Degrees & Programs

Instructional Systems Technology

We improve human learning and performance in diverse contexts. We prepare practitioners and researchers to design and build processes, systems, and services for use in various settings. Individuals and organizations learn and grow through well-designed instruction, and we focus on turning issues into opportunities.

Overview

We believe instructional materials and tools must reflect the way people acquire, process, and share information. Our research crosses disciplines and incorporates theories of instructional design, the use of emerging digital technologies to support learning, and workplace learning and performance improvement. With the support of faculty, students solve instructional and performance issues through analysis, design, development, evaluation, implementation, and management of learning environments and strategies. As a result, our alumni hold key roles in governmental, corporate, educational and military organizations.

We offer both residential and online-only degrees in instructional systems technology and adult education. That includes Indiana University’s first online-only doctorate, the Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Information Systems Technology.

  • For a comparison of residential masters and online masters, click here.
  • For important hardware and software considerations to be aware of for distance students, click here.
  • If you are curious if distance education is right for you, click here.
  • IST News
Degrees

The IU School of Education offers the following certificates and degrees in Instructional Systems Technology:

Minor Programs

IT Cognate

Instructional Technology is concerned with enabling change in a learner with an instructional goal as a focus. This goal is sometimes called learning, but there are many other outcomes that fall under the concern of Instructional Technologists. These may be directed to objectives dealing with cognition, affect and motivation, and/or performance change on the part of the learner. From this perspective the Instructional Technology Cognate offers a natural path of specialization for the undergraduate Education, Informatics, SLIS, HPER, Journalism, Telecom, Music, and Art Major, just to name a few.

The course sequence described herein is designed to satisfy the requirements for the Cognate requirements of the Informatics Program at Indiana University - Bloomington, or as a minor area of study in any discipline. Also, with the exception of the capstone course R481, each course is designed to stand alone to satisfy elective requirements, provided prerequisites are met, and be accessible by any undergraduate from any IUB program.

Until complete approval by the Bloomington Campus of this entire sequence, these courses may each be offered as EDUC F401 under the titles indicated here.

Check the general course descriptions for IT Cognates.

Course sequence

Computer Educator License Program

The Computer Educator License Program for Practicing Teachers (CEL-T) offered through the Indiana University School of Education is a 15 credit hour curriculum at the graduate level resulting in an Indiana Computer Education License. This program has been developed to provide current teachers in Indiana with a process for receiving an add-on Computer Education license recognized by the Indiana Professional Standards Board.

The CEL-T program is offered entirely at a distance, so teachers do not need to complete classes at the Indiana University ­ Bloomington campus to participate in the program.

Certificate in Instructional Systems Technology (online)

Get an in-depth introduction to analyzing, designing, developing, and evaluating new educational tools. Advance your career or prepare for a master's or doctoral program in Instructional Systems Technology. This 15-hour certificate program introduces you to concepts in instructional technology and design, including:

  • Evaluation and analysis of instructional materials
  • Effective writing for instructional technology
  • Strategies for computer-mediated learning

The Certificate in Instructional Systems Technology is not the equivalent of a state teaching license nor preparation to earn a teaching license. Learn more about our licensing programs

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed program requirements may be found on IUconnectED. Click here for Program of Studies.

Required Courses (9 cr.)

  • Instructional Technology Foundations
  • Instructional Design & Development
  • Evaluation & Change in the Instructional Design Process

Production Course (3 cr.)

Choose from the following courses:

  • Instructional Design & Production Process I
  • Computer-Mediated Learning

Elective Course (3 cr.)

Choose from the following courses:

  • Effective Writing for Instructional Technology
  • Computer-Mediated Learning
  • Instructional Strategies and Tactics
  • Other IST elective approved by IST Advisor
M.S.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology (residential)

Learn to design effective instructional materials that can be delivered through print, video, and computers. You will build and test processes, products, and services that are ready to use in education and/or training settings. The 36-minimum-credit-hour program includes coursework, an internship, and a year-long studio project conducted under faculty membership. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to become a practitioner in the field of instructional technology.

Download the Program of Studies »

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Core Courses (15 cr.)

  • R511 Instructional Technology Foundations and Colloquium (3 cr.)
  • R521 Instructional Design and Development I (3 cr.)
  • R541 Instructional Development and Production Process 1 (3 cr.)
  • R561 Evaluation and Change in the Instructional Development Process (3 cr.)
  • R621 Needs Analysis and Assessment (3 cr.)

Internship (6 cr.)

R686 Internship in Instructional Systems Design (can be taken once for 6 credits or twice for 3 credits)

Major (12 cr.)

