Top 20 Instructional Design Certification Online

Instructional Design Course is the science of creating of learning experiences and materials such that it results in the acquisition and application of knowledge and skills. The method followed for this is: first there is need assessment, second there is designing a course, third we develop materials for study, and fourth, we evaluate their effectiveness. With regard to workplace learning, Instructional Design Course provides a practical and systematic process for effectively designing appropriate curricula. What is more, you will be surprised to know that Instructional Design is one of the 23 capabilities in the ATD Talent Development Capability Model. Thus, we have seen what Instructional design is.

Also read- What is Instructional Design?

Now, we will know what an Instructional Designer does. An instructional designer applies the systematic methodology Instructional Design Course referred to above to design and develops content and experiences to support the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. As indicated above, instructional designers begin their work by conducting a needs assessment. This helps determine the needs of the learning event, including what the learner should be knowing and should be able to do as a result of the training. It also helps ascertain what learners already know by giving them suitable tests at regular intervals. Thus, we have seen the importance of an instructional designer in today’s scheme of things.

Instructional designers who are involved in Instructional Design Course are responsible for preparing the course design and developing all the materials required for imparting knowledge in that field. This includes development of presentation materials, handouts, job aids, and participant manuals. Instructional Designers are also tasked with the job of evaluating training including the assessment of what was learnt by the learner and whether they are able to implement what they have learnt or they are forgetting what they learnt. The instructional designer also helps gauge whether the learning solution has led to measurable behavior change in the individual.

As per ATD, instructional designers tend to follow a system as indicated above. First they assess the needs of the user. Then they design a process. Later they develop materials and finally, they evaluate the effectiveness of the process. They ascertain whether the learning objective is met by the process elaborated above. This process is generic for every instructional design certification online. It does not differ from one certification to another. Instructional design requires the analysis and design of the appropriate strategies, methods and technologies to optimize the learning process. This facilitates knowledge transfer in the field of instructional design course. An instructional design resume and portfolio should mandatorily include the knowledge and skills necessary for designing a wholesome learning initiative.

Instructional Designers are known to often take a winding career path. Most professional designers dealing with instructional design course, do not start the way they should. Instead, they begin their careers as educators, trainers or something else totally. There are many roads that will lead you to an interest in ID. There is no single unified path to doing quality work in the field. Invariably your work history and experience level will dictate whether you should do a bachelor’s or a master’s instructional design course. Alternatively, you may attempt to acquire the skills you need by taking up a short course or a certificate program.

To prepare this article, we have scoured different websites, looked at various academic ratings, read numerous reviews to put together this list of good quality courses in instructional design course. This list has certifications ranging from free two hours introductory courses to full-time master’s degree courses. All of them have been mentioned in this list. This list may not be exhaustive and readers are requested to write back to us if they find that we have missed out any certification or institution offering certification in instructional design course. Depending upon whether you are considering a full-fledged career in instructional design or you only wish to sharpen some ID- related skills, you can take the appropriate course or certification.

For each course we include in the list, we will tell you a little about how it is unique. We will also tell you how long it takes to complete. Most importantly, we will also tell you by how much your pocket will become lighter if you take up any particular course from this list. All instructional design courses are basically the same. However there is a little bit of difference here and there. What you can do is take up a free course in instructional design course to ascertain whether you are interested in the field. Then you can always go for a paid course, once you are certain that this is what you want to do in life.

A free instructional design course is a great way to find out whether the field suits you or vice versa. If, however, you are already in a career of ID, you can take up a short course or a certification course which will help you refresh your knowledge. At times, they may even help you learn a new viewpoint. Following is a list of twenty instructional design courses, their content and their fee structure. Going through this list will serve you in good stead if you are interested in instructional design as a career. We have tried to include all the institutes or certifications which are conducting instructional design courses.

I reiterate that this list is not exhaustive and there may be one or more institutes conducting instructional design courses, which may have been missed out. In such a case, you are requested to write back to us, pointing out our error. This list has tried to cover full-time degree courses as well as short or certificate courses. This article will give you in-depth information on various certifications in instructional design course, which will help you made an informed decision. Once you are sure you wish to take up a career in ID, you can always go through this article to decide which course you want to take up for a career in instructional design. 

