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10 Best Instructional Design Courses and Certifications Online


Instructional design is a critical field within education and training that focuses on creating effective learning environments. As the demand for skilled instructional designers grows, many professionals are seeking online courses and certifications to enhance their skills and gain recognition. With numerous options available, it can be challenging to determine which programs are the best. In this article, we will explore the ten best instructional design courses and certifications available online, providing professionals with a comprehensive guide for their professional development.

1. Instructional Design and Technology MicroMasters Program – edX

The first option on our list is the Instructional Design and Technology MicroMasters Program offered by edX. This comprehensive program is designed to provide learners with a solid foundation in instructional design principles and practices. Participants will gain a deep understanding of the instructional design process, technology integration, and cognitive psychology. This certification is highly regarded in the industry, as it is developed by a consortium of prestigious universities.

2. Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Technology – University of Tampa

For those seeking a more formal education in instructional design, the Master of Science in Instructional Design and Learning Technology at the University of Tampa is an excellent choice. This fully online program focuses on instructional design theory, technology integration, and project management. Graduates of this program are equipped with the necessary skills to create engaging and effective learning experiences.

3. eLearning Ecourses by the eLearning Guild

The eLearning Guild offers a series of eCourses that cover various aspects of instructional design. These self-paced courses are created and curated by industry experts, ensuring the highest quality of content. Topics range from designing effective eLearning modules to creating engaging multimedia. With a flexible schedule and expert guidance, these eCourses are ideal for professionals looking to upskill in specific instructional design areas.

4. Human Performance Technology Certificate Program – University of Georgia

The Human Performance Technology Certificate Program from the University of Georgia is an excellent choice for professionals interested in a systematic approach to instructional design. This program focuses on analyzing performance gaps, designing interventions, and evaluating outcomes. Participants will gain a deep understanding of the principles and practices of human performance technology, enhancing their ability to deliver effective training solutions.

5. Certified Instructional Designer/Developer – Association for Talent Development

The Certified Instructional Designer/Developer (CIDD) certification offered by the Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a widely recognized industry credential. The CIDD certification demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of instructional design principles, project management, and adult learning theory. With this certification, professionals can distinguish themselves as experts in the field and showcase their commitment to best practices in instructional design.

6. Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology – University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine offers a Certificate in Instructional Design and Technology that covers essential principles and practices in the field. This fully online program focuses on designing effective learning experiences using various technologies. Participants will learn how to create engaging multimedia content, develop assessments, and implement instructional strategies. This certificate program provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in instructional design roles.

7. Instructional Design Courses – Coursera

Coursera offers a wide range of instructional design courses developed by top universities and industry experts. These courses cover various topics, including eLearning design, multimedia integration, and instructional design for blended learning. Learners can choose individual courses that suit their specific needs or complete a comprehensive specialization program. Coursera’s instructional design courses are highly flexible, allowing professionals to learn at their own pace and apply their knowledge immediately.

8. Designing eLearning Certificate – eLearning Brothers

The Designing eLearning Certificate program offered by eLearning Brothers provides professionals with comprehensive training in creating engaging eLearning experiences. This program covers instructional design principles, graphic design, and multimedia integration. Participants will learn how to utilize eLearning authoring tools effectively, resulting in visually appealing and interactive courses. The Designing eLearning Certificate equips professionals with the skills to create compelling learning experiences that drive learner engagement.

9. Master’s in Learning Design and Technology – Purdue University

Purdue University’s Master’s in Learning Design and Technology is a rigorous program that combines instructional design theory, technology integration, and project management skills. This online program prepares professionals to lead instructional design initiatives in various settings, from K-12 education to corporate training. Graduates of this program possess advanced knowledge and skills in designing and implementing effective learning experiences.

10. Instructional Design for ELearning – LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning offers a comprehensive instructional design course specifically tailored for eLearning development. This course covers the fundamental principles of instructional design, including needs assessment, content development, and evaluation. Participants will learn how to leverage eLearning authoring tools to create interactive and engaging courses. LinkedIn Learning’s course on instructional design for eLearning is ideal for professionals seeking practical training and immediate application of their skills.


In the rapidly evolving field of instructional design, continuing education and professional development are essential to stay ahead. These ten online instructional design courses and certifications offer a range of options to enhance skills, gain recognition, and advance in the field. Whether you prefer a comprehensive program or individual courses to target specific areas, these options provide professionals with the flexibility they need to achieve their career goals in the instructional design industry. Invest in your professional development today and unlock new opportunities in the world of instructional design.