Do you believe that Instructional Designers require a Degree?


I know, you are thinking, another post on this topic…

The argument on whether, ‘Instructional Designers need a degree or not’, has been around for a very long time.

As a Graduate student of Instructional Design and Technology, my vote certainly goes for – Yes, Instructional Designers require a degree.

  • A certification will set apart instructional technology from other technology areas of proficiency.
  • Certification would authorize the competency of skilled instructional designer and gives an identity to our profession.
  • Certification provides a right to new professionals who are committed towards their occupation.
  • Certification will mark towards liability and integrity within any industry.

However, only a few hold a degree. No offense to anybody, It seems that instructional designers are made from all walks of life; a teacher, a technical writer, a flash designer and so on. I may be biased, but I think, my degree would be a waste of money and time if someone could learn what I can do on their own and compete for the same jobs.

The majority of the instructional designers outside USA, do not have the background of Instructional Design; they are either technical writer or faculties who were teaching computer courses in a private institute or just a fresher after their Bachelor degree (from any background). They gain training from the company in which they are appointed as a jr.instructional. After a few years of experience, they would become sr. instructional designer.

Is there any value for education or not?

With technology rapidly changing and improving every day it gets difficult to stick upon a competency. However, a basic instructional design degree should be a requirement to enter this field.

Read more on this issue by Dr. Karl Kapp in his blog –

You might also be interested in this ongoing debate in LinkedIn on this issue –


© Priya Gopalakrishnan and, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.


Media overload in instructional web pages and its impact on eLearning.


Selected as one of the ‘Best Blog Posts of the Week; May 02, 2010 – May 08, 2010‘  by

Multimedia positively has the prospective to increase the quantity and quality of information available to learners. More than long and lengthy texts, properly utilized and incorporated rich media assist learners to construct precise and efficient mental models.

However, the purpose of media in Instructional Design is not only to incorporate multiple media or to insert cool effects but to apply individual medium to its advantage in such a manner, that the potential learning becomes better and more effective than using a single element.

Unfortunately, I came across only a few websites that could demonstrate an example of effective use of media for learning. The others were a bunch of online encyclopedias that use an overload of media to educate the users about a single subject, for example –

  • The webmaster/instructional designer’s have provided links to ‘You Tube’ videos, which again redirect the learner’s to many other non-related videos.
  • They have provided links to the additional article of interests, links to other websites for the same information. This extra information’s are misleading for the learner.

By the time the learner settles down on a page to learn, he is so crowded with other topics that he might stop for a minute and ask, ‘why am I here again?’

The instructional web pages, online courses or call it elearning recognizes a massive prospective in the future. It is the duty of the instructional designers to select meticulously appropriate media that flawlessly support a learning requirement.

Examples of media overload or non-relevant items that impacts elearning.

In my opinion, these are a few non-relevant media overload that distracts from learning –

  • Adding lengthy videos – The video content should be relevant with the topic and the particular industry.
  • An appropriate medium to Video Blog sites – Instead of giving the direct links to ‘You Tube’ videos, the required video code may be embedded within the educative material. Extra informative links or videos can be added in separate page and not within the topic.
  • Picture speaks thousand words – Utilize graphics that support the content and not as a decorative
  • Avoid irrelevant text and audio.

In spite, of the demand for elearning, why do we come across such bad examples? As an instructional designer, are we forced to add extra elements just to make the tutorial beautiful?

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