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Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design

Program OverviewProgram DetailsWhy Choose Franklin

Create solutions to improve learning and performance

When it comes to learning and performance, there’s always room for improvement. Moreover, the most forward-thinking leaders realize that highly skilled and productive employees are the foundation for organizational strength and growth. The work of instructional designers ties personal improvements to institutional gains by understanding how to maximize the potential of individuals.

Franklin University’s Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design is designed to equip you with the foundational, principles-based knowledge and skills needed to solve instructional and performance problems using a systematic, theory-based approach.

And because our program is offered completely online for ultimate flexibility, you’ll be able to complete all of your coursework in 9 months. Our accelerated format allows you to quickly earn a credential that highlights your expertise and complements your existing bachelor’s or master’s degree.

Get a head start on your master’s degree at Franklin

All 16 credits earned during our Instructional Design Graduate Certificate Program transfer directly toward the 32 credits required for our M.S. Instructional Design & Learning Technology. This makes it a great way for you to become familiar with graduate-level courses and see if a master’s degree is right for you.

Systematically design instruction to improve learning

In this program you’ll gain insight into how people learn by studying various learning theories, like behaviorism, constructivism, and social cognitive theory. Meanwhile, you will design and develop e-learning instructional materials by applying concepts and principles of various systematic instructional design models, such as the Systems Approach Model for Designing Instruction (Dick, Carey & Carey), the Kemp Instructional Design Model (Morrison, Ross & Kemp), the Successive Approximation Model (Allen), and Backwards Design (Wiggins & McTighe)

As you create instructional materials, you’ll also learn to incorporate specific research-based instructional theories, on the order of Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction, Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction, and Keller’s ARCS Model.

Build expertise to improve human performance 

The Instructional Design Graduate Certificate will prepare you to influence human performance with an eye toward cost effectiveness. Through a foundational study of the Performance Improvement/HPT Model (Van Time,Moseley & Dessinger)  you’ll learn the fundamental process for improving human performance – performance analysis, cause analysis, intervention selection, design, and development, implementation, and evaluation – with the goal of analyzing performance needs or opportunities and creating a variety of solutions for improving them.

Leverage technology to deliver effective solutions

As part of your certificate coursework, you will gain hands-on experience with Articulate Studio, a rapid-authoring software designed for creating e-learning. By drawing upon the research-based principles of e-learning, you will create high-quality e-learning unit. Because our goal is to provide you with relevant knowledge, you will learn to facilitate learning through various communication channels, including blogs, wikis, and social networks.

Earn your certificate completely online in 9 months

The four courses that comprise this graduate certificate program can each be taken online so you can learn whenever and wherever it is convenient for you. The accelerated format allows you to quickly get the knowledge you need to enter or advance in the instructional design field.

Career Opportunities

  • Instructional Designer

    Instructional designers collaborate with educators to produce and develop software for educational, governmental, and professional use.

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  • Training & Development Coordinator

    Training & Development Coordinators manage logistical and administrative tasks to ensure training programs run successfully.

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  • Performance Consultant

    Performance Consultants design and establish goal-setting strategies to improve the productivity and efficiency of personnel.

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  • Instructional Coordinator

    Instructional Coordinators are responsible for the development and implementation of instructional programs.

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  • Training Specialist

    Training Specialists are responsible for designing presentations, job manuals, and other materials to needed to train employees.

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  • Training Program Manager

    Training Program Managers are responsible for implementing training strategies within an organization or company.

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Employment Outlook

Source information provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) - October 2014

Our Recipe For Your Success

Academic & Industry Experts

Classes are taught and designed by credentialed professionals with real-world experience.

  • Programs are designed by combining the insight of industry leaders with the academic expertise of our faculty, ensuring what you learn translates into on-the-job success.

  • Academic concepts and theories are brought to life through our teaching faculty’s professional expertise, and can be immediately applied in your career.

  • Faculty with industry experience teach our courses, not graduate students or life-time academics, so you learn not only the theories behind the practice but also how to apply them in real-world situations.

Relevant & Consistent Curriculum

What you learn is a reflection of the program you choose, not the format in which it’s applied.

  • All programs are designed for learning outcomes to flow from the program level into actual coursework.

  • This top-down approach allows credentialed professionals to customize assignments based on trending industry topics without deviating from a program’s core outcomes.

  • Regardless of your professor or the format of your class, you receive the same quality education.

Hands-On Learning Experience

Franklin's coursework teaches not only theories and concepts, but also how they apply to practical situations.


  • Professional course designers ensure that class activities such as learning simulations, case studies, interactive videos, and group exercises are relevant and appropriate.

  • A curriculum development team is dedicated to making sure all courses are intuitively designed so content is taught in a logical manner that facilitates your success in the classroom and beyond.

Continuously Evolving Programs

Consistent program reviews ensure our programs stay at the forefront of industry trends.

  • Survey results and feedback from student and faculty assessments are reviewed regularly so that our programs are always improving and up-to-date.

  • A structured review process helps identify industry gaps that guide curriculum enhancements allowing our academic and industry experts to regularly implement new industry trends.

  • Regular assessment provides hard data that is used to improve student learning and teaching methods.

Get the details

View curriculum, read course descriptions,
and meet program faculty.

View Program Details