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IDOL courses Academy®

The IDOL courses Academy is the only implementation program of its kind that not only shows you exactly how to create your job application assets and build a portfolio from scratch, but also includes credentials, mentorship, expert coaching, and paid experience opportunities in corporate instructional design and online learning for life!

Become an Instructional Designer & eLearning Developer

in less than 6 months.

Learn Flexibly Online

without having to quit your job.

Work with Expert Mentors & Coaches

to build your portfolio, confidence, and job application assets.


Business Insider

"This is one of the best choices out there if you're serious about starting a career in corporate instructional design, but don't want to pay for a master's degree."

Erica Stewart

"This is by far the best program for anyone wanting to transition into instructional design! The academy covers every single aspect of instructional design and eLearning development while also getting us prepared for job searching and mastering the interview. I got more and more confident as the weeks went on. Having mentors and coaches available for expert feedback is priceless!"

Our Graduates Land IDOL Jobs All Over the World

Students who successfully complete the Academy lessons and projects are provided the high-valued skill sets that make them competitive candidates for leading corporations. These are just a few of the companies that hire our IDOLs.

IDOL courses Academy® Details

In this program, you will:


Learn all of the skills, tools, and processes you need to become a corporate instructional designer and eLearning developer.

See Curriculum

Get Feedback

Work with expert coaches to get tailored feedback on any and all of your portfolio and job application assets.

Receive Mentorship

Get all your questions answered and get advice along your journey with weekly mentor group sessions.

Build a Portfolio

Build an impressive portfolio out of the real-world projects you complete.

Earn Credentials

The IDOL courses Academy program helps you develop your skills and instructional design job application assets through four levels of credentials.


Pass Interview Assessments

A key component in many IDOL job interviews is the interview test. In short, you are prepared for interview tests through the deliberate practice process you go through in the IDOL courses Academy.


Get Paid Experience

Paid experience opportunities in instructional design are available to IDOL courses Academy members after they earn the first two levels of credentials.


Make IDOL Friends

Create connections with peers that lasts well beyond your time in the Academy. As part of the IDOL courses Academy alumni community, you’ll gain access to networking events and workshops to keep evolving your career for years to come in our private community platform.

Land a Job

All the students that enroll and do the work of building a portfolio, resume, and LinkedIn profile typically land a job as an instructional designer in less than 6 months. Many are employed in 3 months or less.

Grow with Ongoing Professional Development

Your enrollment into the IDOL courses Academy to land your first or a better IDOL job is just the beginning of your journey. You'll continue to have access to our ongoing professional development workshops, access to all new and updated content, the community, mentors, and coaches. You're joining a lifetime professional development network AND a program that will accelerate your skills to land an IDOL job.

Never be Behind

Just because the cohort lasts for 8 weeks does not mean that you are behind if you don't finish your portfolio or land your IDOL job in that time. You have access to the full benefits of this Instructional Design Academy® for the lifetime of this program. 

Things happen, life gets in the way, and we all start with different skill levels and time we can commit. IDOL courses built this program with adult learners and your needs in mind. 

You can join back in with any future cohorts and never lose access to the resources or content when you enroll today!


Why become an IDOL?

A creative job you will love

Instructional design is a satisfying job if you're curious about how people learn and passionate about creating learning experiences to help professionals do their jobs better. Instructional Designer was rated as one of the 100 best jobs in America and projected to grow 9% from 2019 to 2029 (much faster than the average for all occupations).

High demand means high pay

Employers struggle to find qualified instructional designers and the demand keeps growing. The average Instructional Designer salary in the United States is $69,315 per year, while Senior Instructional Designers & Online Learning (IDOL) Developers can earn as much as $126,000.

A flexible career path

As an IDOL, you will have the opportunity to work for startups, agencies, large corporations, non-profits, on a freelance basis, or even remotely.


Why IDOL courses Academy®?

We believe that online education should be rigorous, fun, and affordable.

Affordable Education

The IDOL courses Academy is the leading trade school for instructional design and online learning development that serves clients while developing the next generation of learning experience designers.

We believe that a great education shouldn't have to completely drain your bank account. We are proud to offer one of the most affordable options in the Instructional Design space, and we offer convenient payment plans to fit anyone’s budget.



