This eight-week online instructional design course provides an introduction to careers as an instructional designer, learning theory, instructional design models, and the instructional design and development process. You will study variables that affect adult learning, techniques for stimulating and sustaining learner motivation, and how to reinforce learning. Whether you are in health care, education, business, software development or a trainer in any other industry, this online course will help you to analyze, design, and develop instruction.

NOTE: Throughout the instructional design certificate courses you will create portfolio quality products to share during job interviews or use in your current position. For this course, you will create a design document and develop a unit or module of instruction.


I strive for an inclusive learning environment. If you anticipate or experience any barriers related to the format or requirements of this course please contact me directly to discuss ways to ensure full access.

If you determine that additional disability-related accommodations are necessary please contact the Disability Services office for assistance:  715-232-2995.

Course Information

General Information

EDUC 765 - Trends & Issues in Instructional Design
3 Semester Hours of Graduate Credit
Fully Online


Completion of an undergraduate degree.


Kevin Bowersox-Johnson
[email protected]
217-819-0575 (cell)

Make an appointment with me by email or text message for a conference call or virtual meeting. I'm in Pacific Standard Time.

Course Materials

Physical Textbook

Mager, R. F. (1997).  Preparing instructional objectives: A critical tool in the development of effective instruction (3rd ed.). Center for Effective Performance.


Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. J., Morrison, J.R., & Kalman, H. K. (2019). Designing effective instruction (8th ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Access this by clicking the RedShelf link in the Course Navigation bar to the left. The e-textbook is included as part of your tuition. Your e-textbook will be accessible for six months after the end of the class. 

You can highlight text and organize information in the e-book (e.g., adding a note stating something like "reference in my discussion posting") and print only what you want for use as a study guide. You may share notes and highlighting with peers in the class. Personal printing of the textbook for your personal professional use is limited to 20%. If you prefer to read a print copy, instead of an e-textbook, you may purchase the paperbacks directly from the publisher.

Additional Readings

In addition to the textbooks, participants will be asked to read professional articles found on the web and EBSCO (available through the Stout library).

Dick, W & Carey, L. (1997).  The systematic design of instruction (8th ed.).  Pearson .

Williams, R. (2015).  The non-designers design book (4th ed.). Peachpit Press  

Mager, R. F. (1997).  Measuring instructional objectives (3rd ed.).    Center for Effective Performance.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will...

  1. Define instructional design.

  2. Describe and delineate between different instructional design models.

  3. Apply the stages of an instructional design model to solve an instructional problem.

  4. Research instructional designer competencies and create a plan to identify and address competency gaps.  

  5. Compare learning theories and apply them to the instructional design process.

  6. Apply motivation theory to the instructional design process.

  7. Reflect on and apply strategies for addressing equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility to the instructional design process.

  8. Develop an e-Portfolio highlighting knowledge, skills, and abilities within the field of Instructional design.

Course Outline

Module 1: What is Instructional Design & Identifying an Instructional Problem

You will share your experiences with poor instruction and reflect on what design components of the training or course could have bettered your learning experience.

You will be able to define Instructional Design and differentiate it between other field terminology. (1)

After reading and researching, you will be able to list, in the correct order, the stages and components of a given Instructional Design Model. (2)

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will identify an instructional problem to address throughout our course using the remaining steps within the same ID model. (3)

Module 2: Instructional Design Models & Needs Assessment

Upon conducting independent research, you will be able to describe and compare the benefits and challenges between different instructional design models. (2)

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will conduct a Needs Assessment in alignment to your previously identified instructional problem. (3)

Module 3: Learner Characteristics

Upon conducting independent research, you will be able to describe and compare the benefits and challenges between different instructional design models. (2)

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will conduct a Learner and Contextual Analysis in alignment to your previously identified instructional problem. (3)

Upon conducting a Learner and Contextual Analysis, you will reflect on instructional considerations you might make around equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility to support learning success. (7)

Module 4: Learning Theories & Instructional Designer Competencies

Upon researching a variety of learning theories, you will reflect on how learning theories can be applied within your instructional design process to help solve your previously identified instructional problem. (5)

Upon researching a Motivational Learning theory, you will reflect on how they can be applied within your instructional design process to help solve your previously identified instructional problem. (6)

Upon researching roles and responsibilities held by instructional designers, you will identify common competencies necessary to be an instructional designer and develop a plan to address competency gaps. (4)

Module 5: Goals & Task Analysis

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will conduct a Goal and Task Analysis in alignment to your previously identified instructional problem. (3)

After researching options for developing an e-Portfolio, you will be able to choose a tool and begin developing a simple and logical navigation structure within that tool. (8)

