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Certificate Program
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Instructional Design Certificate

Leverage exclusive ATD templates and tools to develop the most powerful, bottom-line focused learning.

Design and develop outcome-based learning using proven instructional design approaches, practical models and templates, and an iterative process that considers learner and stakeholder input.

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Credits: CEU 2.1 MORE
Level: Capable
Role(s): Instructional Designer
Language(s): English More
Capability Area(s): Instructional Design More


Course Info

As an instructional designer, you have the power to impact organizational results by designing learning experiences that give participants the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs well. To be an effective instructional designer, you need a structured, step-by-step design process that you can rely upon to create outcome-based training.

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As an instructional designer, you have the power to impact organizational results by designing learning experiences that give participants the knowledge and skills needed to perform their jobs well. To be an effective instructional designer, you need a structured, step-by-step design process that you can rely upon to create outcome-based training.

In this Instructional Design Certificate course, you'll gain access to all the approaches, design models, and tools you need to create impactful learning events. The program consists of 10 modules that address all aspects of the instructional design process in detail: assessing organizational needs, designing the learning experience, developing materials, and evaluating effectiveness—giving you a complete playbook for how to create training programs. As you go through the course, you'll have the opportunity to practice each step of the design process—getting guidance and feedback along the way.

Why You Should Attend:

  • Explore the breadth of the instructional design process from start to finish.
  • Address common challenges such as engagement, motivation, and retention through good design.
  • Gain access to a collection of more than 20 templates and tools you can use in your practice.
  • Earn an industry-recognized certificate, continuing education credits, and an ATD digital badge to share with your networks.

ATD's Instructional Design Certificate is backed by years of research and learning science*. As an organization dedicated to the talent development profession, our instructional design courses have empowered thousands of designers to successfully create outcome-based learning events.

You Might Also Consider:

ATD also offers instructional design certificate courses to support designers creating online learning events. These programs cover the entire instructional design process as well, but also offer strategies to address the unique needs and challenges of online learners:

E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate: for professionals who design self-paced, e-learning courses and modules.
Virtual Instructional Design Certificate: for professionals who design instructor-led courses hosted in a virtual classroom platform, such as Zoom, Webex, Microsoft Teams, or Adobe Connect.

*This course is based upon the Instructional Design Capability of the Talent Development Capability Model. The concepts covered in the course are reflected in the Talent Development Body of Knowledge (TDBoKTM), the definitive resource for the talent development profession, covering 23 capability areas. Read Less

What You Will Learn
  • Apply learning theories and models, the ADDIE model, and the needs assessment process to training initiatives.
  • Identify behavioral outcomes and create learning objectives.
  • Apply the elements of the course design process to design, develop, and curate content for your learning experience.
  • Identify design thinking and rapid prototyping techniques for course design activities.
  • Apply a variety of course and process evaluation methods to course design activities.
  • Determine your level of future readiness in instructional design and develop a plan for continued learning.

The Sun Has Risen on Learning Experience Design

You’re an instructional designer who has invested lots of time and energy into creating beautiful online modules for a corporate course. Read more.

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Instructional Design Is a Vital Capability for TD Professionals

Instructional design, one of the 23 capabilities in the Association for Talent Development’s new Talent Development Capability Model, is an essential element of an effective learning effort. Read more.

Get the Course Brochure Brochure

Instructional Design Certificate Brochure

Download the brochure to learn everything you need to know about this course.

Learning Design Basics
  • The Role of Adult Learning Theories
  • Learning Models and Memory
  • Using the ATD Human Performance Improvement (HPI) Model in instructional design
  • Instructional Design Models
Needs Assessment
  • Definition and Value of a Needs Assessment
  • Three Levels of Needs Assessment
  • Six Steps of a Needs Assessment
  • Data Collection Techniques
Developing Learning Outcomes and Objectives
  • Defining Outcomes and Objectives
  • Behavioral Outcomes
  • Learning Objectives
  • Techniques for Writing Learning Objectives
Course Design Process
  • Instructional Modality Options
  • Basic Course Design
  • Course Map Plan and Modules
Selecting Delivery Methods and Media
  • What Are Instructional Methods?
  • Instructional Method Options and Considerations
  • Selecting Delivery Media and Technology
Developing Content for Different Learning Experiences
  • The Two Major Categories of Learning
  • Levels of Learning Considerations
  • Techniques for Structuring Content
  • Considerations for Structuring Content
Working with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
  • Using SMEs in Instructional Design
Designing and Developing Learning Materials
  • Curation of Existing Content
  • Creation of New Content
  • Techniques for Developing Learner Centric Materials
  • Designing Materials to Assess Learning
Design Thinking and Rapid Prototyping
  • How Design Thinking Can Improve Instructional Design
  • Applying Design Thinking
  • Rapid Methodologies and Prototyping
  • Implementing and Evaluating
  • Evaluating Talent Development Solutions
  • Evaluation Methodologies
  • Creating Evaluation Instruments
  • Creating an Evaluation Plan
Who Should Attend

