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UMGC, USMx: Instructional Design Models

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Explore traditional and current instructional design models as you develop an Instructional Design Document (IDD) for an outline of an online course.

Instructional Design Models
8 weeks
8–10 hours per week
Instructor-led on a course schedule
Optional upgrade available

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Starts Mar 19
Ends May 13
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Starts Mar 18, 2025
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Ends Sep 30, 2025

About this course

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In today’s interconnected world, online education has exploded with engaging learning experiences infused with interactive digital tools, digital media, and collaborative projects designed to engage dispersed learners. These highly engaging and effective courses are not created by chance - they are created by instructional designers using a careful and systematic design process.

In this course, you'll explore a rich array of instructional design models, each with its own unique strengths and applications. Throughout the eight weeks, you will learn about these models and discover how to identify the best model for your own online course. You will explore instructional design models like ADDIE, Dick and Carey, Understanding by Design (UbD), Rapid Instructional Design, and the Successive Approximation Model (SAM). You will also venture into the world of crafting course learning outcomes, learning objectives, learning activities, and assessments. The journey culminates with your signature assignment, where you'll have the opportunity to apply your newfound knowledge to create the essential components of an Instructional Design Document (IDD).

By the end of this course, you'll have the skills to architect powerful learning experiences.

This course is part of the Instructional Design and Technology MicroMaster’s program from UMGC. Upon completion of the program and receipt of the verified MicroMaster’s certificate, learners may then transition into the full UMGC Master’s Program in Learning Design and Technology. See the MicroMasters program page for more information.

At a glance

  • Institutions:


  • Subject: Education & Teacher Training
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    While there are no enforced prerequisites, it is strongly recommended that learners complete IDT100x (Learning Theories) prior to enrolling in IDT200x. The program content and course projects are sequential, allowing the learner to build on subsequent work. Completing the courses in order is essential to be successful in the coursework. The final capstone course builds on the first three courses in the program. It is strongly recommended that you complete these three prerequisites before enrolling in the last class, IDT400x Course Evaluation and Capstone Project.

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills:Curriculum Development, Successive Approximation Model, Instructional Design, Learning Design, Teacher Education, Planning, ADDIE Instructional Design Model, Design And Technology

What you'll learn

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Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Describe fundamental principles of instructional design models, including ADDIE, Dick and Carey, Understanding by Design (UbD), Rapid Instructional Design, and SAM
  • Differentiate between instructional design models and their implications for instructional design
  • Analyze the strengths and limitations of instructional design models
  • Apply instructional design models to a variety of contexts
  • Build an Instructional Design portfolio to showcase knowledge of instructional design models and various instructional design components
  • Create an Instructional Design Document (IDD) for an identified minicourse

Module 1: Introduction, History, Ethics, Accessibility, & Artificial Intelligence
Module 2: ADDIE Design Model
Module 3: Dick and Carey Design Model
Module 4: Understanding by Design (UbD)
Module 5: Rapid Instructional Design
Module 6: Successive Approximation Model (SAM)
Module 7: Learning Objectives, Bloom's Taxonomy, & Resources
Module 8: Sequencing, Assessment, & Alignment

Frequently Asked Questions

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How long does a student have to apply to and complete the full UMGC degree?

To ensure that your program remains relevant and up-to-date, UMGC sets time limits for completing a program. Students have five (5) consecutive years from the start of the graduate degree to complete their degree. For students who start with a MicroMasters, their “time clock” begins on the date that they complete their last course in the MicroMasters program and receive their Verified Certificate. This means that students should apply to UMGC promptly to begin the degree and have as much time as possible to complete it.

Who can take this course?

Unfortunately, learners residing in one or more of the following countries or regions will not be able to register for this course: Iran, Cuba and the Crimea region of Ukraine. While edX has sought licenses from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer our courses to learners in these countries and regions, the licenses we have received are not broad enough to allow us to offer this course in all locations. edX truly regrets that U.S. sanctions prevent us from offering all of our courses to everyone, no matter where they live.

This course is part ofInstructional Design and Technology MicroMasters Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
4 graduate-level courses
Assignments and exams have specific due dates
8 months
8 - 10 hours per week

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