Module 6: Learning Objectives & Preparing for a Job Interview

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will create instructional objectives in alignment to your previously identified instructional problem. (3)

After researching options for developing an e-Portfolio, you will be able to choose a tool and begin developing a simple and logical navigation structure within that tool. (8)

Module 7: Planning Your Instruction

Based on your determined instructional objectives, you will complete an instructional objectives matrix to determine preinstructional strategies, generative activities, and assessments that align to your objectives. (3)

Given a set of example instructional designer job interview questions, you will practice answering the questions using vocabulary and concepts learned within the course. (4)

Module 8: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Design & Instruction

Based on strategies within a given Instructional Design Model, you will create a Formative and Summative Evaluation Plan in alignment to your previously identified instructional problem. (3)

To support your instructional design profile, you will add pages and artifacts to your e-Portfolio, including an About Me page, Course Information Page, and your Design Document as evidence of your experience in the course. (8)

Upon completing the steps of a formal instructional design model, you will reflect on how benefits, challenges, and shortcuts you take based on the realistic restrictions often faced around time and other resources. (4)

Grading & Assessment


Your grade will be based on:

Knowledge Checks = 105 Points (27%)

Design Document  = 200 Points (50%)

e-Portfolio  = 20 Points (5%)

Industry Chats  = 70 Points (18%)

Grading Scale

A = 94-100 %
A- = 91-93
B+ = 88-90
B = 84-87
B- = 81-83
C+ = 78-80
C = 74-77

Work below 74% is unacceptable at the graduate-level and will result in a grade of F.

Each course is the prerequisite for the next course. Successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each course within the certificate sequence is required for registration in the next class.

Course Policies & Expectations

Student Expectations

The following activities and requirements apply to this course:

  • Log into the course a minimum of three to five times a week to stay active and involved.

  • Put in the time and effort. Based on the number credits you earn from this course, you are expected to dedicate approximately 8-10 hours a week to this course. The time commitment will vary depending your input, needs, and personal study habits.

  • Read lesson introductions, text, and assigned articles from the Web.

  • Engage in positive and meaningful dialogue with classmates concerning the course subject matter.

  • Complete weekly quizzes and assignments.

  • Ask for help when needed.

Instructor Expectations

As your instructor, I am committed to providing a quality learning experience through thoughtful planning, implementation, and assessment of course activities. I am also committed to being readily available to students throughout the semester by returning emails and phone calls within 24 to 48 hours and to returning graded course work with feedback within 72 hours of each assignment's due date.

Within our Discussion Board, it is my job to initiate thoughtful, on-topic discussions, encourage student-to-student communication, and mediate when necessary. However, I will not respond to every post, but encourage students to take ownership of the learning process by responding to each other. I find that when I respond to every post, my “presence” discourages or shuts down peer-to-peer interactions – the exact opposite of what I am hoping to accomplish.


The primay methods for communicating with me and each other in this class will be via the following communication channels...

Course Announcements

Updates, instructions, advice, and tips will be posted in each module’s Question and Answer discussion page. Remember to check it each time you log in to your course. Please log in at least four times a week. Be sure to check the To Do list as well. 

Discussion Board

 Check the Discussion Board posts and responses regularly and remember that your level of Discussion Board participation and your discussion summary will be factored into your grade.

Your UW-Stout Email Account

Check the university email at least every other day. Daily is better. No course communication will be sent to your home/work personal email accounts.Students can also use email to communicate with me regarding private matters such as grades. However, questions that are content-related can benefit all students; therefore, please ask those in our virtual course Q&A Discussion Forum so that everyone benefits from the answer. I will be checking forums daily and receive email notifications when students post. This helps speed up the response process along with the fact that your peers can also help answer your questions.


The telephone is still sometimes the most effective mode for troubleshooting problems related to the course. My phone number and other contact information can be found above and in the About Your Instructor sectio of our course.

Water Cooler

We will use the Water Cooler forum for off-topic discussions. You can post whatever you would like in here - an interesting article you read online, an opinion about something happening in the world, news about something great that happened in your life. In this forum, pretty much anything goes. I hope that this can be another way that we get to know a little about each other besides the orientation activities. I think of this forum being like the few minutes I spend in the classroom before my face-to-face classes begin when we end up talking about anything and everything. This is not a course requirement, and points are not awarded for posting messages in this area. Please, also note, that any off-topic conversations occurring inside a content specific forum will be asked to move to this forum.  

Late Policy

This is a graduate-level class, and it is expected that you will submit work on time. Prompt submission of assignments for assessment allows me to provide guidance and timely feedback. Due dates for each module are published on the course calendar at the start of the class. Work turned in by midnight on the due date will be considered on time and will receive full credit.

