Instructional Design

Explore one of today's hottest careers for those with creativity, organizationsl skills, and insatiable curiosity.

Program Overview

At the intersection of education and technology lies instructional design; one of today’s fastest growing Instructional Designcareer areas.

As learning through social media and mobile technologies become more mainstream and demand for online training and education grows, the need for instructional designers will continue to heat up the job market.

This non-credit certificate will provide you with an introduction to the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a career in instructional design. You’ll learn about careers in instructional design, adult education and cognitive learning theory, as well as instructional design frameworks including ADDIE and AGILE/SAM. You’ll also learn about curriculum design, learning management systems, authoring tools and common technologies used to enhance learning.

Instructional designers interact with others frequently, so you’ll also learn how to work with subject matter experts (SME’s) and conduct a needs analysis. You’ll gain skills required to design for accessibility and use assessments and diagnostics. Finally, you’ll polish everything off with a review of critical business skills specific to instructional designers such as working in teams and project management.

A final capstone project will incorporate all learning objectives in a real-life design project. Guest speakers and plenty of time to conceptualize, develop and create will round out this certificate program.


Level Entry/non-credit
Class format Lectures, projects, guest speakers, case studies, activities
Commitment 8 weeks + capstone project, classes held two nights a week
How to Pass Complete capstone project / career coaching
Certificates University of Utah certificate, digital badge, transcripts
Scholarships Available


Degree PlusEarn a Digital Badge

Those completing this certificate will earn an Instructional Design Digital Badge that can be shared on social media sites.

Click on this badge to see the metadata behind your badge.

Find out more about Digital Badges and how they can have a positive impact on your career development here


Careers in Instructional Design

“Instructional designers are, in many ways, the linchpin of higher education’s digital transformation. But great instructional designers are hard to find. Part of the challenge stems from inadequate supply and increasing competition for talent. Just three years ago, LinkedIn posted fewer than 5,000 instructional designer job openings. Today, the number has tripled. And CNN estimates that the instructional design profession will grow 28.3 percent over the next 10 years.”

The Quest for Great Instructional Designers 
Paxton Riter / June 7, 2016 / Inside HigherEd

Certificate Director – Keith Harten

Keith’s Bio

Keith Harten is the Instructional Designer at Extra Space Storage where he specializes in custom training solutions for the company’s national workforce. Prior to his career with Extra Space, Keith was an instructional design consultant with Allen Communication in Salt Lake City. There, he created instructor-led and web-based courses for clients including AIG, Deutsche Bank, EBay, Dominos and the American Heart Association. Keith’s background includes two years of university-level teaching as well as writing for the Sundance Film Festival.

Keith is attracted to the discipline of instructional design because it marries the science of human psychology with the art of human development. Keith received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Brigham Young University.

Meet All Our Instructors

Have a question? We have answers.  Contact Us!

For questions about how to enroll, scholarships or other administrative questions:

Andrea Miller – program director
801-587-8822 /

For questions about curriculum, career opportunities, class experience or the capstone: 

Contact our program director – Keith –


Certificate Endorsements

"The Instructional Design Certificate at University of Utah is an excellent introduction into an instructional design career. Participants will learn to create and implement effective learning experiences on multiple platforms, gain an understanding of instructional design principles and utilize the most current technology and applications. Whether you’re looking to enhance your current degree or just get into the design field, these classes will guide you to to create and innovate valuable courses that improve skills."

Ted Glynn | Sr. Director of Learning and Talent Development | Extra Space Storage

  • Next certificate start date: 9/11/2017
  • Classes held M/W - 6:00pm - 9:00pm
  • Certificate duration: 8 weeks + capstone project
  • Scholarship application deadline:  9/1/2017

Certificate Courses

Week #1

  • What is Instructional Design, and how can it be used to make a difference? Review of applications for today’s learners.
  • Career opportunities in Instructional Design

Week # 2

  • How to create learning designs that maximize retention and behavioral transfer
  • Adult learning theory
  • What does science tell us about how people learn?

Week #3

  • Frameworks to judge when and how to use game design principles to enhance training effectiveness
  • How do games help people learn?
  • How can gamification of training make it more fun and more effective?

Week #4

  • How to adapt design strategies for different types of content
  • Techniques for designing effective training
  • Designing for accessibility

Week #5

  • Tools and techniques to blend multiple modalities into an effective overall training solution
  • Using authoring tools

Week #6

  • How to follow sound project management principles in order to maximize design/development efficiency

Week #7

  • Working with subject matter experts
  • Introduction to capstone project

Week #8 

    • Capstone project – building a strong portfolio


      • Listening
      • Communicating
      • Critical thinking
      • Creativity and innovation
      • Problem solving
      • Collaboration
      • Adaptability

Tuition - $1499

Register now

Download the Syllabus

Last Updated: 9/22/17