Online Programs

MS in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics Online Course Descriptions

The 36-credit online MS in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics program includes 18 credits of instructional design online courses as well as 18 credits in related classes in evaluation, business and leadership.


This rigorous course covers the systems approach for instructional design, including the analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation of instructional materials (ADDIE). It also presents learning domains (including the affective/motivational domain), metacognition (knowing what you know, and how you learn), and evaluation levels. Although this class is strongly rooted in ID theory, it will provide relevant examples of real-world contexts.

Andragogy is defined as the art and science of helping adults learn. This course introduces the historic model of andragogy in practice. Students will analyze a variety of adult learning theories and practice applying those theories using research based models and best practices. The six-core adult learning principles (the learner's need to know, the self-concept of the learner, the prior experience of the learner, the readiness to learn, the orientation to learning, and the motivation to learn) will be explored. Additionally, students will be introduced to emerging trends that are impacting adult learning such as neuroscience and technology. Prerequisite: IDLA 600.

This course covers evaluation and assessment of learning programs. Evaluation is an important yet underutilized tool in the world of training and development. The course is a comprehensive guide to the development and use of different methods of assessment and evaluation, as well as the legal and liability issues surrounding testing. Students will become familiar with various evaluation models, application of models, and evaluation outcomes, and development of evaluation and assessment tools. Prerequisite: IDLA 600.

This course covers learning analytics and the link to business objectives and performance. Learning analytics has come front and center for many businesses because learning development and performance are now measured differently, wide and deep data is available, and measuring workplace behavior can help increase efficiency. The learner will discover what should be measured, alternatives to experimental designs, benchmarking, and how bringing ADDIE to the workplace can improve learning analytics. Prerequisite: IDLA 600.

Learners will design an ideal-state enterprise learning function by analyzing that organization’s needs and resources; defining the enterprise learning vision, mission, and guiding principles; articulating that functional area’s deliverables, standards, and metrics; and laying out the organizational structure, core processes, and technology infrastructure. Through case-based learning, students will address a variety of models as well as strategic and tactical issues that CLOs (Chief Learning Officers) need to manage as it relates to their e-learning capabilities—issues such as information security, buy vs. build, in-source vs. out-source, fair use, privacy, bandwidth, globalization, localization, data tracking, reporting, archiving, accessibility, usability, and utilization. Prerequisite: IDLA 600.

The final capstone is a culminating project that utilizes a set of skills that demonstrate maturity and professionalism in strategic thinking in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics and management. Informed by an understanding of data, technology, and emerging trends in instructional design and learning analytics, the course focuses on high-level independent document delivery and writing, applied research and analysis, and the creation of a polished, professionally written business plan. All this work is supported by an instructor, a structured course that provides milestones and deadlines, and interaction with peers who will experience the same course simultaneously. Prerequisites: All other courses in the program.



This course will explore the current and potential impacts of new, emerging, and rapidly evolving technologies on organizations and their operations, across a range of industries and sectors. Topics will include project design, data collection, and data storage as well as legal and privacy issues. Students will gain hands-on experience with techniques for gathering and analyzing information including audio, video, and text capture; media analytics; mapping and data visualization; mobile data collection systems; and more. In addition to tools and best practices, participants will examine challenges and opportunities for designing projects that implement current and emerging technologies to ensure success.

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The primary goal of this course is to explore quantitative and qualitative tools and methods used to evaluate, present, and communicate data (big and small). Students will also learn how to summarize and communicate findings to stakeholders so that they may make informed decisions that will improve the overall quality and efficiency of an organization. Topics include asking the right questions of data, constructing Statements of Work for performance and impact evaluation, conducting t-tests, ANOVA, ANCOVA, matching, differences in differences, regression discontinuity in program evaluation, and disseminating quantitative findings. No prerequisites.