Challenging & Fun Curriculum

Our courses are designed to push you. Whether your goal is to pick up a few new skills or to launch yourself into a new career in instructional design & online learning development, our mentor-led deliberate practice process will give you the tools and motivation that you need to achieve your desired goal. We also celebrate in fun ways all the milestones you reach along the way!

See Curriculum

Coaching and Community

Great education is built on human connection. In all of our courses, you’ll develop a relationship with top designers through mentoring sessions, Academy Coach feedback, and collaboration with a vibrant community of students from across the globe. You’ll never feel alone in an IDOL courses program.

Amanda Kulik

IDOL courses Academy gave me all the tools necessary to grow my ID skills. The guidance provided by the mentors, coaches, and Dr. Robin herself gave me the confidence to set lofty goals and put in the work to achieve them. Their belief in me helped me grow the belief in myself. I knew it was possible to transition from teaching to instructional design as long as I was willing to work hard to prove my skills as a teacher could indeed transfer to the corporate world. I would not have been able to land my first IDOL job if it wasn’t for IDOL courses Academy!

Career Success with IDOL courses Academy®

Here are just a few of the people who've launched their new career with the IDOL courses Academy. We have over 100 IDOL Success Stories!

Gretchen Johanson

Instructional Designer at Google, LLC

Read Story

Kristi Oliva

Instructional Designer at Google, LLC

Read Story

Ruth Crossman

Instructional Designer at Uber Technologies, Inc

Read Story

Whitney Estes

Instructional Designer at Amazon, Inc

Read Story

Molly Parsons

Instructional Designer at Kaiser Permanente

Read Story

Jessica Oberto

Training Manager at Walmart

Read Story

Samiya Hai

Instructional Designer at Cigna

Read Story

Patricia Nkem Okorie

Instructional Designer at Canopy Growth

Read Story

Students have been hired at...

What you need to be successful:


The motivation to transform your career

The program requires commitment as it takes about 200 hours to complete. You should be prepared to set aside at least 15 hours per week to study and develop portfolio assets if you want to transition quickly. However, there is no such thing as 'behind' in the Academy. You can take the slow and steady path or the hurry up and finish path. Either way though it will take time and commitment to do the work and make the transition. When you put in the time is up to you.

A computer (Mac or PC) and an internet connection

A PC is industry standard, but you can complete the lessons and assignments with a Mac. However, you will need to install VMware Fusion or something similar to run and use Articulate Storyline®

An interest in Instructional Design and eLearning Development

If you are already reading books and blog posts about IDOL, that is a great sign. If you are unsure that IDOL is really for you, here are some great ways to explore it:

What you don't need to be successful:


A background in design or tech

You don’t need a college degree or previous work experience that is related to design or tech in order to be successful in the program or land a job. The program has been built to take you from beginner to job-ready. A study by job board Indeed found that 84% of employers think 'bootcamp' grads are ‘more prepared’ or ‘just as prepared to be high performers as degree holders' (Indeed).

Unlimited free time

You can study part-time alongside your job with an average of 15 hours per week to finish the program in 3-4 months. You can also complete the program faster than this by committing more than 15 hours per week to the coursework. But no matter how long it takes you, you are NEVER 'behind' in the Academy.

To learn everything all by yourself

The program combines the flexibility of online learning with the accountability and attention traditionally associated with brick-and-mortar institutions. Much like a college professor might inspire you to pursue a career in a certain field, your mentor, coach, peers, and student success team will all help keep you motivated and on track.

Graduate With a Professional Portfolio: Sample Student Portfolios



Proven Curriculum and Activities to Help You Become an IDOL®

Here is an overview of the training that is included in the IDOL courses Academy®.

Instructional Design Primer

Once you enroll, you will get immediate access to the community and our IDOL primer lessons, even before the cohort starts and the full academy content opens. This primer will set the foundation for you, so you'll have a clear understanding of what instructional design is, what we do, and how to get the most out of the IDOL courses Academy.

#DoItMessy Jumpstart

This is a 14 step jumpstart that can take you from 0 to Career in as little as 2 weeks! In this jumpstart you will take imperfect action and start creating assets for your portfolio and job applications. 

