:

  • Over 250 hours of technical training
  • Nineteen hours of career development activities
  • Eight hours of optional career support activities
  • One-on-one sessions with experienced industry practitioners to understand the field, career paths, and the day-to-day on the job
  • Six career-guidance assignments to prepare you with employer expectations

You can join the league of our graduates who work at leading organizations such as:

  • Forbes
  • Nestle
  • Meta
  • Walmart
  • Ikea
  • Pinterest
  • Ulta Beauty
  • Boeing
  • Samsung
  • LinkedIn
  • Spotify
  • Nvidia

And more!

*Participant experience levels prior to taking our programs may vary.

Faculty Director

Dr. Karen Mahon Director, Global Design and Learning Experience, Emeritus Institute of Management

Dr. Karen Mahon

Senior Director, Global Design, Emeritus Institute of Management

Karen specializes in synthesizing instructional/learning experience design, technology, strategy, and leadership into practical learning solutions. At Emeritus, she leads the instructional design team that is responsible for the end-to-end design and development of online executive programs for a global audience... More info

Contributing Instructors

Members of our instructional design team bring additional expertise to the program, including:

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Susan Bastian, MEd, EdS

Senior Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Traci Roth, MEd, BA

Senior Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Brook Corwin, MA, BA

Senior Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Nolan Williams, MS

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Faculty Member Tina Houareau

Tina Houareau, PhD

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Adam Santone, PhD

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Phylise Banner, BA, MSEd

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Hector Valle, MA

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Mazlan Hasan, MA

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Fan Yang, PhD

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Kimberly Gibson, PhD

Associate Director of Design, Emeritus

Elaine Sequeira, BA

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Anita Mendonca, MA, MEd

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Subroto Mukherjee, BA, BCA, MCA

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Alorika Banerjee Ray, MA, BEd, MBA

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Pallavi Gupta, BSc, MSc

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Varun Chauhan, BSc

Senior Manager of Design, Emeritus

Divyavathi R, MCA, MPhil

Manager of Design, Emeritus

Faculty Member Pravin Jagtap

Pravin Jagtap, BBA

Senior Associate, LMS Design, Emeritus

Members from the Emeritus Instructional Design Team

Rebecca Taub, MA, BA

Course Coach, Emeritus

Guest Speakers

Dr. Janet Twyman Education Innovator, Thought Leader, and Founder of Blast

Dr. Janet Twyman is an education innovator, thought leader, and founder of blast: A Learning Sciences Company. Her numerous publications and presentations address behavior analysis, instructional design, technology, and educational systems, and includes co-editing three books on educational innovation, personalized learning, and equity. Always passionate about education, Janet has been a pre-school and public school teacher, education administrator, researcher, and university professor. She currently holds a faculty appointment as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and formerly served as Director of Innovation and Technology for the U.S. Dept of Education funded Center on Innovations in Learning and as Vice President of Instructional Development, Research, & Implementation at Headsprout. She has presented to and worked with education systems, organizations, and institutions over 75 states and countries, including speaking about technologies for diverse learners and settings at the United Nations.

— Dr. Janet Twyman, Education Innovator, Thought Leader, and Founder, Blast

Trafford Judd Head of Global Programs, Revenue Enablement, Asana

Trafford Judd is a sales enablement leader with over 15 years of experience in sales enablement, SaaS and human resources. He currently leads the Revenue Enablement team at Asana (ASAN), providing instructional design, sales training, and program management for Asana's 550-person global revenue team. Asana helps teams orchestrate their work, from small projects to strategic initiatives. Global customers such as Amazon, Japan Airlines, Sky, and Affirm rely on Asana to manage everything from company objectives and digital transformation to product launches and marketing campaigns.

— Trafford Judd, Head of Global Programs, Revenue Enablement, Asana

Satang Jow, Head of Learning and Development for R&D, Rapid

Satang has 15 years of experience in Learning and Development. After spending the early years of her career in Telecommunication, she has spent the majority of her time planning, designing and executing strategic company-wide learning initiatives at both Yahoo and Twilio. Through the many years, she has also served in the office of the Chief of Staff and Technical Program Management roles, but her strengths and weaknesses always brought her close to Learning and Development. Her ultimate career goal is to be a teacher and her plan is to relocate to her home country of Gambia to teach at her high school.

— Satang Jow, Head of Learning and Development for R&D, Rapid

Dr. Kubina is a Professor of Special Education at Penn State. After completing his Masters' program, he taught special education in private schools specializing in post-acute brain trauma rehabilitation for three years. During his doctoral program, Kubina worked as a graduate teaching assistant for the Great Lakes Regional Resource Center, a federally funded information dissemination and training center serving the Great Lake states. Currently, he teaches courses on methods for teaching reading, behavior analysis, and single-case design. He conducts wide-ranging research in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis, Precision Teaching, and technology and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Doctoral level, and serves on several editorial boards for behavioral and special education journals.

— Dr. Richard Kubina, Jr, Director of Research at CentralReach, LLC




Upon satisfying all requirements of this program, Emeritus grants a verified digital certificate of completion in recognition of your success. This program is graded on a pass or fail basis; participants must receive 80 percent to pass and obtain the certificate of completion.

