How to Succeed in the Instructional Design & Technology Master’s Program

Every student has a different learning style, and successful educators are the ones who can identify those styles and create relevant, interactive, and targeted educational materials. Full Sail’s 12-month, online Instructional Design & Technology master of science degree program combines technology and theory to do just that – preparing educators for careers as instructional content creators in corporate and academic environments.

“Students explore the technologies used in creating educational materials,” says Don Larson, the Instructional Design & Technology program director. “They’ll create assets that show their research and understanding of how people learn, and what engages them in the process.”

Instructional Design & Technology grads have gone on to pursue both new and elevated career opportunities: Grad Joanna Puello founded World Upside Down, an educational media company for K-12 students; and grad Dan Brown Jr., a composer, enrolled in the program so he could pursue music teaching opportunities.

Here are some of the traits and skills you need to bring to the table – or in this case, the online classroom – to succeed in the Instructional Design & Technology program:

Before enrolling in the Instructional Design & Technology program: Students with backgrounds in teaching or visual media are a good fit for this program, Larson says. Since you’ll be creating educational assets throughout the project-based program, experience in learning theory, graphic design, or advanced visual and verbal communication is ideal.

“Students must have a passion for teaching and must be excellent visual and verbal communicators,” Larson says. “They will be creating instructional materials for a range of students in a variety of subject areas, so they need to be able to understand how to translate information into media assets that engage and motivate learners.”

Be ready to: Students can expect to spend 25-30 hours per week on their coursework. During the program, you’ll cover learning research and theory, visual and verbal communication, media asset development, and more. You’ll have to learn new software applications, too: “Students are required to create a variety of media assets, including interactive media and video presentations,” Larson says.

The most successful Instructional Design & Technology students are passionate, self-directed critical thinkers that listen to feedback and apply new research and investigations to take their work to higher levels. Students should also have a good handle on time management, which is one of the most important skills for a Full Sail student to master. The university’s accelerated track means you’re getting a master’s degree in one year instead of the typical two. It’s a huge benefit – you get a head start in the industry and can get a master’s degree while working full-time – but it definitely requires commitment and organization.

Why the project-based environment matters: “Full Sail’s Instructional Design and Technology program is unique in that it is project-based, with writing assignments and hands-on projects,” Larson says. “Other instructional design programs are typically limited to writing assignments. Having a portfolio of projects tied to research papers upon graduation gives our students a distinct edge in a highly competitive job market.”

More questions? Check out the Instructional Design & Technology degree page here or call an admissions representative at 800.226.7625.

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