  • R620 Instructional Task Analysis (3 cr.)
  • R625 Designing Instructional Systems (3 cr.)
  • R626 Instructional Strategies and Tactics (3 cr.)
  • R542 Instructional Graphics Design (3 cr.)
  • R547 Computer-Mediated Learning (3 cr.)
  • R641 Instructional Development and Production Process II (3 cr.)
  • R741 Instructional Development and Production Process III (3 cr.)
  • R563 Business and Economic Dimensions of Training and Development (3 cr.)
  • R660 Change Management, Consulting, and Group Training (3 cr.)
  • R665 Managing Training and Development Projects (3 cr.)
  • R686 Internship in Instructional Systems Technology (3 - 6 cr.)

Electives outside the major (9 cr.)

A minimum of nine (9) credit hours must be taken by residential students from programs other than Instructional Systems Technology (which can include adult education courses). The nature and mix of the courses must be structured to support the overall thrust of the student's program of studies.

Typical options include business, computer science, curriculum and instruction, educational inquiry methodology, educational psychology, elementary education, library and information science, secondary education, telecommunications, etc.

Portfolio Requirement

The portfolio will include:

  • Products developed by the student.
    • These products may be, but are not necessarily, products developed in the Instructional Project.
    • Additional products developed by the student in other research or development courses, via practica and internships, in conjunction with a graduate assistantship, or elsewhere may also be included in the portfolio.
  • A completed program of studies form
  • A statement of your career goals
  • A professional resume
  • A listing of professional references
M.S.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology (online)

Earn a master's degree any time of day or night and from anywhere. Through IUconnectED, you will learn to design effective instructional materials that can be delivered through print, video, and computers. You will build and test processes, products, and services that are ready to use in education and/or training settings. The 36-minimum-credit-hour, three-year program includes a portfolio workshop in which you will get hands-on experience in developing instructional technologies. Upon graduation, you will be prepared to become practitioners in the field of instructional technology.

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found on IUconnectED.

IST Core (12 cr.)

  • Instructional Technology Foundations
  • Instructional Design & Development
  • Instructional Design & Production Process I
  • Evaluation & Change in the Instructional Design Process

IST Electives (9 cr.)

Choose three of the following courses:

  • Effective Writing for Instructional Technology
  • Computer-Mediated Learning
  • Instructional Strategies and Tactics
  • Educational Systems Design

Other Required IST Courses (6 cr.)

  • Portfolio Workshop in IST
  • Designing Instructional Systems

Outside Courses (9 cr.)

  • Required (3 cr.):
    • Learning and Cognition in Education
  • Outside Electives (6 cr.):
    • The nature and mix of courses taken outside of IST must be structured to support the overall purpose of your program of study. Please consult your academic advisory to identify appropriate courses. Typical options include courses in business, computer science, curriculum and instruction, educational psychology, education, library and information science, and telecommunications.
M.S.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology with Specializations (online)

Choose from the following specialization areas:

Specialization 1: Workplace Learning and Performance Improvement (WLPI). The WLPI specialization area is for students seeking graduate-level education in the principles and practices of workplace learning and performance improvement. You will learn to develop and deliver effective system-oriented interventions that improve individual and organizational performance and are aligned with an organization's mission and goals. Your abilities to work cross-functionally and in interdisciplinary teams in domestic and international organizations worldwide will be enhanced. Graduates often work in business and industry, military, government, education, and non-profit organizations.

WLPI Degree Requirements

  • IST Core Courses (15 cr.)
  • WLPI Specialization Core Courses (9 cr.)
  • Theory/Inquiry Requirement (6 cr.)
  • Certification-Based Portfolio
    • A presentation and synopsis of projects you complete during your matriculation in the WLPI specialization area that showcase your knowledge and skills.

Specialization 2: Instructional Systems Design Practice (ISDP). The ISDP specialization area is for students seeking graduate-level education regarding the principles and practices of instructional systems design. You will learn to develop and deliver effective interventions to improve learning and performance. Your abilities to work cross-functionally and in interdisciplinary teams focused on the design of instruction will be enhanced. Graduates often work in business and industry, military, government, education and nonprofit organizations.

ISDP Degree Requirements:

  • IST Core Courses (15 cr.)
  • ISDP Specialization Core Courses (6 cr.)
  • ISDP Specialization Elective Courses (3 cr.)
  • Courses outside the Major (9 cr.)
  • Professional Portfolio
    • A collection of projects that showcase your knowledge and skills. If you choose, you can include work from your course work as well as other professional experiences that aligns with your professional goals.

Specialization 3: Learning Technologies (LT). The LT specialization area is for students seeking graduate-level education regarding the principles and practices of instructional systems design. You will learn to develop and deliver effective interventions to improve learning and performance. Your abilities to work cross-functionally and in interdisciplinary teams focused on the design of instruction will be enhanced. Graduates often work in business and industry, military, government, education and non-profit organizations.