1. Henry Harvin instructional design certification

Ranked amongst the top 3 in instructional design certificate in India, this course has trained 2,767 participants. It gives the student exposure to 12 projects which are all live. It helps students gain an expertise in identifying the learning goals, conducting information processing and developing learning objectives. It also offers live online interactive classroom training. During the pandemic, the sales for instructional design course have taken off, on the back of demand for instructional design professionals in the industry. The key features of this course are:

  • Ranked among the top 3 in instructional design course
  • Certified instructors with multi-domain experience
  • Offers students access to 12 live projects, thus enhancing your skills
  • Job assistance and one year post qualification support of the writing academy
  • Globally accepted curriculum and alumni status
  • Trusted by 150+ corporates and 60+ colleges

This instruction design course has a duration is 16 hours of live online classroom core sessions, 16 hours of e-learning content, post that 24 hours of live online brush-up sessions spread over the next 12 months, permission to attend unlimited batches for the next 1 year from the date of enrollment without paying anything extra.

2. Instructional design foundations and application

The instructional design certificate course is a foundation course for obtaining a certification from the University of Illinois Design. This instructional design course certificate provided by this institute is free for audit. This feature makes this course a great choice for testing the waters of pursuing higher education in ID. This 4-week course includes the major concepts of instructional design, major theories of learning, instructional design models and various analysis theories.  Rankwise this course may figure second in the list of the top 20 best certification but it is no less exhaustive than the first in the list, from Henry Harvin.

3. Introduction to instructional systems design

This 3-4 hours instructional design course is available on the website This will introduce you to the fundamentals of designing and developing instructional materials for the courses.

4. Learning to teach online

This instructional design certificate course is a beginner-level course which is sponsored by the University of New South Wales, Sydney. In this course, training is imparted over the course of 6 weeks (for 3-4 hours each week) to provide an understanding to students of basic online teaching strategies and learn how they can enhance course design.

5. Learning design basics: pedagogy into practice

The Open Learning team offers this instructional design course on how to develop learning programs by using the constructivist theory of education. This 12-15 hour course is free to take and on payment of $50 AUD you can also receive a certificate at the end of the instructional design certificate course.

6. Motivating students to learn

This short (spanning 2-3 hours) instructional design certificate course by the Global Text Program focuses on the factors which are contributing to student motivation and how IDs can use different theories of motivation to inspire students to learn the subject matter.

7. Instructional design for elearning

This is a paid instruction design certificate course which provides an introduction and an overview of the instructional design field over 34 lectures (total 4.5 hours of video content). This course has fees of $39.99 and participants to this course will receive a certificate at the end.

8. Instructional design essentials: Models of ID

This is also a paid course which is imparted by Linkedin Learning. This instructional design certificate course is directed at the business world of learning. In this course, Dr. Joe Pullichino, an ID at T-mobile will walk you through different frameworks for creating quality training materials. The course fees are $24.99. Alternatively, you can sign up for a monthly subscription to Linkedin learning for $19.99 for a month. This course is unlike any ID courses geared towards institutional settings.

9. Instructional design Pro (part 1, part 2, part 3)

These are three courses which piggyback on each other to aid advanced level instructional design professionals pursuingan instructional design course to create effective and enjoyable curricula. Combined together, these three course make up of 21 hours of video also include over 100 downloadable resources. The whole series will cost you $65. However, if you pursue it separately, each course costs $22.

10. IDOL courses academy

This instructional design certificate course will give you the knowledge and skills required to land your first ID job. This program is taught by Dr. Robin Sargent, an instructional design and an online learning developer. He teaches it in collaboration with other experts in the field. In this course, you will learn:

  • Different tools used in instructional design
  • How to build your own portfolio
  • Training in instructional design

The fees for the course are $1,497 for 30 modules. Upon completion, you will have earned four verified credentials in instructional design course. After this course, you can easily call yourself a master. This course also gives you a bonus in that it will give you access to an active community, and also unlimited access to IDOL academy materials.

11. Bachelor of arts in instructional design

This instructional design certificate course is conducted at Ashford University. It is an online degree program in instructional design certificate which is geared towards helping students turn into “learning architects”. The students will have to give 120 credit hours from their precious time to complete this course.

12. Introduction to instructional design-online course creation

This course will include answers to questions like “What is pedagogy?”, “Why do different people learn in different ways?”, “How does one deal with SMEs?”. This instructional design certificate course spanning 1.5 hours teaches you all this and more. It sets you up as a freelance ID. The cost of the course is $39.99 for lifetime access.