Build Your Online Portfolio

You'll get step by step lessons on how to build your online portfolio from scratch. Even if you've never developed a course before. Each lesson gives you very specific actions to take so that by the time you’re done you have an incredible career asset. And as you build your portfolio you’ll get feedback from Academy coaches and your classmates in our exclusive community.

eLearning Design Process

This is where you’ll learn the process for developing an eLearning course so you can follow the steps with clarity.  You’ll also get the full breakdown of how to storyboard for eLearning so you can cut your development time in half.

Graphic & Visual Design

Your instructional assets need to have visceral appeal, but you're not an artist.  Not to worry! An expert in graphic design covers all the principles and how to apply them so your course assets are beautiful. You'll also learn personal branding basics and how to easily customize graphic templates and icons.

Script Instructional Content

So you know you have to write a course script, but how will you do this? Follow the steps for the instructional design writing process so you can confidently create course scripts for any of your instructional content. 

Animation Principles

This training will help you learn how to animate videos so they look professional! You'll also build animations using Vyond Enterprise Level so you can download your creations and upload them to your portfolio and eLearning courses.

Instructional Design Models & Theories

Not only will you learn the instructional design models and theories that inform our field you'll be able to apply them to your practice. 

Project Management for Learning & Development

This is where you’ll learn the practical steps and project management methodology you’ll use to run your IDOL projects like a boss. 

Working with Subject Matter Experts (SME)

Learn how to work with SMEs so you’ll build relationships and corporate training the right way. You’ll be able to determine how to pull their knowledge and overcome the SME challenges everyone keeps talking about.

LinkedIn Makeover

You'll be guided through a makeover of your LinkedIn profile so that it attracts recruiters. You'll want to make sure you're ready to start interviewing for IDOL jobs once you implement our recommendations. Your inMail gets flooded with recruiter messages when you follow our guidelines.

Interview with Confidence

We’ll start with the basics of interviewing and preparation. Then you'll walk through the most common questions and question types that come up during an IDOL interview.  In addition, we give you examples of how to answer each question. This lesson is done in a way that you will want to watch and listen to it over and over again as you drive to your interviews.


Instructor Led Training Design 

Follow along with a full case study and project based module to build virtual and in person instructor led training activities and materials.

Gamification Principles

Want to apply game mechanics to your course designs? We have you covered! You'll learn gamified learning theory and application through recorded workshops and examples.

Voice Over Introduction

There are several situations where you'll need to create the voiceover for your eLearning projects. You'll get training on how to record eLearning narration that won't put your learners to sleep. You'll also get simple tutorials on how to record and edit your own audio with free tools.

Software & Explainer Videos

You'll learn to create explainer videos using screen recording software and editors like Snagit and Camtasia. This way you can create software training and other assets for your portfolio.

Learner Experience Design (LXD)

LXD is one of our favorite topics in the IDOL courses Academy because it is part of the foundation that makes our program so successful. You'll learn design thinking, empathy for learners, how to create learner personas, journey maps, and prototypes.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

You'll learn the framework to design online courses that are accessible for those in the margins. Build courses that provide multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression.

Tech & Tools

You'll learn tools of the trade. This includes tools for graphic design, video editing, eLearning authoring, website builders, and animation. IDOL courses is the trade school that teaches you the tools to create learning experiences.

Storyline® for IDOLs®: Bonus Course

Articulate Storyline is the industry's favorite authoring tool. If you are going to learn one such software, we recommend you choose Storyline. Storyline for IDOLs is a whole series of  Storyline Lessons in the Academy. Each module is followed by a take action step to help you master the program before you storyboard and create your eLearning course. This course also includes the Storyline® Skilled badge.

Association of Talent Development Pre-approved Program

IDOL courses programs have been pre-approved by the ATD Certification Institute for continuing education credits towards professional development hours for initial eligibility and recertification of the Certified Professional in Talent Development (CPTD) and Associate Professional in Talent Development (APTD) credentials. This program has been approved for a maximum of 40 points.


All The Templates & Assets You Need To Build Courses

Not only do you get training, feedback, coaching, a supportive community, and access to paid experience opportunities. You get access to the templates and assets you need to create transcendent courses! 

Resume Templates

You'll need both a text based and a visual design resume for your job application process. Not only will you learn how to craft your resume you'll get templates to get it done quickly.