Developed for participants new to instructional design or for those who want to gain a comprehensive skill set for designing instructor-led learning, this certificate program covers the entirety of the instructional design capability in the Talent Development Capability ModelTM.

This program is appropriate for those who want a professional training certificate to verify their understanding of instructional design principles and practices. Applicable roles include instructional designers, independent consultants, professional trainers or facilitators, or training coordinators.

If you are designing self-paced, e-learning courses, consider our E-Learning Instructional Design Certificate instead. If you are designing learning events for a virtual classroom platform, such as Webex, Zoom, Adobe Connect, or Microsoft Teams, consider the Virtual Instructional Design Certificate.

Level: Capable
Roles: Instructional Designer
Language: English, Chinese
What Our Participants Are Saying
Lisa Hagins

"My favorite takeaway from the program was an in-depth lesson that took us from the needs analysis stage to the follow-up stage in easy-to-understand steps. Any level of trainer, leader, or developer of talent can learn from this class."

David Caceres

"My favorite takeaway from the program was the idea that less is more. Keeping information clean and simple and letting pictures in visuals explain themselves. Also, the importance of evaluations at all levels. The resources that you receive during the class make it worth your time. The sharing by the facilitator and the other participants expanded my way of thinking of designing learning."

Tom Miller

"The course materials are well designed and very practical. The checklists and job aids will be very useful in designing instructional design programs. The program followed best practices in adult learning and focused on practical application. The activities were well designed and respectful of my professional experience and my time."

Dates & Locations
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    09:00 AM - 12:30 PM
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Kimberly Devlin, CPTD
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Margaret Banta

Things to Know


For full-day face-to-face and live online programs, participation in all originally scheduled days of the program, including both face-to-face and live online formats, is mandatory in order to receive the certificate of completion and CEUs. Participants who miss more than two hours of the entire program will not be eligible to receive the certificate. Participants who fulfill the attendance requirement will receive a certificate at the end of the program.

For multi-week, live online programs with five or more sessions, one missed live session can be made up by listening to the session recording in full. Participants who miss more than one live session will not be eligible to receive the certificate. To be marked complete for that one session, please email For programs with four or fewer sessions, attendance at all live sessions is required to receive a certificate. All sessions will be recorded and available for participants to review throughout the program for your reference.

ATD requires active participation throughout the program to receive credit. Active participation in live online sessions includes, but is not limited to, participating in virtual classroom activities, discussions, breakout sessions, and intersession work. Please note that using a tablet or mobile device significantly limits your ability to fully and actively participate.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, a certificate will be issued to you through the ATD Learning Platform at the end of the program.


21.0 learning hours

2.1 CEUs awarded

This program is eligible for 21.0 professional development hours or recertification points from the ATD Certification Institute (ATD CI) for the APTD or CPTD credential.

This program has been approved for 21.0 (General) recertification credit hours toward PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute.

This program is valid for 21.0 PDCs for the SHRM-CP or SHRM-SCP. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit


A laptop computer with Wi-Fi capability is required for both face-to-face and online programs. Please do not bring mobile devices (phones, tablets, etc.) in lieu of a laptop. There will be no computers available on-site for participants. Note: You might not have an optimal experience if you are using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge to access your courses. Chrome is the recommended browser.


Enrolled in a program? Sign in to the ATD Learning Portal with your ATD account credentials two weeks before the first day of class to:

  • Engage with your facilitator and peers.
  • Access pre-work assignments.
  • View any technical requirements.
  • Review logistical information.


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