13. Learning design and technology certificate

This instructional design certificate course is conducted by Harvard Extension School. In this course students will be given four online courses on subjects like media design and web design. It will give at least a B grade over the course of three years to earn this certificate. This course costs $11,360 as it comes bundled with the Harvard name, which does not come cheap.

14. Online graduate certificate in instructional design and technology

This course administered at Perdue University, is one of the most expensive instructional design certificate programs requiring a time commitment of 20-25 hours a week. This commitment is required for a 6 week term. In case if you decide to go on and do your masters, you can apply the 20 credits towards that program.

15. Certificate in e-learning instructional design

This instructional design certificate course administered by the University of Washington is available in two versions: the regular version and the intensified version. The former comprises of four courses over three quarters, while the latter is completed in just two courses. This course is online and costs $4,606.

16. Online instructional design certificate

Available at the University of Florida, this online instructional design certificate acquires an interdisciplinary approach to learning instructional design. It includes a total credit of 15 hours with distinct in-state and out-of-state price points.

17. E-learning instructional design and development certificate

This instructional design certificate program is taught at Oregon State University. It provides you broad exposure to the applications and principles of e-learning. This five-course series will set you back by $2,175

18. B.S. in applied management – instructional technology, training and evaluation

This program is available at University of Northern Illinois. This online instructional design certificate course focuses very tightly on the technology involved in instructional design. This course is only for those students who hold an associate degree in subjects like software development, web development and graphic design.

19. Minor in instructional design and technology

This course is taught at California State University, Chico. Students can easily club their degree in any subject with a minor credit in instructional design by opting for 6 designated courses. This course is an on-campus, full-fledged degree program

20. Instructional training and design B.S.

This program is administered at Texas A & M University Commerce. To go with this degree, students can take  up a second major in minor fields of study such as business, industrial technology, psychology or computer science.


Through this article we have tried to give you an in-depth information on the different types of courses available in instructional design certificate course. They are distinguished by their level or course whether it is a masters or a bachelors course, time taken to learn, fees structure of the course, method of learning the course. We have tried to include all the online courses available in the market to this article. However, if by mistake, we have missed out any certification or course then you are requested to draw our attention to that by writing to us on our customer service email id.

You can always tell us if you know that any instructional design certificate course or program that should definitely be on the list, but has been left out. We would also love to know the path you are taking to become an instructional designer. It will please us no end if you are benefitted by reading this article. Getting a high profile career in the interesting field of instructional design is an interesting journey. Here at Henry Harvin, our staff is committed to providing the resources you may need to make a prosperous career as an instructional designer. You can always sign up to our newsletter so that you get up-to-date information about the field of instructional design.

You can now distinguish your profile with the global credential of instructional design certificate specialist. You can showcase your expertise by using the hallmark of CIDS next to your name. For example, you can say: Mr. Harish Desai (CIDS). This course is taught by expert trainers in Henry Harvin, who have seven years of in-depth experience in instructional design. The multi-domain exposure and their ability to teach you through their vast experience will lead to successful learning outcomes. Our trainers not only have topic expertise but also enormous teaching experience of training over 900+ individuals globally. Students taking up this course at Henry Harvin can attend multiple sessions from multiple trainers.

We have introduced the Gold Membership Program through which you can get life-time membership of the Henry Harvin Writing Academy for instructional design course. You can avail monthly brush-up sessions to revise concepts and ask doubts, get access to the LMS portal with recorded videos, exercise case studies, etc. You also have the opportunity to network with other industry experts from the Management Academy. You will also be able to take advantage of our placement support service which is given with weekly job assistance. Doing a course in instructional design at Henry Harvin will give you the following benefits:

  • You can hone your curriculum designing skills by enrolling yourself in the best instructional design course in India
  • You can learn to design training materials that increase retention rapidly
  • You can acquire the skills of making an attractive training curriculum for getting more and more job opportunities
  • You can make sure that your trainees are successful at their job as this portrays your instructional design skills
  • You can gain expertise in identifying learning goals, conducting information processing analysis, and developing learning objectives to be a professional instructional design specialist.
  • You can learn to identify the performance skills, knowledge, information, and attitude gaps of a targeted audience and prepare a suitable training curriculum to be successful in your career
  • Your completing an instructional design certification will open a large number of options for working in the field of education and also in the corporate sector
  • You can also develop and design training modules, e-learning modules, and mobile apps
  • You can also enhance and diversify your skills to be able to tap the opportunities in the education sector.

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