Learning Materials: Canva Templates

You won't find these templates inside Canva. IDOL courses has created visually appealing Canva templates for everything IDOL. Participant workbooks, worksheets, checklists, facilitator guides, Job Aids, Mockup templates, and more!

Stock Assets

Through our enterprise subscription to Envato Elements you'll get free access to a million different assets like stock photos, videos, icon packs, music, powerpoint templates, and more!

Vyond Animation: Enterprise Level

Through our partnership with Vyond you'll get access to the animation tool whenever your script / storyboard is ready. This way you can develop your animations without watermarks with all the features.

Trello Board Templates

Not only will you learn how to use this powerful project management tool, you'll also get templates to easily manage both your course and professional development.

DIVI Theme Editor

If you want to build your website on you're going to need a theme and editor. We have an unlimited license so you can get DIVI for free!

WordPress IDOL Portfolio Template

To expedite your Wordpress portfolio build we built a template specifically for IDOLs. You'll just install and then update the template with your brand and assets. Tutorials included.

Articulate Storyline® Files

Get access to unique Articulate Storyline® files and inspiration to help you build engaging eLearning. 


April Black

IDOL Academy is truly an amazing opportunity to take the skills you currently have and convey you to the a level where you are able to independently practice and apply strategies, knowledge and skills in the Instructional Design field. I love the approach, supportive environment, differentiated structure and coaching support received through the IDOL Academy. If you are ready to commit to working hard, challenging yourself and jumping into an exciting field of study, I highly recommend the IDOL Academy!

Whitney Estes

IDOL courses helped me move from the classroom to a corporate job with so much better benefits and less stress. I learned so much and in a short amount of time. It was definitely worth the investment. The feedback and support you get from Robin and the group are invaluable. I can't recommend it enough... it has literally changed my quality of life.

Sherrise Lee George

I really enjoyed the IDOL Academy. I have been an Instructional Designer & eLearning Developer for 7 years, but I found the IDOL Academy to be endlessly helpful even this far into my career. The sense of community and the personal help and advice from Robin was invaluable, and the course content was spot on! I highly recommend this to anyone in the eLearning industry, whether you've been in it for years, or you're just starting out!

Who is the IDOL courses Academy for?

The IDOL courses Academy was created for both current and future instructional designers & eLearning developers.


You love curriculum development and lesson planning, but you're ready to move out of the college classroom.

You want to either change careers completely or you want to add skills that open you up to more opportunities in the learning and development industry.

You're wondering if you can package your skills and add new ones that will help you land a corporate instructional design role. 


You love curriculum development and lesson planning, but you're ready to move out of the classroom.

You want to either change careers completely or you want to add skills that open you up to more opportunities in the learning and development industry.

~70% of our success stories are K-12 teachers who have transitioned out the classroom and into a corporate IDOL role.

Our former teachers are doubling their salary and career satisfaction through our program.

Instructional Designers

You're already an instructional designer or eLearning developer and you want to expand your portfolio and make more money.

Maybe you're self-taught and would like to firm up your foundation or just upskill through deliberate practice and social learning. 

Either way, we have several experienced IDOLs join our Academy to get a promotion, expand their network, land a new job, or move into freelancing. 

Recent Graduates

You have a Bachelor's or Master's degree and you're a recent graduate.

You have a firm foundation in theory and knowledge, but what you don't have is the applied practice of instructional design and online learning development. 

You're ready to fill up your resume with skills and experience in addition to the degrees you've earned.

Jumpstart your career and land your first IDOL job.

Other Professions

If you know you want to become a corporate instructional designer and online learning developer this is the program that will get you there.

You don't need to get another university degree to get the credentials, experience, portfolio, and job application assets you need to land an instructional design job. 

If you love learning, communicating, and can accept feedback you're a great fit to become an instructional designer.

If you're ready to accept that everything is figureoutable, do the work, accept feedback, and implement it you will get results.

Erika Rellstab

Join the IDOL Academy!! I taught Spanish for many years and did not go back to the classroom this year. I started a contract position with an L&D team in a major corporation after only 4 weeks in the program. I did a lot of learning, preparing, reading, trying things out. But what put me over the edge was the IDOL courses Academy. Best decision ever!

