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The 20 Best Instructional Design Courses in 2024

Jun 19, 2024

Whether you’re interested in furthering your education as an instructional designer or just starting your journey in the field, there are hundreds of options for online learning education


How do you know which are the best instructional design courses and which are a waste of time? When choosing an instructional design course, you want to ensure the coursework is up-to-date. Look for online learning education courses covering the latest and greatest in the field — such as augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) strategies and digital graphics tools (such as Canva).


But don’t shy away from the foundation of online learning education, such as learning psychology, information retention tactics, and coursework creation strategies.


Don’t waste another second! Get ready to advance your ID knowledge with our 20 best 2024 ID courses list.

What will I learn in an instructional design course?

Online learning education courses will teach you the skills needed to become an instructional designer in 2024. From 2024 AI skills to course framework design and everything in between, the best instructional design courses give you a well-rounded skillset to perform as an independent freelancer or full-time instructional designer.

Some 2024 ID courses provide a comprehensive education for instructional designers, while others offer more specialized classwork for specific ID tools or strategies.

The best instructional design courses in 2024

Build Your Skills as an Instructional Designer

LinkedIn Learning offers an engaging, effective Build Your Skills as an Instructional Designer course for instructional designers to build a solid foundation for a career in eLearning. In just ten quick modules requiring less than eight hours to view, you’ll discover the essentials of instructional design with instructors such as David Brownlee of Pure Customer Service.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Learning education models
  • Components of effective learning
  • Storyboarding for eLearning strategies
  • Design strategies


Georgetown’s Online Certificate in Instructional Design

Learn the fundamentals of creating online learning experiences through Georgetown’s Online Certificate in Instructional Design. With a focus on activating students through social impact design, this faculty-led online certificate program helps you apply instructional design skills to a successful career.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How to integrate relevant technology in online instructional design
  • How to create master design documents and syllabi
  • Multimedia strategies with social impact
  • Implementing course-build plans


The ADDIE Model for Instructional Design

The ADDIE Model for Instructional Design teaches the basic framework for the ADDIE model, the original instructional design standard on which most modern models are based. ADDIE stands for the basic components of effective instructional design: analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Five phases of ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation)
  • Tasks associated with each phase
  • Adaptations of ADDIE


e-Learning Ecologies: Innovative Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the Digital Age

Understanding how people learn is among the most critical skills to become an instructional designer in 2024. This course from the University of Illinois teaches the transformative powers of technology in learning.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Ubiquitous learning
  • Active knowledge making
  • Multimodal meaning
  • Recursive feedback
  • Collaborative intelligence
  • Metacognition
  • Differentiated learning


Learning to Teach Online

If you plan to specialize in online learning, Learning to Teach Online is an incredible course offered by professors at UNSW Sydney. You’ll gain an understanding of successful online teaching strategies and practices for your classroom.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How to plan online learning
  • Online learning activities
  • Online assessment strategies
  • How to engage and motivate students


Effective Instructional Strategies for Teachers

Gain new insight into helpful teaching methods to practice in your instructional design business with the Effective Instructional Strategies for Teachers course. You’ll learn the basics of learning in psychology and how the learning process works, plus strategies to practice in real situations.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Instructional planning processes
  • Teacher-centered instructional strategies
  • Student-centered instructional strategies
  • Cross-curricular and content-specific instruction


IDOL 💚Canva

Canva is one of the most popular graphic design tools available, especially for those with entry-level design skills. IDOL 💚Canva teaches you everything instructional designers and eLearning developers need to build graphic assets.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Basic Canva operation
  • How to find the proper templates
  • Graphic design principles
  • How to create videos, presentations, and social media assets


"IDOL loves Canva is the most comprehensive course about Canva for any Instructional designer. Although I completed other Canva courses tutorials, this one is what every instructional designer needs." - Ghayda, student


Graphic Design Masterclass - Learn GREAT Design

If you prefer using Adobe’s graphic design software suite, Graphic Design Masterclass - Learn GREAT Design is the course for you. Instructor Lindsay Marsh covers graphic design theory before diving into each of Adobe’s programs, providing you with an advanced skillset for excellent graphic design from scratch.


What You’ll Learn:

  • History of graphic design
  • Adobe Photoshop basics and intermediate skills
  • Adobe Illustrator basics and intermediate skills
  • Adobe InDesign basics and intermediate skills
  • Logo and branding design
  • Design trends


IDOL Movie Magic

Learn to use Vyond, a professional animation creation program in IDOL Movie Magic. You’ll create engaging and professional-looking animations using the software in less than 3 hours!