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  • How do I know if this program is right for me?

    After reviewing the information on the program landing page, we recommend you submit the short form above to gain access to the program brochure, which includes more in-depth information. If you still have questions on whether this program is a good fit for you, please email, and a dedicated program advisor will follow-up with you very shortly.

    Are there any prerequisites for this program?

    Some programs do have prerequisites, particularly the more technical ones. This information will be noted on the program landing page, as well as in the program brochure. If you are uncertain about program prerequisites and your capabilities, please email us at the ID mentioned above.

    Note that, unless otherwise stated on the program web page, all programs are taught in English and proficiency in English is required.

    What is the typical class profile?

    More than 50 percent of our participants are from outside the United States. Class profiles vary from one cohort to the next, but, generally, our online certificates draw a highly diverse audience in terms of professional experience, industry, and geography — leading to a very rich peer learning and networking experience.

    What other dates will this program be offered in the future?

    Check back to this program web page or email us to inquire if future program dates or the timeline for future offerings have been confirmed yet.

  • How much time is required each week?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page.

    How will my time be spent?

    We have designed this program to fit into your current working life as efficiently as possible. Time will be spent among a variety of activities including:

    • Engaging with recorded video lectures from faculty
    • Attending webinars and office hours, as per the specific program schedule
    • Reading or engaging with examples of core topics
    • Completing knowledge checks/quizzes and required activities
    • Engaging in moderated discussion groups with your peers
    • Completing your final project, if required

    The program is designed to be highly interactive while also allowing time for self-reflection and to demonstrate an understanding of the core topics through various active learning exercises. Please email us if you need further clarification on program activities.

    How do I interact with other program participants?

    Peer learning adds substantially to the overall learning experience and is an important part of the program. You can connect and communicate with other participants through our learning platform.

  • What are the requirements to earn the certificate?

    Each program includes an estimated learner effort per week, so you can gauge what will be required before you enroll. This is referenced at the top of the program landing page under the Duration section, as well as in the program brochure, which you can obtain by submitting the short form at the top of this web page. All programs are designed to fit into your working life.

    This program is scored as a pass or no-pass; participants must complete the required activities to pass and obtain the certificate of completion. Some programs include a final project submission or other assignments to obtain passing status. This information will be noted in the program brochure. Please email us if you need further clarification on any specific program requirements.

    What type of certificate will I receive?

    Upon successful completion of the program, you will receive a smart digital certificate. The smart digital certificate can be shared with friends, family, schools, or potential employers. You can use it on your cover letter, resume, and/or display it on your LinkedIn profile.
    The digital certificate will be sent approximately two weeks after the program, once grading is complete.

    Can I get the hard copy of the certificate?

    No, only verified digital certificates will be issued upon successful completion. This allows you to share your credentials on social platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

    How long will I have access to the learning materials?

    You will have access to the online learning platform and all the videos and program materials for 12 months following the program start date. Access to the learning platform is restricted to registered participants per the terms of agreement.

  • What equipment or technical requirements are there for this program?

    Participants will need the latest version of their preferred browser to access the learning platform. In addition, Microsoft Office and a PDF viewer are required to access documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDF files, and transcripts.

    Do I need to be online to access the program content?

    Yes, the learning platform is accessed via the internet, and video content is not available for download. However, you can download files of video transcripts, assignment templates, readings, etc. For maximum flexibility, you can access program content from a desktop, laptop, tablet, or mobile device.

    Video lectures must be streamed via the internet, and any livestream webinars and office hours will require an internet connection. However, these sessions are always recorded, so you may view them later.

  • Can I still register if the registration deadline has passed?

    Yes, you can register up until seven days past the published start date of the program without missing any of the core program material or learnings.

    What is the program fee, and what forms of payment do you accept?

    The program fee is noted at the top of this program web page and usually referenced in the program brochure as well.

    • Flexible payment options are available (see details below as well as at the top of this program web page next to FEE).
    • Tuition assistance is available for participants who qualify. Please email

    What if I don’t have a credit card? Is there another method of payment accepted?

    Yes, you can do the bank remittance in the program currency via wire transfer or debit card. Please contact your program advisor, or email us for details.

    I was not able to use the discount code provided. Can you help?

    Yes! Please email us with the details of the program you are interested in, and we will assist you.

    How can I obtain an invoice for payment?

    Please email us your invoicing requirements and the specific program you’re interested in enrolling in.

    Is there an option to make flexible payments for this program?

    Yes, the flexible payment option allows a participant to pay the program fee in installments. This option is made available on the payment page and should be selected before submitting the payment.

    How can I obtain a W9 form?

    Please connect with us via email for assistance.

  • Time of Refund Request

    • Within 21 days after course commencement
    • 22 to 45 days after course commencement
    • More than 45 days after course commencement

    Amount Refunded

    • Full refund of course fee (assuming no prior course deferral)
    • 50% of course fee (assuming no prior course deferral)
    • No refund of course fee
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Flexible payment options available. Learn more.