This course will cover identifying challenges with virtual teams, increasing awareness of the need for virtual leadership, assessing the strengths and recognizing the unique differences between creating and sustaining trust. Additionally, a major goal is recognizing and influencing levels of engagement and appreciating generational and cultural differences in the way people operate and manage conflict among team members in the absence of normal interactive and visual cues.



The main objective of this course is to improve the intercultural competencies and communication skills of students, with a particular focus on aspects of intercultural communication highly relevant for technical experts and managers. Students will increase their understanding of, and ability to work with, the processes involved when cultures come into contact. This course will enhance the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about today’s cultural challenges, to practice intercultural relations, and to provide a perspective on one’s personal and social responsibility as current and future leaders.

When initiating change, companies need to decide what the right change is for their company and how to implement that change correctly. In the process of making these decisions, various critical factors also need to be taken into individual consideration in a methodical, deliberate, and measurable way. This course provides the benefits of and insights into pre-implementation decision-making processes for framing and subsequently implementing strategic change. The impact of measurement and metrics on decisions for successful strategic change is discussed. It will conclude with a reflective evaluation of the lessons learned.

This course explores professional ethics and leadership to maximize organizational and personal success across a wide range of disciplines and fields. Participants will learn about ethical issues involved in working with clients and donors, professional correspondence, and managing monitoring and evaluation functions. These topics will be approached within a framework of organizational leadership theories and current trends. No prerequisites.

This course provides students with the skill set needed to develop innovative solutions for addressing strategic business problems. Students will be introduced to human-centered design, which will allow them to understand what customers want in terms of products, services, and processes. Students will explore various approaches to innovative thinking and techniques for working with a team to develop and facilitate creative ideas that will contribute to the growth and success of an organization.

This course provides students with the skills needed to collaborate with global partners and widespread teams and to effectively communicate with clients, including large and small corporations, internal and external customers, and members of the project team. Drawing on real-world case studies, students will learn how to prepare and document project correspondence, how to master the art of persuasion, and how to satisfy clients despite budgetary and methodological restrictions. No prerequisites.

This course teaches qualitative research skills for project planning, monitoring, and evaluation activities. Students will analyze the strengths, weaknesses, and uses of qualitative data, investigating the circumstances under which planners and evaluators use qualitative methods. Working with an academic practitioner, students will learn qualitative data collection tools and techniques, including participant observation, interviews, and focus groups. In collaboration with an organization in their local community, students will complete practical assignments that require the application of several data collection techniques.

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This course explores quantitative methods in project planning, monitoring, and evaluation. It provides opportunities for students to design quantitative evaluations and apply statistical measures to test hypotheses. Students will explore the use of statistical software in managing and manipulating data and the production of descriptive and analytical reports that meet the guidelines and expectations of professional practitioners in the field. They will develop an understanding of an often intimidating and difficult subject with an approach that is informative, personable, and clear as they are guided through various statistical procedures, beginning with descriptive statistics, correlation, and graphical representation of data through inferential techniques, analysis of variance, and more.

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This course is designed specifically with the non-economist in mind, including adult professionals who may have little or no academic preparation in economics. It includes recent developments in the theoretical and empirical cost-benefit analysis (CBA) literature, beginning with a detailed discussion of welfare economics and the microeconomic foundations of CBA. It gives comprehensive treatment to CBA methodology and concludes with the current state of CBA as it is practiced by a variety of public, private, and international agencies with applications in areas such as healthcare, environmental management, energy, law enforcement, internet strategy, and others. No prerequisites.

This intensive writing course introduces mid-career professionals to the theory, research, and practice of analytical business writing. In this course students will be exposed to a variety of research techniques and writing forms including, but not limited to, entrepreneurial writing, grant writing, and clear writing principles for professionals in any field. Students will learn how to interview experts, work with clients, and write for the web.

To learn more about American University’s online MS in Instructional Design and Learning Analytics program, call 855.725.7614 to speak with an admissions adviser or request more information.