What You’ll Learn:

  • What Vyond is capable of
  • Vyond scenes, templates, and characters
  • How to use Vyond props and assets, music and sound effects, and voiceovers


How to Create Video for Online Courses

Hosted by the University of Edinburgh, How to Create Video for Online Courses is an insightful course teaching you how to turn full-feature videos from your mobile phone into engaging online course videos and media.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Storyboarding, scripting, and filming skills
  • Video editing skills with free software
  • Accessibility and copyright legalities


Camtasia for IDOLs

Learn TechSmith Camtasia skills with Camtasia for IDOLs, and you’ll never have to worry about excellent video design again! Become proficient in editing video in TechSmith Camtasia, plus basic visual design skills.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Visual design skills related to fonts, colors, images, and layouts
  • Camtasia editing workflow
  • Camtasia controls, effects, editing, and publishing


Rapid Instructional Design using ChatGPT prompt writer

Need to create a course fast? Learn how to use ChatGPT prompts to fulfill your content creation needs in Rapid Instructional Design using ChatGPT prompt writer. In this course, instructional designers learn how to use ChatGPT to create content and other material from instructor Mignon Smit.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How to gather information for ChatGPT input
  • Using ChatGPT prompt writer without programming skills


AI for Course Design

AI for Course Design, offered through the University of Colorado Boulder, is a new course that teaches course designers AI skills. You’ll gain confidence in using AI for teaching and learning while gaining helpful knowledge about the ethics of AI.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Benefits and challenges of using AI in education
  • Implications of ethics associated with AI
  • Strategies for using AI in coursework creation


Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom

For those in lower education, Emerging Trends & Technologies in the Virtual K-12 Classroom explores the latest technology used in effective student learning and engagement. It can even serve those who are outside of a virtual classroom setting!


What You’ll Learn:

  • Role of technology in virtual education
  • Social learning technologies
  • Game-based learning strategies



Gamification is a buzzword in the instructional design world, but it’s an effective learning strategy, too! Instructor Kevin Werbach walks you through the application of game elements and digital game design techniques that can help you create engaging course modules for students.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Motivation and psychology behind gamification
  • How to design using gamification strategies


Build Your IDOL Portfolio

If you already have impressive work to show potential employers, you’ll want to make sure you have an equally remarkable portfolio to share. Build Your IDOL Portfolio helps you gather all of the most critical components of your work to present yourself in the brightest light to hiring managers. Even beginners will find this instructional design course helpful with easy-to-follow instructions integrated into this dual opportunity program.


What You’ll Learn:

  • How to build an engaging portfolio
  • Ways to prove your skills and show your value to the marketplace
  • How to land clients and interviews in instructional design and e-learning


“I watched this whole (Build Your IDOL Portfolio: Live Workshop) video today.....SO HELPFUL as I plan out my assets.....I may be a bit early in watching it, though, so I plan to watch it again (and again) - ha!” - Marina G., student


Project Management for Instructional Designers

Project management skills are essential to complete course design work from start to finish. Project Management for Instructional Designers, taught by Inez K Whipple, will help you better handle your course design projects to avoid procrastination and get things done on time.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Project planning from start to finish
  • Scope creep and how to prevent it
  • How to host a kick-off meeting


eLearning Freelancer Bootcamp

Perfect for anyone wanting to venture out independently as an eLearning business owner, eLearning Freelancer Bootcamp gives you the skills (and confidence) you need to start or grow your eLearning business. Created by three successful eLearning business owners, Dr. Robin Sargent, Christy Tucker, and Dr. Nicole Papaioannou Lugara, the mission of the course is to help you realize your most significant potential.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Go-to-market strategies for building and launching your business
  • How to price your services and hit revenue goals
  • Client relationship building
  • Business financials, legal skills, and habits
  • Customer service techniques
  • Product and service creation strategies


"Although I have an MBA, the Bootcamp gave me the information I needed to understand the ID freelance world. If you want to make the transition to freelancing or want to understand the ID business world, the eLearning Bootcamp will connect the dots." - Tabatha Dragonberry, student


Storyline for IDOLs

Nail the basics and learn how to operate Articulate Storyline®, an interactive eLearning course builder with Storyline for IDOLs. This 2024 ID course provides a step-by-step guide to the platform while allowing you to practice using the program simultaneously.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Fundamentals of the Storyline® program
  • How to create an eLearning project
  • Program integrations such as quizzes, media and animations, layers and light boxes, and buttons
  • How to publish your project 


"I am so thankful this course was created. Before going through this course, Storyline was a bit intimidating. I appreciate how different Storyline features were covered, and we even had opportunities to practice using the practice file. Having been through the course, I now feel more comfortable creating projects independently." - Angela Balmer, student


IDOL Academy

If you find yourself adding all these courses to your list, you may be better off enrolling in IDOL Academy to get the whole gamut of knowledge from start to finish. The all-encompassing IDOL Academy is a go-at-your-own-pace training program covering every aspect of becoming an instructional designer in 2024.


In as little as 24 weeks, you can learn the instructional design skills employers look for, practice your course creation skills, build a portfolio, learn ID technology and programs, and get 1-on-1 business coaching. No prior experience or educational degree is required; we teach you everything you need to know!


100% of our graduates land jobs in less than six months, with a 61.89% increase in their average salary. More than 600 happy students can attest to the success! 


“I was actually enrolled in a master's program for instructional design and withdrew from the program after the second month because I saw more value in IDOL Academy. I am so happy I did that. If I had stayed in graduate school, I would not graduate for another year and a half, be in a lot of debt from student loans, and not apply for IDOL jobs until after I graduated. Now here we are, only five months after joining IDOL Academy, and to think I would STILL be in grad school with no IDOL job.” - Amy Garza, Instructional Designer at Xactly


Don’t miss out on the next cohort! Apply now for IDOL Academy.