LT Degree Requirements

  • IST Core Courses (15 cr.)
  • LT Specialization Core Courses (6 cr.)
  • LT Specialization Elective Courses (3 cr.)
  • Courses outside the Major (9 cr.)
  • Certification-Based Portfolio
    • A presentation and synopsis of projects you complete during your matriculation in the LT specialization area that showcase your knowledge and skills.
Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology (online)

If you're an instruction design or human performance improvement professional, the Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology offers the opportunity to bridge the gap between research and practice.

You'll apply research findings to build and test processes, products, and services with the goal of producing instructional materials for education, training, or performance improvement environments. You'll also learn research skills you can use to conduct needs analyses of target audiences and measure the effectiveness of instructional products and solutions in these areas:

  • Instructional technology
  • Educational technology
  • Instructional design
  • Performance technology
  • Workplace learning and performance improvement

This 60-hour degree prepares you to take on management or leadership roles in organizations where instructional and performance technology is a key part of their mission.

Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited institution. While course work is delivered primarily online, students will be required to attend at least one IST Colloquium or IST conference on campus.

Degree Requirements

Course descriptions and complete degree requirements can be found at IUConnected.

IST Major (30 cr.)

  • R711 (3 cr.)
  • R690 (3 cr.)
  • IST Electives (24 cr.)

Non-IST (21 cr.)

Inquiry (9 cr.)

Learning Theories (3 cr.)

Minor (9 - 16 cr.)

Dissertation (9 cr.)

  • Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
  • Dissertation (6 cr.)
Ed.D. in Instructional Systems Technology (residential)

The Instructional Systems Technology (IST) Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree program is designed for individuals seeking to be practitioners in the field of instructional technology. The IST program prepares Ed.D. students to bridge the gap between research and practice in the field. The Ed.D. student learns to take the findings developed by basic and applied research and use them to build and test processes, products, and services that are ready for operational use in education and training settings. Ed.D. program graduates typically assume management and leadership roles in public or private agencies and organizations involved in one or more aspects of instructional technology. 


The IST Ed.D. program is a 60 credit-hour (minimum) post-master's graduate program. In order to begin the Ed.D. program an individual must have completed a master's degree program from an accredited institution. Work completed towards a master's degree does not apply toward meeting the 60 credit-hour requirement. Post-master's degree work may apply, with decisions made on a case-by-case basis. A 90 hour post-bachelor's degree is also possible. It would resemble the Ph.D. requirements but would emphasize more application courses and less inquiry courses.

Prerequisite: Level 1 Computer Competence

Macintosh and DOS/Windows word processing, graphics, operating systems, general understanding of how computers work, and electronic mail.


Course work (60 hours):

IST (27 hours)
IST Core Courses and Colloquia (15 hours) 
IST Inquiry Linkage (3 hours) 
IST Major (9-12 hours) 


Non-IST (24 hours)

Inquiry (9 hours) 
Education Foundations (6 hours) 
Minor (9 hours) 


IST (9 hours)

Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 hours) 
Dissertation (6 hours) 


Total: 60 hours

Other Requirements:

  • Residency (18 credit-hours within 12 months)
  • Instructional project
  • Portfolio
  • Written and Oral Qualifying Examination (after completion of course work - excluding dissertation)
  • Nomination to Candidacy (after completion of all course work - excluding dissertation - and after passing written and oral qualifying exams)
  • Dissertation Research Committee Approval
  • Dissertation Prospectus (after Nomination to Candidacy and with consultation and approval from Dissertation Research Committee)
  • Dissertation Proposal Defense
  • Dissertation Final Defense Announcement (with approval from dissertation chairperson, and at least 30 days prior to final defense)
  • Dissertation Final Defense
Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Technology (residential)

The Instructional Systems Technology Doctor of Philosophy in Education degree program is designed for individuals seeking to be researchers in the field of instructional technology. The IST program prepares Ph.D. students to discover new knowledge through basic research and answer specific questions about practical problems through applied research. Ph.D. program graduates typically conduct research and teach in university settings or work as researchers within private or public research and development centers involved in instructional technology.

The IST Ph.D. program is a 90-credit-hour (minimum) graduate program. In order to begin the Ph.D. program, an individual must have completed a bachelor's degree program from an accredited institution. Work completed towards a master's degree may apply toward meeting the 90-credit-hour requirement. Post-master's degree work may also apply. Decisions regarding the transfer of courses taken as part of master's and post- master's work depends upon the applicability and age of each course. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Doctoral applicants are expected to have a master's degree in our field, but can be admitted without one. Students admitted without a master's degree in IST are required to complete the IST masters core (R511, R521, R541, R561) early in their program of studies. All doctoral students are expected to study full time and to be active members of the academic community.

