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Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design

The online Graduate Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design (WIDe) emphasizes the knowledge and skills required to create instructional programs designed to improve employee productivity. The certificate in WIDe is intended for individuals who are interested in designing, developing, and delivering learning programs for business and industry, government agencies, the military, and nonprofit organizations. See the application procedure and course fees.

To be eligible to earn the certificate a student must be admitted prior to completing all the requirements.

Learn How to Apply

Program Cost and Upcoming Dates


as few as 12 months
Program duration

Credit hours

Cost per credit starting Fall 2022

Spring 2023 due date

Spring 2023 start date

Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design Requirements

Graduate Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design (WIDe)
Effective Fall 2020
OPWL 536 Foundations of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning4 – required
OPWL 535 Principles of Adult Learning4 – required
OPWL 537 Instructional Design
(PREREQ: OPWL 536 & OPWL 535)
4 – required
Choose two (2) of the 3-credit courses below to fulfill the 6-credit elective requirement.
NOTE: If earning more than one certificate, please note that you cannot apply the same electives used toward one certificate to another. The electives applied must be unique to each certificate.
OPWL 523 E-Learning Authoring and Development3 – elective
OPWL 525 E-Learning Content and Learning Management Systems3 – elective
OPWL 547 Learning Experience Design
(PREREQ: OPWL 535 and OPWL 536)
3 – elective
OPWL 551 Storyboarding and Scenario-Based E-Learning
3 – elective
Certificate requirements total18

Workplace Instructional Design
Full-time study: 2 semesters
Part-time study: 3 semesters
One course a semester: 1.5 years

The Study of Instructional Design for the Workplace

A subset of the study of performance technology, instructional design courses provide students with processes and means to:

  • Determine when training will close gaps between existing and desired performance.
  • Design performance-based skills training that will help learners perform their jobs more like the organization’s best – and in ways that meet business goals.

Organizations value good instructional designers. Why? Because even though challenges often appear to be training issues, a savvy instructional designer asks questions, specifies a performance gap worth closing, identifies the causes of the gap, and then designs training and other targeted solutions to close the gap.

Organizations value that type of reflective pushback and collaborative approach because it usually produces better solutions to the real problems that keep clients and their bosses up at night.

When training is the answer, the reflective instructional designer keeps three key principles in mind:

  • Align the training across all the parts of the ID process.
    This means the performance assessment should be aligned with the objectives, which should be aligned with the task analysis, which should be aligned with the performance analysis.
  • Focus the objectives on how exemplary performers perform their jobs.
    The objectives specify the behaviors required to perform the job, conditions under which learners perform the job, and the criteria used to judge the on-the-job performance.
  • Make data-driven decisions.
    Collect relevant data from the field to guide your design decisions – rather than creating training by whim. Then use proven approaches, models, and tools to create the training itself.

Who Should Pursue a Workplace Instructional Design (WIDe) Certificate?

The individuals enrolled in our program include:

  • Emerging professionals wanting to break into the field, but have no prior job experience
    (15% of the student body)
  • Individuals that have worked in a related field, but need to acquire additional knowledge and skills specific to the field
    (15% of the student body)
  • Professionals with an average of 12 years experience in the field
    (70% of the student body)

People who are interested in contributing to the learning and development of an organization, as well as those looking to affect organizational development and performance improvement initiatives should pursue an instructional design certificate.

The Graduate Certificate in Workplace Instructional Design from OPWL
gives students the opportunity to:

  • develop an instructional design portfolio piece
  • focus on designing training for the workplace
  • experience collaborating as members of a virtual team on a real instructional design project for a real client