Kate Zeis

100% worth the investment! I will make back the course fee in just one week of work with my first contract!

Jocelyn Hudson

The IDOL courses academy prepared me for everything I needed to know to land a job. I still have so much to learn through the academy but I fast tracked my way into a job!

Without IDOL courses Academy I wouldn’t have known even where to begin preparing for an ID job. Learning to create my portfolio and maximize LinkedIn (which is ultimately where my new position came through, a LinkedIn connection) were two things I was clueless about. I loved learning so many new tools that I knew nothing about.

Our Elite IDOL courses Academy Faculty

Our program is built by IDOLs for IDOLs. You'll get trained by some of the best and the brightest in our industry. We've also brought in experts from other industries to teach you things like graphic and animation design.

Matthew Daniel

He is an expert in Learner Experience Design (LXD) and he shares the principles of this practice with you in the Academy.

Dr. Nicole Papaioannou Lugara

Dr. Papaioannou creates training programs and content for businesses that want to improve performance and engage employees. She is the founder and owner of Your Instructional Designer and The Upskill Experience. Her expertise is instructional writing and that's what you'll learn from her in the Academy.

Emma Pawson

Leader in the digital learning space. Learning Experience Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the professional learning & development industry. You'll learn how to run a kickoff meeting with Emma.

Josh Risser

Professional voice over artist that teaches you how to create eLearning voiceover that isn't boring.

Linnéa Sjögren

Learn from an experienced instructional designer tips and shortcuts you can use in your development process.

Luke Westwood

Luke Westwood shares his experiences and tips for interviewing for an IDOL role in a large corporate setting. He'll also share how to fit into the new work culture in a big firm.

Tandiwe Vaughn

As a former teacher and now instructional designer for Infor, Tandi connects the Explicit Model teachers use to corporate instructional design models.

Gretchen Johanson

Gretchen is a former teacher that is now an instructional design contractor for Google. She hosts a storyboard make and take workshop. 


Dr. Tabatha Dragonberry

Tabatha is an Academy Coach, Mentor and Director of Student Success. Her background includes being the Director of Online Programs at UT Health San Antonio and professional video editing. She teaches workshops on both video editing and gamification.

John Chen

Learn how to create engaging virtual meetings with the one who wrote the book!

Molly Parsons

This former teacher and founding member of the IDOL courses Academy shares tips on resumes, LinkedIn, and networking. She is an instructional designer at Kaiser Permanente.

Kimberly Fields

Kimberly is a Universal Design Coach, freelancer, and Academy Coach. She teaches UDL, accessibility, and branding in the Academy.

Whitney Salas

Whitney is a former Academy Coach and an instructional designer at Southwest Airlines that teaches storyboarding techniques in the Academy.

Amanda McCroskey

Amanda is a full-time contractor for IDOL courses and an IDOL mentor that hosts workshops on various tech tools.

Richard Flemming

Richard Fleming, from Sage Media, teaches a simple framework for developing stories to use in your training.  

Mohsin Memon

Learn gamification principles from the Director of Learning Games at Gamitar.

Mia Varnadoe

Learning experience designer that is obsessed with needs analysis and instructional writing teaches instructional design documents and needs analysis.

Colleen Kelly

With over 20 years of project management experience, Colleen shares an overview, tools, and tactics to help you deliver projects that exceed expectations.

Stephanie Davis

Stephanie is an expert freelance graphic designer for over 12 years. She teaches graphic design principles for non-designers in the Academy.

Dr. Luke Hobson

Dr. Luke Hobson is both the founder of the Instructional Design Institute (for higher ed) and a Program Manager at MIT. He teaches the 10 things he wishes he would have known before he became an IDOL.

Noel Saabye

With over 20 years as an illustrator and Cartoon Network animator, Noel shares animation principles based on industry standards.

Dr. Robin Sargent

Robin is the owner, founder, teacher, and mentor in the IDOL courses Academy.  She is on a mission for IDOL courses to be THE trade school for instructional design and online learning that serves clients while developing the next generation of creative learning experience designers. And because the Academy is built by IDOLs for IDOLs™  this dream is coming true for current and future members like you.



Frequently Asked Questions

If your question isn't answered here email [email protected] or call / text us 1-786-453-5642 9 AM-5 PM EST M-F