Download the General Course Plan »

Degree Requirements

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Prerequisites: Computer Competencies

Macintosh or Windows word processing, graphics, operating systems, general understanding of how computers work, email, file transfer, information retrieval, scanning, and Web publishing.

For online learning materials, go to Lynda.com

Course Work (90 cr.)

If you have a master's degree in the field:

  • IST (42 cr., with a limit of 18 transferred credit hours)
    • Doctoral Core (18 cr.)
      • R711 IST Doctoral Readings (3 cr.)
      • R690 IST Early Research Experience (3 cr.)
      • R695 IST Doctoral Seminar (taken four times, for a total of 12 cr.)
    • Non-IST Course Work (27 cr.)
      • Inquiry (9 cr.)
      • Education Foundations (6 cr.)
      • Minor (12 cr.)
    • IST or Non-IST Electives (6 cr.)
    • IST Dissertation (15 cr.)
      • R795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
      • R799 Dissertation (12 cr.)

If you do NOT have a master's degree in the field:

  • IST (42 cr., with a limit of 18 transferred credit hours)
    • IST Core Courses and Colloquia (12 cr.)
    • Doctoral Core (18 cr.)
      • R711 IST Doctoral Readings (3 cr.)
      • R690 IST Early Research Experience (3 cr.)
      • R695 IST Doctoral Seminar (taken four times, for a total of 12 cr.)
    • Non-IST Course Work (27 cr.)
      • Inquiry (9 cr.)
      • Education Foundations (6 cr.)
      • Minor (12 cr.)
    • IST or Non-IST Electives (6 cr.)
    • IST Dissertation (15 cr.)
      • R795 Dissertation Proposal Preparation (3 cr.)
      • R799 Dissertation (12 cr.)
Doctoral Minor in Instructional Systems Technology (residential)

The Minor in Instructional Systems Technology allows doctoral students in other fields to gain an understanding of the instructional design process, implementation and assessment of technology in instruction, or assessment of human development and improvement in complement to their doctoral major. 

Required Coursework

You are required to take 12 credits in IST, no more than 9 of which may be transferred in from a previous degree in the field. 

The following policies apply to the 12 credits required for the doctoral minor:

  • Doctoral minors in IST are required to file a Minor Program of Studies form with the department.
  • All doctoral minors are required to take R711: Doctoral Readings in IST.
  • The remaining 9 credits in the minor are planned with and approved by your minor advisor in IST.
  • Doctoral minors may take the R695 Doctoral Seminar; this requires the permission of your advisor and active participation in a departmental research group.
  • Doctoral minors are required to maintain a 3.2 GPA in the credits taken in the department.

Complete course descriptions and detailed degree requirements may be found in the IU Bloomington School of Education Graduate Bulletin.

Qualifying Exam for IST Minors

A required portfolio serves as the qualifying exam for the IST minor. This portfolio must contain a:

  • completed literature review from R711,
  • paper for a research project that you have worked on or evidence of scholarship as approved by your minor advisor, and a
  • paper as assigned by your minor advisor that demonstrates/discusses integration of your minor in IST with your major.

Evaluation of Qualifying Exam

The doctoral minor qualifying exam (portfolio) will be reviewed by your minor advisor on a Pass/Fail basis, with feedback provided. Doctoral minors in IST who fail the minor quals may attempt once again in the immediate next regular term (fall, spring). Those failing twice will not be retained as minors in the program.

Prior IST Minors

If you started the doctoral minor program prior to fall 2008, please consult with your advisor to confirm that previous requirements for the minor have been or will be met. Current requirements will not apply to you unless you elect to conform to ALL the current requirements in lieu of the previous requirements.

Faculty

IST faculty are instrumental in developing and sharing best practices for creating effective learning environments. As scholars, their research has been instrumental in defining the field. As educators, they have helped hundreds of instructors improve learning for students of all ages and across all segments of society. As mentors, they have prepared graduates who teach and lead in premiere higher education programs around the world.

Careers

A degree in instructional systems technology has applications not just in educational settings, but in corporations, government, military, and nonprofit organizations. As a graduate, you’ll be prepared to solve instructional problems and to tackle human performance issues, from training factory workers to use new equipment to developing a change management plan for introducing new management practices in a global company.

Some career options include:

  • E-learning developer
  • Instructional designer
  • Corporate trainer
  • Researcher
  • Professor
  • Education content developer
  • School or university administrator

The Department of Instructional Systems Technology maintains a pre-screened job board for students and alumni. See current IST openings »

Contact

For detailed program information, please contact:

Tom Brush, Chairperson
Department of Instructional Systems Technology
W. W. Wright Education Building, Room 2276
Bloomington, Indiana 47405
Phone:(812) 856-8450
Email: istdept@indiana.edu