ION | Illinois Online Network

Making the Virtual Classroom a Reality

Instructional Design for Online Course Development

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This instructor-led, eight-week, fully-online course introduces instructional design principles and relates the principles to the development of online courses. Participants will discover and discuss concepts, ideas and strategies that lead to the effective design of an online course. Participants should strongly consider taking this course alone, without a concurrent registration.


This course is for faculty and staff who are interested in instructional design principles that apply to online or Web-enhanced education.


  • Instructional Design Principles
  • Instructional Design Models
  • Conducting Appropriate Analyses
  • Writing Effective Learning Outcomes
  • Developing an Instructional Strategy
  • Organizing Learning Sequences
  • Evaluation of Online Courses


Module 1 - Overview of Instructional Design

Module 2 - The Analysis Stage

Module 3 - Planning and Design

Module 4 - Evaluation

Module 5 - Design Document Final Project


The goal of this course is to provide an overview of theories and strategies related to instructional design for online courses with a proven framework to follow in doing so.


In threaded discussions via an asynchronous online discussion forum:

  • Learners will gain a general understanding of instructional design theories and understand the importance of systematic design.
  • Learners will be able to conduct an analysis of an online course by identifying characteristics of the learner, the content, and the technology.
  • Learners will be able to determine learning objectives and choose appropriate instructional strategies, methods, and delivery systems.
  • Learners will be able to design an online learning environment that fosters learning and evaluate the effectiveness of the environment.


Instructional Design is an eight week course including an online orientation that must be completed during the first week of the course.


This course requires Online Learning: An Overview or its equivalent as a prerequisite.


  • Complete the online course orientation during week 1.

  • Read the instructor's lesson introductions, assigned articles from the Web.

  • Answer discussion questions related to some aspect of instructional design.

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

  • Write a summary of the key items covered each week and how they apply to your field of teaching.

  • Complete individual and group projects to that evaluate and create design documents for effective online courses.

Technical Requirements:

  • Email -- with file attachment capabilities
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft PowerPoint


This course has a modular structure. Each unit is individually assessed, but successive units build on previous information. The course pedagogy is based on collaborative learning and group participation. Course content is delivered through the use of Web-based reading, and discussions between students and the instructor and among students. Discussion questions will form a basis for discussion.


This is an intensive course requiring approximately 8-10 hours a week. The time commitment will vary depending an individual's input, needs, and personal study habits. Participants should log on to the course a minimum of 3 times a week. Participants often find that it is best taken alone, without a concurrent course.

Credit Options

Continuing Education Credit (CEU Credit)
8 Continuing education units (CEU credit) are available for this course.

Graduate or Undergraduate Academic Credit
This course can also be taken for academic graduate credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield. To earn academic credit, you must first enroll as a non-degree or as a degree student through UIS. Visit the How to Enroll page for more information.


Taking a course for CEUs:
Registration for this course is open to the general public, but there is a registration fee for participants who are not employees of the University of Illinois. The fee is determined by the number of contact hours and online discussion requirements for the course. To view the fee schedule for a specific section of this course, visit the Schedule and click on the link for that section (e.g. SA1051).

Taking a course for Graduate Credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS):
Most MVCR courses [not the Advanced Online Seminars] may be taken for graduate credit through UIS. You do not pay twice if you choose this route. You pay only the tuition and fees associated with UIS enrollment. If you choose to enroll through UIS, you need to follow the instructions. You do not register through this site.

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Taking Courses for Academic Credit

Most 8-week MVCR courses can also be taken for academic credit through the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Suggested Tracks

Instruction Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Encouraging Comm.
  • Elective
  • Practicum

Technology Centric

  • Online Learning
  • Technology Tools
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Elective (Multimedia or Sims, Labs, Games, and VR)
  • Practicum

Support Professional

  • Online Learning
  • Instructional Design
  • Student Assessment
  • Universal Design
  • Elective (Supporting Students, Copyright, Global eLearning, Blended/Hybrid, Librarians Collaborating, Multimedia Principles)
  • Practicum

COLA - track

  • Administration Seminar
  • Quality Assurance
  • Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training
  • Supporting Students Online

Choose one of the following three for your elective:

  • Administration of Online Programs
  • Copyright
  • Blended - Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • Practicum for Administrators
What They're Saying
"The more I learn about online instruction, the more I see what can be applied in the traditional classroom."     

MVCR Participant

Award winning courses

The MVCR program won the Award for Excellence in ALN Faculty Develop-ment (in conjunction with other ION programs) from the Sloan-consortium in 2002. One of our instructors won the WebCT Exemplary Online Course Award for an MVCR course as well.

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