Any work submitted after the due date will lose one level on the rubric. In other words, work that would have been Proficient will be graded as Basic. Work more than seven days late will not be accepted.

However, it is understood that emergencies do arise and the late policy can be waived at my discretion in cases of an emergency. Emergencies are defined as anything which is serious and unexpected. Emergencies cannot be written on the calendar in advance. Examples of emergencies are heart attacks, car accidents, and serious health crises of you or in your immediate family. Examples of non-emergencies are family weddings, vacations, or any other event which can be planned around.

Excused Makeup Work - If a late submission has been requested and approved in advance of the due date, there will be no deduction of points from the assignment grade. Send me a private email requesting an extension and discuss an alternate due date if needed.

Incomplete Policy

Assignment of an Incomplete "I" grade requires a written agreement between me (the instructor) and you (the student) specifying the time and manner in which the student will complete the course requirement.

Incomplete grades should be requested or granted for extenuating circumstances that are:

  • Beyond your control; and/or 
  • Could not have been anticipated early enough in the semester to warrant a withdrawal.

Incomplete grades will not be granted for:

  • Personal convenience;
  • Attending only a few or no class sessions;
  • Being busy with requirements for other courses or work;
  • Wanting to get a better grade with additional time.

For more information, review the University Grading System website and Incomplete Grade Policy.

Academic Honesty & Misconduct

You are responsible for the honest completion and representation of their work, for the appropriate citation of sources, and for respect of others' academic endeavors. Students who violate these standards must be confronted and must accept the consequences of their actions. The disciplinary procedures can be found on the Academic Misconduct website.

Technical Requirements

This is a web-based distance education course and all of the content, activities, and interactions will take place through the learning management software.

It is important to be able to access and use this system in order to be successful in the course. Check your computer settings to make sure the technology works for you.

Resources and Technical Support

  • Specifications recommended for students using personal laptops for online coursework

  • If you are using your work computer and cannot log in to the course due to technical issues, please check with your employer's tech support person.

  • For any problems with a username or password, logging in to Access Stout to view the course content, email, or viewing final grades you may contact the UW-Stout Help Desk:

  • Call +1 (715) 232-5000

  • Email [email protected]

  • Hours for the Help Desk.

Backup Plans & Working Offline

If for any reason, you are unable to access Canvas, you are expected to complete and submit assignments. Here are a few scenarios to be prepared for and suggestions for doing so:

Loss of Internet Service

  • If your home Internet service goes down, consider accessing the Internet from the school’s library, the public library, a friend’s house, or a nearby cyber café. Of course, a laptop with wireless Internet connection capabilities is required if connecting from the nearby coffeehouse unless they also provide the computer.

Canvas or Other Applications Go Down

  • If Canvas, or other required applications, go down system wide, expect to hear from me via your email address. I maintain an email distribution list of all my sections for this reason.

  • My messages will provide information I know about the outage and academic expectations. For example, you may be asked to complete and submit existing work via email rather than Canvas. I may also decide to conduct a content-focused synchronous session for you to attend.

  • Again, lack of access does not automatically erase my expectations for completing and submitting assignments.

University Policies

Sexual Misconduct and Title IX

Title IX prohibits sex discrimination that includes sexual misconduct: harassment, domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed or assaulted, you can report the behavior online or to the Title IX Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office. As "Responsible Employees" faculty members are required to report sexual misconduct to the Title IX Coordinator.


The University of Wisconsin-Stout is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment that is free of bias, prejudice, and harassment-an environment that supports, nurtures, and rewards career and educational advancement based on ability and performance. See the Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation Policy for more information.

Veteran and Active Military Members

Veterans and active duty military personnel with special circumstances (e.g., drill requirements) are encouraged to communicate these in advance to their instructors. Students who may need short- or long-term absence for military active duty should consult the Student Military Leave Policy/or more information. Veterans and active duty military personnel who have a documented disability and may qualify for academic accommodations should contact the Disability Services, located in the library.

Credit Hour (From FASLAH)

UW-Stout defines a "semester credit hour" as an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates:

  • At least 750 minutes of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of 1500 minutes of out-of-class student work for one semester credit hour, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time (e.g., compressed courses); or

  • At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (i) of this definition for other academic activities as established by UW-Stout, including distance education, online, hybrid, or other indirect faculty instruction, laboratory work, internships, co-op experiences, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours. UW-Stout's definition of the semester credit hour applies to all academic credit bearing activities at all levels (graduate and undergraduate.)

Any policies not explicitly covered in the syllabus are governed by FASLAH and UW-Stout university policies.